A Night at the Edgars

For the past five years, I’ve taken part in the Mystery Writers of America‘s Edgar Week, which makes the mystery community flock to New York every April. The first year I went, I only attended the Symposium, which features panels with top-notch writers. Since then, I’ve been to other events and book parties, but last night marked my first Edgar Awards Banquet.

Part of the reason I decided to go this year was that I wanted to cheer on writer friends I love and admire, such as Sophie Littlefield (photo above) and Megan Abbott, both of whom were up for awards: Sophie for her debut A BAD DAY FOR SORRY and Megan for her paperback original BURY ME DEEP. (If you haven’t read these books yet, please do yourself a favor and pick them up. You will thank me later.) But I was also curious: having heard so much about the Edgars, I wanted to see them up close.

The official program for the evening: cocktails at 6:30, then dinner — immediately followed by the awards ceremony — at 7:30. The unofficial program also involved drinks at the Grand Hyatt’s bar after the awards. That last part was my favorite of the night: I’d had brief conversations with writers, editors, and agents at the cocktail party (we were packed in like sardines, so it was easy to make new friends), and I’d sat with terrific people at dinner (including Anthony Rainone, whose short stories are terrific), but the bar was hopping. I met one writer I’ve long admired, and discovered we share a history of dubious work experiences with the Martha Stewart magazine empire. I finally got to meet several of my Twitter friends in person (hello, Kelli Stanley and Dave White), and spent time with writers, booksellers, and mystery fans. It all went by too quickly. Now I’m counting the days and weeks till Thrillerfest (July), Bouchercon (October), and NoirCon (November). You’ll see me at the bar.

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