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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, October 27-30, 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.

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.


Email: [email protected]
Phone: 317.761.7518
Address: 121 Monument Circle | Indianapolis, IN 46204