American Guest of Honor
Lou Berney is the author of November Road (a Washington Post Best Book of 2018), The Long and Faraway Gone (winner of the Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Macavity, and ALA awards), Whiplash River, and Gutshot Straight, all from William Morrow. He’s also written a collection of stories, The Road to Bobby Joe, and his short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He teaches in the MFA program at Oklahoma City University.
S. A. Cosby is a writer from Southeastern Virginia. He won the 2019 Anthony Award for Best Short Story for "The Grass Beneath My Feet", and his previous books include Brotherhood of the Blade and My Darkest Prayer. He resides in Gloucester, Virginia. When not writing, he is an avid hiker and chess player.
Ellen Hart is the author of over thirty crime novels in two different series. She is a six-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Best Popular Fiction, a three-time winner of the Golden Crown Literary Award in several categories, a recipient of the Alice B Medal, and was made an official GLBT Literary Saint at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans in 2005. In 2016, she was named a Grand Master by the MWA.
William Kent Krueger
Local Guest of Honor
William Kent Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His work has received the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His last nine novels were all New York Times bestsellers. Ordinary Grace, his stand-alone novel published in 2013, received the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition for the best novel published in that year. The companion novel, This Tender Land, was published in Sept 2019.
American Guest of Honor
Photo Cred Mel Melcon, Los Angeles Times
Attica Locke’s latest novel Heaven, My Home is the sequel to Edgar Award-winning Bluebird, Bluebird. Her first novel Black Water Rising was nominated for an Edgar Award, an NAACP Image Award, as well as a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was short-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. A former fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Feature Filmmaker’s Lab, Locke works as a screenwriter as well. A native of Houston, Texas, Attica lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and daughter.
Jess Lourey writes about secrets. She's the Amazon Charts bestselling Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and Lefty-nominated author of crime fiction, nonfiction, YA adventure, and magical realism. She is a tenured professor of creative writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft's Excellence in Teaching fellowship, a Psychology Today blogger, and a TEDx presenter. When not leading writing retreats, reading, or fostering animals, you can find her dreaming of her next story.
International Guest of Honor
Jo Nesbo is one of the world’s bestselling crime writers, with The Leopard, Phantom, Police, The Son and The Thirst, all topping the Sunday Times bestseller charts. He's an international number one bestseller and his books are published in 50 languages, selling over 50 million copies around the world.
Lori Rader-Day is the Edgar® Award-nominated and Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author of Death at Greenway (forthcoming October 2021), The Lucky One, Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. She lives in Chicago, where she is co-chair of the mystery readers’ conference Murder and Mayhem in Chicago and the immediate past national president of Sisters in Crime.
Alexander McCall Smith
International Lifetime Achievement
Photo Cred Michael Lionstar
Alexander McCall Smith has written and contributed to more than 100 books, including specialist academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children's books. He is best known for his internationally acclaimed and bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which has been translated into 46 languages and become bestsellers throughout the world. A film adaptation, directed by Anthony Minghella, premiered on HBO in March 2009.