When I was at the PNWA Writers Conference in 2011, one of the guest speakers mentioned the ITW. The ITW, or International Thriller Writers, is an elite group of thriller writers. You have to qualify to join this group; they’re the heavy hitters with the big-time publishers.
Naturally, you can imagine what brand new ambition was born right there and then. It’s not quite as lofty as my childhood dream of becoming the first female Pope (despite the fact that I wasn’t Catholic), but it’s what revs my engine right now.
Even though I’m a published thriller writer now, I still don’t qualify for the ITW and I think that’s what I like about the ITW. Pretty good isn’t good enough. My writing needs to be phenomenal to lodge me within those ranks, which means I have a lot to learn.
The ITW hosts a conference every year, with panel after panel chock full of thriller writing experts. Classes on topics such as blocking combat scenes, researching foreign locales, and writing accurately about the inner workings of the FBI are offered to anyone who can make it to New York and afford the conference fees.
I’d always thought it was a pipe dream. I’m a stay at home mom, I always figured there was no way I’d ever be able to go to New York for a thriller conference.
My husband surprise me yesterday and told me I was going. Three days of me and a bunch of thriller writers running amok in Manhattan. I leave on the 11th!!!!!!!!!!
I intend to come back with at least a hundred stories to tell and a whole bunch of new tricks up my sleeve. It’s my sincere hope that these tricks will make my writing better. Better enough, I hope, that I can someday qualify to be an author member of the ITW.
Someday. I may never be the first female pope, but dagnabbit I’m coming for that ITW membership.