WriteNow! 2020 Conference


The Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths
Proudly Present:

The WriteNow! 2020 Conference

Named the Best Writers Conference in Arizona by The Writer Magazine!
September 18-19, 2020
Embassy Suites Phoenix-Scottsdale


Calling all writers! It’s finally here—a Writers Conference for the decades!

A full day of internationally-acclaimed, award-winning authors and industry insiders—sharing their secrets to success—in seminars, hands-on workshops and panel discussions.

Learn the keys to writing an epic novel, getting it published and skyrocketing to bestseller status.


Enjoy a fabulous evening of fun, excitement, camaraderie and surprises! Meet, mix and mingle with our guest speakers and all of the other conference attendees at the dessert and coffee reception, sponsored by the Desert Sleuths Chapter as part of your conference experience. A no-host bar will also be available. Don’t miss out on this wonderful evening!

Featuring An Outstanding Line Up:

Author Jenny Milchman

Jenny Milchman is a suspense writer from New York State, who lived for fifteen months on the road with her family on what Shelf Awareness called “the world’s longest book tour.” After a thirteen year journey/trek/slog toward publication, Jenny’s debut novel, COVER OF SNOW, was acquired by Random House. It won the Mary Higgins Clark award, was praised by the New York Times, and chosen as an Indie Next and Target Pick. RUIN FALLS was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and a Top Ten of 2014 by Suspense Magazine. Jenny’s third novel, AS NIGHT FALLS, was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and a Pure WOW Summer Read and is currently in development as a film. Jenny’s fourth novel, WICKED RIVER, was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and one of Strand Magazine’s Best of the Year. Her fifth novel, THE SECOND MOTHER, releases summer 2020. Jenny speaks nationwide about the publishing industry and the importance of sticking to a dream. She served as Vice President of Author Programming for International Thriller Writers, is a member of the Sisters in Crime speakers bureau, and the founder of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. JennyMilchman.com


Author Matt Coyle

Matt Coyle was fourteen when his father gave him The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler. Since then, Coyle has dedicated his writing career to hard-boiled PI mysteries following the haunted character Rick Cahill. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and lives in San Diego with his yellow lab, Angus. Coyle’s debut novel, Yesterday’s Echo, won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, the San Diego Book Award for Best Mystery, and the Ben Franklin Silver Award for Best New Voice in Fiction. Night Tremors was a Bookreporter.com Reviewers’ Favorite Book of 2015 and was an Anthony, Shamus, and Lefty Award finalist. Both Dark Fissures and Blood Truth were also Lefty awards finalists and Top Picks on Bookreporter.com, and Blood Truth was also nominated for the 2018 Shamus award for Best Private Eye novel. Wrong Light is Coyle’s fifth Rick Cahill novel. MattCoyleBooks.com


Author Naomi Hirahara

Naomi Hirahara, born and raised in Southern California, is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Japanese American gardener and atomic-bomb survivor who solves crimes (SUMMER OF THE BIG BACHI, GASA-GASA GIRL, SNAKESKIN SHAMISEN, BLOOD HINA and STRAWBERRY YELLOW). Books in this series have been translated into Japanese, Korean and French (September 2015 publication date). MURDER ON BAMBOO LANE, her new mystery series with a female twentysomething LAPD bicycle cop, was released with Berkley Prime Crime in spring 2014. Her next in the series, A GRAVE ON GRAND AVENUE, was released in April 2015. She also has penned a middle-grade novel, 1001 CRANES, which was chosen as an Honor Book for the Youth Literature of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in 2009. A former editor of the largest Japanese American newspaper in the U.S., she also has released a number of nonfiction works. A number of her short stories have been included in various anthologies. NaomiHirahara.com


Editor Jessica Page Morrell

Jessica Page Morrell understands both sides of the editoral desk–as an editor and author. She is the author of Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us, A (sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected; Bullies, Bastards & Bitches: How to Write the Bad Guys in Fiction; The Writer’s I Ching: Wisdom for the Creative Life; Voices from the Street; Between the Lines: master the subtle elements of fiction; and Writing Out the Storm. Morrell works as a developmental editor where she has learned how to quickly size up a story’s merits, as a writing coach, and was formerly the Writing Expert at iVillage.com. She’s been writing a monthly column about topics related to writing since 1998.  Morrell has contributed articles to newspapers and The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazines. She also contributes to anthologies and is the founder and coordinator of writing conferences. She lives in Portland, Oregon where she is surrounded by writers. JessicaMorrell.com


Literary Agent Kirby Kim of Janklow and Nesbit

Kirby Kim, a native of Los Angeles, California, attended Pomona College and got his JD at UC Hastings College of the Law. Kirby got his first job in publishing working for Charlotte Sheedy Literary, at that time an affiliate of Sterling Lord Literistic, then moved to Vigliano Associates and WME and now at Janklow & Nesbit.
Kirby represents both literary and commercial authors. He’s most interested in receiving manuscripts that straddle the fence a bit, with upmarket expression combined with a genre element or plot device. When it comes to straight literary work, he’s alternatively drawn to rich, sweeping stories that try to encompass a time or a place or tightly written, narratively innovative stories or voices with award potential. His commercial interests include thrillers and mysteries, speculative fiction, and young adult. He also represents a range of nonfiction working with leaders and journalists in the areas of science, culture, business, and current affairs. Kirby is currently a board member of the Asian American Writers Workshop. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and two kids. Janklow and Nesbit – Kirby Kim



Schedule of Events

Friday, September 18, 2020
6:30 p.m. Registration/Check-in
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Welcome Reception

Saturday, September 19, 2020
7:00 a.m. Registration/Check-in
7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast (included)
8:00 a.m. Conference Begins
12:00 noon Lunch (included)
1:00 p.m. Workshops and Panel Discussions
(Workshops are presented concurrently on Saturday afternoon)
5:00 p.m. Conference Ends


Embassy Suites by Hilton, Phoenix/Scottsdale
4415 East Paradise Village Parkway South
Phoenix, AZ 85032

Please note: A hotel stay is not included in the cost of the WriteNow! Conference registration fee. Please contact Embassy Suites Phoenix Scottsdale directly, or your hotel of choice,  to secure any overnight lodgings.

Please Review These Important Details for Registration


Sisters in Crime Members*
Early Registration (March 1-31)  $115
Standard Registration (April 1-Sept 17)  $139
At the Door  $159

*Sisters in Crime Members who have fully paid their 2020 membership dues will receive a significantly discounted rate. Dues for 2020 must be current at the time of registration.* Membership will be verified.

Early Registration (March 1-31)  $139
Standard Registration (April 1-Sept 17)  $159
At the Door $179

Guest Ticket for Friday Evening Reception –For those who have registered for the WriteNow! 2020 Conference, we offer the option of bringing one guest to the Welcome Reception. The optional Guest ticket is available at a nominal fee.

We use PayPal to process the credit card, however, you do not need to have a PayPal account to use the service. You can use the secure Guest Option to pay by Debit or Credit Card. If paying by credit card or debit card DO NOT PUT IN A ZIP CODE for shipping fees as nothing will be shipped and the shipping charge cannot be refunded.

If you require a payment alternative, please email us at desertsleuths@gmail.com to make arrangements.


Cancellations received by email at desertsleuths@gmail.com no later than July 15, 2020 – OR – postmarked no later than July 5, 2020 and received at the Desert Sleuths mailing address, will receive a full refund, minus $25.00.

No refunds after July 15, 2020.


Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths and The WriteNow! Annual Conference are dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all attendees, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, body type, or veteran status. We will not tolerate any kind of discrimination or harassment and encourage anyone who believes they have experienced or witnessed discriminatory or harassing behavior to report it to a member of the WriteNow! Conference committee or a Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuth Board Member. All complaints will be handled in a discreet and confidential manner. Individuals found to have violated our policy will be asked to leave the conference.