Back from Crime Bake

(I wrote this on the 19th but delayed publishing to get some photos in; alas, not have many good ones.)

I returned late last night from the east coast where I’d attended New England Crime Bake and then spent the next four days visiting family and friends. It was great to be back in New England for a solid week, which I’d abandoned mid-pandemic when I moved to Arizona. Ironically, in two days I’ll be back on the east coast, this time in the NC and VA areas for Thanksgiving with other family members.

Lobster with words, New England Crime Bake
New England Crime Bake Logo

So, how did Crime Bake go? Great conference and sessions. Extremely knowledgeable speakers and fantastic panels–including mine if I’m permitted to shine my own star. 

This was the 20th anniversary of the conference, which is co-run by the New England chapters of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America

Guest of Honor Hank Phillippi Ryan was her usual stellar self. She’s so giving to the writing community, appearing at Crime Bake each year, also giving her time and expertise on the Sisters in Crime online Guppy chapter, and generally being approachable and down to earth.

Rather than meals requiring servers and crowded tables, the banquet room was more spread out than usual, and the breakfast and lunch setups were in an open space a short distance from the banquet room. The staff at the Hilton-Dedham were accommodating and friendly. They rose to the occasion and then some.

Claire (l) with Nikki Bonanni (r)
Two friends finally getting together again in person at New England Crime Bake

We were masked, per conference and hotel requirements, and we did just fine. Handouts were on every other seat in the session rooms. People were so good about masks that we told some presenters it was okay to take their mask off for their presentation because they were distant enough from us.

Here I am (l) with Nikki Bonanni (r). 

Best of all, Crime Bake offered a separate online session this week for those who could not attend the in-person one last weekend. Some people did both! Different sessions, pre-recorded, so if we miss something we can pick it up later (great for me with spotty Internet at the motel I moved to after the conference).

I did not take a lot of photos, and some photos taken for me had terrible lighting. If I can get some photos from others, including one from my panel, I’ll add them here.

Happy Reading.

Look for my next short story coming out for the holidays in Winter Whimsical Wonderland.