Sleuthfest and COVID-19

Update 23March2020
Dear SleuthFest 2020 Registrants,
We are in the process of issuing refunds for SleuthFest 2020, less fees paid for ticket processing via Brown Paper Tickets and PayPal.If you registered before October 3, 2019, your refund will come directly from Brown Paper Tickets within 7-10 days. Other refunds will be issued via PayPal within the next few days.

The Writers Auction which traditionally takes place on Friday night of the conference has been shifted from a live event to an online auction. Don’t miss this opportunity to bid and win a variety of critiques and character namings from award winning authors, agents, and editors. The Writers Auction begins Monday March 23rd at 8am and ends April 1st at 5 pm. There are 14 items in total. Click this link to explore all that is offered. https://www.32auctions.com/SleuthFest

Please, keep a lookout for a “How to get your FREE SleuthFest 2020 conference program and tote.” e-mail as soon as we can safely gather to work on the mailing. Thank you for supporting SleuthFest. Our 2021 conference dates are March 18 – 21, 2021 at the Deerfield Doubletree by Hilton. See you there!

Best Regards,

Michael L. Joy & Raquel V. Reyes

SleuthFest Co-Chairs

Update Florida MWA chapter (12March2020)
As the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve, we want to let you know what is going on with Sleuthfest.
The health and safety of our attendees is our paramount concern. To that end, we have been and remain in close contact with the hotel and local and state authorities, as well as the National MWA office. We are meeting with the hotel on Friday, March 13, 2020 to discuss their specific actions to help keep visitors safe as well as our options for Sleuthfest. It is worth noting that Sleuthfest is a much smaller event than many of those that have been canceled. We generally average 200 attendees, not thousands. Cancelling Sleuthfest would have dire financial consequences. This is not to say that we will hesitate to do so if this is the best course of action, but we want to be transparent about the realities of our situation. Event insurance does not normally include epidemic coverage; this is something that only very large events like the Olympics have.

We will have an additional update for you on Saturday, March 14, 2020. We will send this information via email and post it on Facebook.Thank you for your continued support of Sleuthfest.

Update from the hotel: (09March2020)
To help prevent sickness and its spread, we (The hotel) have purchased bottles of hand sanitizer which are available to our guests and staff at the front desk. Our housekeeping team will remain diligent in wiping down all hard surfaces with disinfectant wipes, several times a day. We have instructed all team members that if they do not feel well, they must stay home. If they continue to feel ill, they should see their doctor and bring a physician signed authorization to return to work before coming back to the property.We have provided training to our staff on taking the following preventive safety measures:· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
· Stay home if you are sick.
· Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
· Facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of the Coronavirus to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If hand soap is unavailable, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.Our management team will continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC and will adjust our precautionary measures as needed.

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) welcomes people from all backgrounds, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. We do not tolerate discrimination or abuse of any kind, including any form of sexual harassment. We similarly require our members and guests to comply with this policy when participating in any MWA-sponsored events.

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