There's been some discussion on various writers's forums and blogs about certain conferences only allowing writers who are on certain "approved publishers" lists to sell their books or participate in conference panels or presentations.

This is unfortunate, because when a conference limits participation, that conference, in many ways, can do a disservice to the reading and writing community. There is simply no way that fewer choices can be better.

So we're happy then to say-- with absolutely no disrespect to any other conference--that we at LIMCON pride ourselves on being one of the most inclusive conferences/conventions that celebrates the "dark fiction" genres. Our mission is to serve various, diverse communities. We take that mission seriously at LIMCON.

- Regardless of what you like to read, you'll find plenty of that and more at LIMCON. And you'll find dark fiction that you simply won't find elsewhere.
- If you are published with a traditional publisher, there are panel and presentation opportunities.
- If you are published with a non-traditional publisher (small press, indie press, e-press, etc), there are panel and presentation opportunities.
- If you are self-published, there are panel and presentation opportunities.
- If you are to-be published, there are mulitple opportunities, from Novelist's Boot Camp to master classes to panels and presentations on the craft and business and joy of writing.
- If you write (or read) short fiction, write for (or read) e-zines, love true crime, are an avid reader, want to meet librarians, agents, academics, editors, reviewers, fans, readers, or writers in like-stages of their careers, want to sample great Scotch Whisky, meet authors from all kinds of writing backgrounds, there are more opportunities than you'll be able to take advantage of in LIMCON's three days.
- Even our LIMCON bookseller is an independent--

Of course, the LIMCON board still "vetts" our panelists--we want the best and brightest to share what they know. But we know that some of the best and brightest are writing for small presses, are self-published, write for e-zines, as well as publishing through more traditional means. We want the brightest gems--regardless of the source.

LIMCON has MWMWA and SinC representation (and RWA as well) on our board, but as an independent NPO (non-profit organization) we are indeed independent. Not on somebody's approved list? Ain't no problem at Love is Murder. Write cross-genre speculative-erotic-suspense-mystery? A mainstream tough PI series? Searching for a publisher? Pack your coat and come to Chicago in February. Remember your scarf.

Almost every conference has something to offer writers and readers. We think Love is Murder offers something unique, intimate, fun, and inclusive. Please consider this blog your personal invitation to put yourself on our list of attendees for LIMCON's tenth anniversary this coming February, put yourself through the Novelist's Boot Camp, and have a wee nip at our whiskey tasting.

See you in Chicago!

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Comment by Tony Burton on September 6, 2007 at 4:08am
This is a trend I've been blogging about, talking about, posting about and generally making a nuisance of myself about. Granted, I can understand that a professional organization has the right to make rules to restrict its own membership. (Yes, I'm talking about the MWA.) I can't go and join the local Bar Association just because I've studied law at home in my spare time. But it bothers me that any fan convention will use those standards to restrict participation in any way. It's a FAN con, not a "Professionals Only" con. Fans couldn't give a rat's rear end who publishes the book, as long as it's a good story.

And, yes, I do know that a lot of self-published books stand in dire need of editing. But there are a number of well-written self-published books out there, too, and to paint with such a broad brush will leave out so many good authors! Besides, there are books published by big NYC houses that I wouldn't spend the effort to read, so it has nothing to do with WHO publishes as much as the quality of the writing.

As to refusing to sit on a panel with any self-published author... some people have so much ego and gall, you wonder whether there is any room for creativity and common sense in them.
Comment by Silvia Foti on August 19, 2007 at 4:01am
Personally, I hate the trend that some mystery conferences ...who shall remain nameless at the moment...are limiting who should be on a panel, basing their decisions on the author's publisher...or not. With some panelists even refusing to sit on a panel with self-published authors. What does everyone thing about this trend?

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