Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance will host the inaugural Maine Crime Wave conference Saturday, April 19, at the University of Southern Maine’s Glickman Library on Forest Avenue. The day-long event will include a keynote address from best-selling author Tess Gerritsen of Camden, panel discussions, theme-specific workshops, manuscript critiques, book-signings and more!.

The Maine Crime Wave will feature authors such as Gerry Boyle, Camden’s Paul Doiron, Kathy Emerson, Kate Flora, Chris Holm and Julia Spencer-Fleming. Panel discussion topics include Crime Writing Sub Genres, The Business of Writing and Getting the Investigative Details Right.

From television stalwarts such as “Murder, She Wrote” and “Dark Shadows” to the works of Stephen King, Maine has a reputation as the spookiest state in the nation. Never mind that statistics consistently show the Pine Tree State to be one of the country's safest places; in the public’s imagination, Maine equals murder, mystery and mayhem.

One explanation for the state’s dark reputation is the character of our landscape — impenetrable forests, weather-beaten seascapes haunted by foghorns, remote islands that strangers visit at their own risk. Combine this ripe landscape with the sheer number of writers who are practicing their own dark arts and Maine is, unsurprisingly, a haven for crime and suspense novelists.

Certainly, atmosphere draws writers to Maine, but another attraction is the connectivity of Maine’s literary network. In other places, the term “writing community” is an oxymoron. Here in Maine, it is the real deal, thanks in part to MWPA, the 34-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together the state’s most creative minds.

Deadline to signup for the Crime Wave is Friday, April 11. For details and registration, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or