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Festival Overview

The inaugural Prime Crime at the Columbia Club Crime Writing Festival will be launched at the venerable Columbia Club on Indianapolis’ historic Monument Circle, April 1-3, 2022. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Columbia Club is the perfect venue for this unforgettable weekend!

Prime Crime at the Columbia Club is the logical outgrowth of Magna cum Murder which was sponsored by Ball State University from its inception in 1994 until the closure of the E.B. and Bertha C. Ball Center in July, 2020. There was much lamentation when the end of Magna cum Murder was announced, but there’s cause for jubilation now! The schedule for the Prime Crime weekend will closely follow the schedule of McM, but with a few additions we think will enhance the program. One of the tracks of panels will be largely instructional, featuring our author guests who will discuss the nuts and bolts of writing for all the would-be authors in the audience.

For early arrivals on Thursday evening, join East Central Indiana Paranormal Investigators founders Andy and Shelly Gage for a ghost walk of the Columbia Club touring reportedly-haunted locations in the building.

There will also be a new game show, with perennial favorite John Gilstrap as host. Based on, The Match Game, the classic television game show of the 1970s, contestant attendees will compete to match wits with a panel of celebrity authors by answering silly fill-in-the-blank questions with what they think will be the most likely answers. The winner is the contestant who matches the most celebrity authors after two rounds of questioning. Prizes will be awarded.

After the Friday night reception you can join your favorite authors in enjoying their favorite libations. Do you favor bourbon with C.J. Box? A martini with John Gilstrap? Vodka with Ruth Dudley Edwards? Perhaps an Old Fashioned with Jeffery Deaver or a gin and tonic with Reavis Wortham? No presentations, no lectures, just interesting conversation that will either become progressively more brilliant as the evening wears on, or will make no sense at all. Stay tuned for additional details.

It is a distinct honor to announce that this year’s guest of honor is C.J. Box, and the international guest of honor is David Trimble, Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey.

C.J. Box
Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 27 novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Allan Poe award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony award, Prix Calibre38 (France), the Macavity award, the Gumshoe award, two Barry awards, and the 2010 Mountain & Plains Independent Booksellers Association award for fiction. He was recently awarded the 2016 Western Heritage award for Literature by the National Cowboy Museum as well as the Spur Award for Best Contemporary Novel by the Western Writers of America in 2017. Over seven million copies of his books have been sold in the U.S. and abroad and they’ve been translated into 27 languages.

He’s an Executive Producer for Big Sky on ABC TV which is based on his Cody Hoyt/Cassie Dewell novels, as well as EP for the upcoming Joe Pickett television series for Paramount TV.

David Trimble, Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey
The Rt. Hon. David Trimble, the leader of Northern Ireland’s Unionist party, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), was known for a long time for his implacable stance toward the Nationalists. But only a few weeks after taking over as party leader in 1995, he launched discussions with his political opponents in search of a compromise. Trimble sat down at the negotiating table with the Prime Minister of Ireland, the old arch-enemy Sinn Fein, and the British. In April, 1998, he was one of the signatories to a peace agreement which he persuaded a UUP majority to support. The Good Friday agreement entailed extended self-government for Northern Ireland under which a reasonable degree of influence was secured for both population groups. The penal code would be reviewed, imprisoned terrorists would be released, and unlawful weapons would be destroyed. The Nobel Peace Prize encouraged Trimble, co-recipient with Social Democratic and Labour Party leader John Hume, to take further steps in the peace process after he had taken over as First Minister in Northern Ireland’s coalition government in November, 1999.


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