Giveaway: Win a day pass to ThrillerFest, featuring Jack Higgins, Lee Child, Ann Rule and many others

I’m going to go ahead and toss the illusion of journalistic objectivity out the window for a second, and put this on the table: I love ThrillerFest.

We sponsor it every year, and in 2011 I attended for the first time. I was blown away. There are craft sessions taught by bestselling writers. Lively panels. A pitch slam. Some of the most fun cocktail parties in publishing (I was reduced to a giggling teenager when I saw Margaret Atwood wandering around).

Perhaps the best part: Everyone is approachable, from the debut authors to the heavy hitters.

This year, ThrillerFest is July 11-14 in New York. Of the dozens and dozens of authors on hand, Jack Higgins, R.L. Stine, Lee Child, Catherine Coulter, John Sandford, Ann Rule, Richard North Patterson and Karin Slaughter will be there.

And here’s the scoop on how you can be part of it. Executive director Kimberley Howe is giving one WD reader a Day Pass for Friday, July 13—one of the best days of the conference. The pass includes full access to all ThrillerFest programming for the day, as well as a ticket to the Love is Murder cocktail party that celebrates the release of the International Thriller Writers’ third anthology.

Event programming runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and includes spotlight interviews with Lee Child and Catherine Coulter. Former FBI and counterterrorism expert David Major will also share his tales from his days at the White House.

… So how do you win the pass? Easy enough.

In the comments section below, just tell us who your favorite thriller writer is by 2 p.m. next Friday. We’ll put all the names of the commenters into a hat and randomly draw one winner. We’ll announce the winner Monday, June 19.

Good luck! Hope to see you there.

For more on ThrillerFest, visit

Now, back to being objective and such.


UPDATE: We have a winner! @thesaturnbull will be taking home a one-day pass to ThrillerFest. @thesaturnbull, congratulations, and looking forward to meeting you in New York!

Many thanks to everyone who entered—there are a heck of a lot of good writers on that list … and some names I haven’t read before that I’ll be checking out next time I’m at the bookstore.

DOUBLE UPDATE: @thesaturnbull had a conflict with the date of the event. Thus we drew a second name from our magic hat: Sharon Miner. Congratulations, Sharon!


Zachary Petit is an award-winning journalist, the managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine, and the co-author of A Year of Writing Prompts: 366 Story Ideas for Honing Your Craft and Eliminating Writer’s Block.

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29 thoughts on “Giveaway: Win a day pass to ThrillerFest, featuring Jack Higgins, Lee Child, Ann Rule and many others

  1. Zachary Petit Post author

    Thanks again to everyone who entered. @Missread13, keep an eye on this blog for something Matheson-related I’ll be posting soon!


    Ezra Sidran
    Gabriel Cohen
    Jordan Dane
    Alan Furst
    Robert Harris
    Philip Kerr
    Elmore Leonard
    Robert Littell
    Thomas Perry
    John Sanford
    Donald Westlake
    Robert Parker
    Olen Steinhauer
    Wallace Stroby
    Mario Puzo

  3. Snowtiger

    Toss up between Jeffrey Deaver & John Sanford. James Patterson is good but too many co-writers dilute his vintage. Jack Higgins & Lincoln /Child are great but if I was on a desert island, Lincoln & Amelia or Lucas & Virgil would be my choices

  4. Silkienne

    Wow, ThrillerFest! I have not managed to attend, but would love to rub elbows with some James Patterson or Dean Koontz. They helped to motivate me to write in the first place.

  5. Robin.Deffendall

    Too Many…
    John Gilstrap
    John Connelly
    John Sandford (apparently if your name is John…)
    Lee Child
    Douglas Preston.
    But #1, I think, is Robert McCammon (Though I like him best for Boy’s Life. It’s not a thriller, but is quite possibly perfect.)


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