ThrillerFest, the thirteenth annual gathering of the crème de la crème, debut and aspiring thriller writers, took place last week and throughout the weekend in New York City. There’s only one event where you can find New York Times bestselling authors lurking around every single corner, literary agents actually appearing in broad daylight and fans openly plotting and conspiring with the most feared and revered names of the thriller genre.

The beloved Strand Bookstore, famous for possessing 18 miles of books, was the event’s bookseller, and a popular hangout for authors, publishers, and fans alike. Juicy panels featuring the expertise of bestselling authors were highly anticipated and the rooms were brimming with hopeful upcoming writers, eager to learn.  Each year at the concluding banquet the ITW Thriller Award winner are announced, and here they are:

This year the coveted title of ThrillerMaster went to George R.R. Martin, who needs little introduction as the author of the fantastical Game of Thrones (Random House) series.

The Silver Bullet award for philanthropy was given to James Rollins, famous for his Sigma Force (Harper Books) series.

The Thriller Legend Award went to Robert and Patricia Gussin (Oceanview Publishing).

Best Young Adult Novel went to The Rains by Greg Hurwitz (TOR Teen).

The best e-book original novel went to Second Chance by Sean Black (Sean Black).

Best Short Story went to Charcoal and Cherry by Zoe Z. Dean (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine).

Best Paperback Original Novel was given to Grievance by Christine Bell (Lake Union).

The honor of Best First was granted to The Freedom Broker by K. J. Howe (Quercus).

Finally, Best Hardcover Novel went to Final Girls by Riley Sager (Dutton).

Megan Abbott was featured as a Spotlight Guest and interviewed by the legendary Lee Child.  Spirits were high as these outstanding writers were formally recognized for their talent and hard work.

The occasion was a successfully wild rollick for all the who’s who in the Thriller realm, and an immensely useful tool for writers who were establishing themselves in this scene. We had the pleasure of interviewing Riley Sager on his new novel, The Last Time I Lied (Dutton). If you want to read more about this novel and his creative process behind it, check out the BookTrib article!

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