Crime fiction in general and Canadian crime fiction in particular were the text and subtext of Bloody Words 2011, which concluded on Sunday in sunny Victoria, British Columbia.
Two and half full days of tightly focused and well-attended panels and a gala banquet were the highlights of this event held at Victoria’s four-star Hotel Grand Pacific. The hotel is located right next to the Parliament Buildings in BC’s capital city, which made quick scenic side-trips possible for the many attendees from the United States and more easterly parts of Canada.
During the banquet, locally based author Denise Dietz (Soap Bubbles, Strangle a Loaf of Italian Bread) did a fantastic job as master of ceremonies. An accomplished entertainer as well as award-winning author, Dietz introduced the evening’s speakers with a polished patter and even a few songs retooled with a crime-fiction audience in mind.
The Bony Pete Award for best short story by a registered attendee of Bloody Words was won by Jayne Barnard of Calgary, Alberta. The winning yarn will be published in Victoria’s Monday Magazine.
Guests of honor Tess Gerritsen and Michael Slade both offered up some inspiring and entertaining words, but it was Canadian literary icon William Deverell (Needles, Snow Job) who brought the house to its feet with his speech, after Bloody Words co-chairs Lou Allin and Kay Stewart presented him with a lifetime achievement award. “This would be the high point of my career,” Deverell told the banquet crowd.
Bloody Words 2012 will be held in Toronto, Ontario, from June 1 to 3. The Guest of Honour will be Linwood Barclay, while Gayle Lynds has been scheduled as International Guest of Honour, and author Rick Blechta will serve as MC. The 2012 conference will also introduce The Bloody Words Light Mystery Award, “for books that make you smile.”
An earlier report from Bloody Words can be found here.
Above, right: Denise Dietz at the lectern. She had the crowd laughing all night. Photo by Linda L. Richards.