This year’s Crime Wave conference for mystery writers will feature Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, who will talk about real-life crime in Maine. The day-long conference, on April 22 at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, also will honor Maine mystery writer Tess Gerritsen, who will receive the inaugural CrimeMaster Award at a reception on April 21 at the Gilman Family Library on the USM campus.

The conference will include discussions with authors and agents, and sessions designed to help writers improve their craft. Agents will talk about how to write an effective query letter, new writers will talk about how they got published, and veteran writers will talk about turning ideas into published books. Among those who will participate: Richard J. Cass, Kate Flora and James Hayman.

The conference is presented by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. For details, visit