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July 28, 2018




Mystery Conference for Readers

and Writers

The conference this year was a great success. We will update this site for 2019. Please scroll down to access handouts from the Master Classes. -The Mystery in the Midlands Committee 

Register now to secure your seat. 


JULY 28, 2018


with signings to follow...


St. Paul's Lutheran Church

1715 Bull St. 

Columbia, SC 29201


As summer sizzles in Columbia, SC so do the mysteries! Mystery in the Midlands features Elaine Viets and over 20 other mystery authors in a one-day conference celebrating the power and force of suspense. The conference includes writing masterclasses, panels, and an author luncheon! Register today.

Thanks to our generous presenters, the handouts from the master classes are available now. Click the buttons below for the files: 


(May be adjusted slightly)

8:30 Registration

9:00 Master Class Breakouts for Authors(3 choices)

10:00 Getting Real with Crime Fiction Panel

11:00 Interview with Elaine Viets

12:00 Moveable Feast Author Luncheon

1:30 Signings

1:50 Hot Shorts: The Art of the Short Story Panel

2:45 Characters That Sizzle on the Page Panel

3:40 Turning up the Heat: Defining Genres Panel

4:30 Signings

Hotel Block

We now have a block of 15 rooms on hold at the Columbia Marriott for Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28. The room rate is discounted from $204 to $169 per night. The cut-off date on the room registration was set to expire a month ahead of time (July 1) as per their standard contract. They have extended until July 9. They have another large group at the hotel, so please book right away.


The Columbia Marriott is located at 1200 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC. Their phone is (803) 771-7000.


To reserve a room,

call Marriott Reservations Direct at 1(800) 593-6465 or the Columbia Marriott (803) 771-7000. Our group name is SE Mystery Writers. If you use the first phone number, also identify yourself as staying at the Columbia Marriott at 1200 Hampton Street, Columbia SC.

or book online at this direct link:
Book your group rate for SE Mystery Writers of America Room Block

Be advised that there is a $12 fee per night for parking. The link’s registration page it says the cutoff date is July 1, but the rate is good through July 9.

Author Moveable Feast

Your ticket pays for lunch, but not just any lunch! Participating authors will circulate from table to table in rounds to share interesting information about their stories. This is in addition to the two signing opportunities we'll have! Think about how much fun you'll have interacting with your favorite author over a meal!

Silent Auction Benefitting My First Books

Mystery in the Midlands will present a silent auction to benefit My First Books, an initiative of the Palmetto Project and proud affiliate of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Through this project, a donation of $33 will provide books for a child for a year. Children who are registered with My First Books will receive a book a month from the time they are born until they are five years old. Any South Carolina child meeting the age requirements may be registered. All money collected from the auction will go to support My First Books.


Please help us support this literacy initiative by bidding generously on our offerings of children's books and mystery author baskets.

Thank You

The 2018 Mystery in the Midlands Conference was planned by a board made up of the Palmetto Chapter of the Sisters in Crime and the Southeastern Mystery Writers of America. These ladies have worked tirelessly to make this mysterious dream a reality. 


The Mystery in the Midlands logo was designed by Krista Merle.


Thanks to the St. Paul's Lutheran Church who are allowing the conference use of their beautiful, historic building.

Thank you to Elaine Viets and the National Sisters in Crime organization for sponsoring her visit as part of the Speaker's Bureau program.

Thank you to all the authors who plan to participate, along with attendees who will make this event worthwhile!

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