Tag Archive for: Bouchercon

Bouchercon 2023

by Dru Ann Love

This week I’ll be in San Diego attending Bouchercon. It is a special occasion as I am Fan Guest of Honor. I was already Fan Guest of Honor at Malice in 2022 and Left Coast Crime earlier this year.

All three events were packed with obligation as being Fan Guest of Honor and I relished them. One of the things we had to partake in was an interview or an activity and we had to attend the banquet. There were other events that we had to partake in, but I can’t recall.

For Malice, Kristopher Zgorski of BOLO Books fame, penned my article for the program book. Heather Webber, wrote my article for Left Coast Crime program book. And Eleanor Cawood Jones wrote my article for Bouchercon.

I don’t think I did an activity for Malice, but for Left Coast Crime, with the help of Michael G. Mueller, I had a pub quiz based on Tucson and prior to getting on stage the helm the question, Michael and I did a little “western” skit with horses. We had a great time setting it up and then doing the skit.

For Bouchercon, I will be interviewed by Kristopher. Nervous, you betcha. But it should be fun.

If you are attending Bouchercon, you can find me at the 7:30am panel on Saturday, I’m moderating “Dru Ann and Friends, Talking About Books” and on Friday at 10:20am being interviewed by Kris. I will also be at the banquet. Oh I did submit something for the auction. But mostly I’ll be around, as much as I can with a scooter and my support cane.

I will find a corner and dub it “Dru’s corner.”

Will I see you there?


Anthony Nominations for Best Short Story and Best Anthology

by Paula Gail Benson

Bouchercon Poster

This year’s Bouchercon, the world mystery convention, will be held in San Diego, California, from August 30 through September 3. The Anthony awards, named for Anthony Boucher, a founder of the Mystery Writers of America, will be announced during the convention.

Categories for Best Short Story and Best Anthology are included among the nominations.

Earlier this year, Barb Goffman’s story, “Beauty and the Beyotch” was nominated for and won the Agatha award at Malice Domestic. In addition, Barb’s stories appear in two of the nominated anthologies: Low Down Dirty Vote Volume 3: The Color of My Vote and Land of 10,000 Thrills: Bouchercon Anthology 2022.

Greg Herren is multiply nominated for Anthony’s with his A Streetcar Named Murder (credited to T. G. Herren) for Best Humorous Novel, his #shedeservedit for Best Children’s/YA Novel (previously nominated for an Agatha), and his editing of Land of 10,000 Thrills: Bouchercon Anthology 2022 in the Best Anthology category.

All the authors nominated in these categories have had distinguished writing careers. Their work is definitely to be included on your “to be read” lists.

Here are this year’s Best Short Story and Best Anthology Anthony Nominees:


Anthony Nominees for Best Short Story

“Still Crazy After All These Years” by E.A. Aymar in Paranoia Blues: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Paul Simon

“The Impediment” by Bruce Robert Coffin in Deadly Nightshade: Best New England Crime Stories 2022

“Beauty and the Beyotch” by Barb Goffman in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, Feb. 2022

“The Estate Sale” by Curtis Ippolito in Vautrin Magazine, Summer 2022

“C.O.D.” by Gabriel Valjan in Low Down Dirty Vote Volume 3: The Color of My Vote


Anthony Nominees for Best Anthology

Low Down Dirty Vote Volume 3: The Color of My Vote edited by Mysti Berry

Lawyers, Guns, and Money: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of Warren Zevon edited by Libby Cudmore and Art Taylor

Land of 10,000 Thrills: Bouchercon Anthology 2022 edited by Greg Herren

Paranoia Blues: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Paul Simon edited by Josh Pachter

Crime Hits Home: A Collection of Stories from Crime Fiction’s Top Authors edited by S.J. Rozan

Setting dates

Bouchercon convention is fast approaching. This year it is being held in Minneapolis, Minnesota and it will be my first time in this city. For those that don’t know, Bouchercon is the world’s finest annual crime fiction event, bringing together more than 1,500 authors, fans, publishers, reviewers, booksellers, editors, and every other part of the community for a fantastic four-day event.

As a longtime fan of Prince, I’m hoping, mobility issues will hamper this, to visit Paisley Park. If it does, I was told there is a Prince store at the airport.

So I’ve read and scrutinized the schedule for what panels I hope to attend. It looks like I’ve penciled in two to three panels that I want to attend throughout the four days. There are also publisher’s events where you can get free books and meet the authors. I look forward to this event.

One of the activities I can’t wait to do while attending this convention is seeing my friends and meeting new ones. Some, it’s been two years since I’ve last seen them. Some I saw at one of the last two conventions I went to this year.

But the most important activity is setting dates for meals. Yep, I am almost booked.

What do you look forward to when attending reader/fan convention or writer’s conference?

Calling All Short Story Writers: Check Out Bouchercon’s New Bill Crider Prize!

by Paula Gail Benson
I’m incredibly proud that Carol Puckett and Kendel
Lynn of the Bouchercon Dallas committee asked me to help with the inaugural Bill
Crider Prize for Short Fiction that will be awarded by Hank Phillippi Ryan at
Bouchercon in Dallas this October. This contest will recognize excellence for
short story writing with significant monetary and scholarship prizes. And, the
final round will be judged by Janet Hutchings (editor of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine) and Linda Landrigan (editor of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)!
Please see the information below and consider
entering. It’s a great way to remember a respected member of the mystery
community while giving a marvelous opportunity to talented short story writers.
Bill Crider Prize for Short
Debuting at the 50th Anniversary of Bouchercon, Carol Puckett and
the 2019 Bouchercon Dallas committee launched the Bill Crider Prize for Short
Fiction to celebrate this treasured literary form, both the short story and the
widely-admired mystery author and reviewer, Bill Crider. Designed to encourage
writers from all over the world, these distinguished prizes award stories with
fascinating characters and twisty plots, all in the mystery genre.
  • First Prize:
  • Second Prize:
  • Third Prize:
  • Bill Crider
    Memorial Scholarship: Registration to Bouchercon 2020
  • Longlist
    • An
      anonymous judging panel of published authors will select an initial round
      of finalists (no public announcements will be made).
  • Shortlist
    • A
      second anonymous judging panel of published authors will select the
      shortlist finalists (no public announcements will be made).
  • Winners
    • Janet
      Hutchings, editor of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and Linda
      Landrigan, editor of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, will
      choose the winners from the shortlisted writers.
    • Please
      note that no automatic publication in either EQMM or AHMM is attached to
      winning or being a finalist in this contest. All contestants (whether
      they make judges cuts or not) are welcome to submit to either
      magazine—but not both at the same time.
    • Once
      the final four writers have been chosen, all shortlisted authors will be
      notified on or near October 1.
    • Bouchercon
      Dallas Guest of Honor, Hank Phillippi Ryan,
      will recognize the shortlisted authors and award the top prizes during
      Bouchercon 2019 in Dallas, Texas.
All decisions are final and
may not be contested.
  • Deadline: Mar 1,
  • Open to all
    writers regardless of Bouchercon registration or residency
  • Stories must be
    an original work, not previously published, submitted anonymously (as
    provided in these rules), and without identifiable series characters
  • Theme: Deep in
    the Heart (relating to Texas, whether locale, characters, history, etc.)
    with an element of mystery or crime
  • One submission
    per person
  • Manuscript
    • Word
      count: 3,500 – 5000 words
    • Format:
      Standard font Times New Roman at 12 pt size; no fancy fonts
    • Denote
      scene breaks with asterisks: ***
    • Double-space
      with one-inch margins on all sides
  • Email as an
    attached Word doc to: subs.deepintheheart@gmail.com
    • Subject
    • Contact
      info (body of email only, not in Word doc):
      • Name:
      • Pen
        Name: If applicable
      • Mailing
      • Phone
      • Email
      • Story
      • Word
  • No identifying
    information anywhere in the story or document
  • Entrants retain
    full copyright of her/his work with the stipulation it cannot be published
    until Bouchercon Dallas ends on Nov 3, 2019.
  • No automatic
    publication in either EQMM or AHMM is attached to winning or being a
    finalist in this contest. All contestants (whether they make judges cuts
    or not) are welcome to submit to either magazine—but not both at the same
  • There is no
    entry fee, nor will any monies be paid for stories other than the four
    prizes stated.
  • Bouchercon
    Dallas LOC Chair: Carol Puckett
  • Contest
    Coordinator: Paula Gail Benson
  • Submissions
    Coordinator: James M. Jackson
  • Prize
    Ceremony Host: Hank Phillippi Ryan

Bouchercon Bound

In less than two weeks, over one thousand crime fiction fans will converge in St. Petersburg, Florida for one of the largest reader fan convention. . . Bouchercon.

Bouchercon is our annual world mystery convention where every year readers, writers, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers and other lovers of crime fiction gather for a 4-day weekend of education, entertainment, and fun! It is the world’s premier event bringing together all parts of the mystery and crime fiction community, and is pronounced [bough’•chur•con].

There are so many people who volunteer their time and effort to put on this massive affair and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Without this convention, I would probably be a hermit or even a recluse.

Anyway, before arriving at the event, there is so much do to on our, my end to prepare oneself. First and foremost, everyone should enjoy the convention and have fun.

You don’t have to go to all the panels that interest you. . .I did this at the first convention I attended and it nearly wiped me out.

Some of the best times and one-on-ones I have had with authors and other readers is passing one another in a hallway, near an elevator, or standing on the coffee line, was chatting with them and forgetting the panel I wanted to go to. That time was precious and there you are bound to develop a long-lasting friendship.

Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Walking back and forth from panels to bookrooms to side activities will take a toll on your feet. Also bring a light jacket or sweater as it may get cold in the meeting places.

Because most of us are more likely introverts, it’s okay to go to our room for a recharging session. Too many people, too much noise wipes out my energy quicker than the Energizer Bunny Rabbit.

Don’t be afraid to approach authors and readers that you have met on social media. We are a friendly bunch, even though I’m still afraid to approach some as well.

Because this is my ninth convention, I plan meet-ups with friends I only see once a year, so I try to get my meal and social activity card filled up as much as possible. My first year, I probably spent more time in my room eating my meals. Now, not so much.

As for the panels, again, I pick out the ones I want to attend, of course there are few that are “must-attends” for me such as New Author Breakfast, Author Speed-Dating, Anthology Signing, Opening Ceremony, Anthony Awards and frequent visits to the book room and the hospitality suite. I just have to make sure I attend the panel I’m moderating.

This year is special as my blog, dru’s book musings is a 2018 Anthony Finalist for Best Online Content. I’m so honored for this nomination and congratulates all the other nominees in this category.

So, are we ready for Bouchercon? – you betcha.

I hope to see some of my fellow Stiletto Gang members at some point – hopefully to get a group photo.

So, who is going to Bouchercon? I hope to see you there and again, HAVE FUN!

Happy Thoughts for Memorial Day

by Paula Gail Benson

Good morning and best wishes for a happy Memorial Day!

Hopefully, you can enjoy this day with some good reading. I’m going to recommend that you consider some offerings from my blogging partners here at The Stiletto Gang.

If you haven’t already begun Shari Randall’s Curses, Boiled Again!, check it out. It features injured ballerina Allie Larkin who is assisting her Aunt Gully with a lobster roll competition on Memorial Day when the judges are poisoned. Allie is spunky and delightful. The action is fast paced and the food descriptions will make you hungry!

Two of our blogging partners are celebrating Anthony nominations.The Anthony Awards, named for Anthony Boucher,
are presented each year at Bouchercon, and recognize excellence for novels, short fiction, nonfiction, and online presence. Congratulations to Dru Ann Love for her nomination for Dru’s Book Musings and to Debra H. Goldstein for her short story nomination.

Because the Anthonys have nominations for both individual and collected
short stories, they introduce readers to a variety of wonderful short fiction. Following are this year’s nominees, who will be celebrated in
St. Petersburg, Florida, this fall:
The Trial of Madame
Pelletier by Susanna Calkins from Malice Domestic 12: Mystery Most
Historical [Wildside Press]
God’s Gonna Cut You
Down by Jen Conley from Just to Watch Them Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the
Songs of Johnny Cash [Gutter Books LLC]
My Side of the Matter
by Hilary Davidson from Killing Malmon [Down & Out Books]
Whose Wine Is It
Anyway by Barb Goffman from 50 Shades of Cabernet [Koehler Books]
The Night They Burned
Ms. Dixie’s Place by Debra H. Goldstein from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery
Magazine, May/June 2017 [Dell]
A Necessary Ingredient
by Art Taylor from Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining
Sea [Down & Out Books]
Just to Watch Them
Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash, Joe Clifford,
editor [Gutter Books LLC]
Killing Malmon, Dan
& Kate Malmon, editors [Down & Out Books]
Coast to Coast:
Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, Andrew McAleer & Paul D. Marks,
editors [Down & Out Books]
Passport to Murder,
Bouchercon Anthology 2017, John McFetridge, editor [Down & Out Books]
The Obama Inheritance:
Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir, Gary Phillips, editor [Three Rooms
Read and enjoy!

My turn at Bouchercon

First night: First night there, my friend and I took a cab ($15 CAD) to Eva’s Original Chimneys and tried their hand-made ice cream cone – I had the typical vanilla/chocolate twist with rainbow sprinkles on the cinnamon coated cone. Yummy. To prevent the ice cream from falling through the bottom, they put a chocolate truffle as the base. We decided we would brave their subway system, which is so cool. We couldn’t just buy a one-way ticket, so we paid $20 for their reloaded card and darn if we couldn’t figure out how to pay for our fare. It was fun taking their subway – although, we couldn’t figure out if we got off the correct stop because we were looking for a particular word – but with help from a train rider we were on our way.

Second day: My friend and I went to Dundas Square / Eaton Centre to take the City Sightseeing Tour, only we planned to stay on the bus for the whole two-hour tour and besides the weather was dismal with rain and a damp day. We saw Casa Loma, Bata Shoe Museum, China Town, CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, St. Lawrence Market and the Distillery District. Then we decided to walk back to the hotel from within the Eaton Centre mall and the walk wasn’t that bad, since when we came out of the underground mall, we were right next to the clock building. Later I had a pre-convention board meeting and after, there was more hanging out with friends.

Third day: I went to the panel that I was on: Bouchercon 101. We had to tell a story and for the life of me, I could not remember Sue Grafton’s name so instead I said “you know the Y-Lady, the one who writes the alphabet book.” And everyone knew who I was talking about and then the other panelists talked about their encounter with the “Y-Lady.” It was funny.

photo courtesy of John Thomas Bychowski

Later that afternoon, a group of us went to SOMA Chocolatemaker in the Distillery District for a chocolate tasting, where I braved sampling the three different types of dark chocolate and yes, they had one milk chocolate sample. We also got to taste pure chocolate nibs and chocolate dust (that’s what I’m calling it. It which was very informative. Then it was dinner with another group at Maezo Restaurant, an Indian restaurant, where we and shared five dishes. Everything was delicious. Then onto the Opening Ceremony and then the HarperCollins reception.

Fourth day: Then there was the GMM board meeting where we voted four new members on the board. Next up was the Librarian’s Tea where an unexpected event happened – – the fire alarm went off and like the person she is, Hank Phillippi Ryan held court with great aplomb, even incorporating the fire alarm in her talk. Interesting note was the fire alarm had a nice melody as it rang throughout the evening. The evening closed with the Pub Quiz, hosted by the Crime Writers of Canada, which was a barrel of fun. Our team lost with a score of 13 points, but we had a good time.

Fifth day: A group of eleven went to the Fairmont Royal York Hotel for an Afternoon Tea event. The Library Room where the tea was held was picture perfect, although one of the picture on the wall was slight skewed. The tea was perfect. I selected the Jasmine tea which was heavenly as was the traditional finger sandwiches and their selection of pastries. Then it was off to the Minotaur reception and the Seventh Street reception.

Photo courtesy of Art Taylor

Sixth day: My last day with the crime fiction tribe. Of course, at 4 in the morning, there was a loud argument outside my door (drunken guests) and soon I heard banging on the doors (not my door). I heard later that security was called. On the agenda, was brunch and the Anthony’s Award. After a few goodbyes, it was time to leave where I encountered a 3-hour delay due to air traffic. Finally arrived home at 11:30 and crashed.

Looking forward to next year’s Bouchercon which is being held in St. Petersburg, Florida. Who will meet me there?

Debra’s Gone Fishing – Canadian Style – at Bouchercon

Debra’s Gone Fishing — Canadian Style — at Bouchercon 

Bouchercon Recap

Last week I was at the 2016 Bouchercon convention held in New Orleans. I spent 7 days there and on the fourth day I became sick. Anything that happened after that I do not recall as I was in a zombie-like stage following the flow.

I arrived in New Orleans a couple of days before the start of the convention to get in some sightseeing. First on the agenda was a 2-hour highlights tour of New Orleans. We stopped at Willies for our first taste of New Orleans foods eating Chicken Fingers and it was delicious. Then onto our tour where we saw the sights and sounds of New Orleans that included a stop at St. Louis Cemetery #3, a stop in City Park where we had our first taste of beignets amid a thunderstorm and lightening. Then off to tour Katrina and it’s aftermath. Our final meal of the day was at Creole House where I had the Taste Of The Bayou which is a combination of bayou traditions: Chicken & Andouille Gumbo, Crawfish Etouffée, Red Beans & Rice and Cajun Jambalaya.

The next day we walked to the Aquarium only to find it closed. Then we took the railroad to Jackson Square. We strolled in several of the stores on our way to Café du Monde. We sat in Jackson Square Park and enjoyed the shade and then headed back to the hotel. We had lunch at Palace Café and for our evening meal, we went to Mimi’s for TAPAS. I always wanted to know what it was. I. ATE. DUCK. I also sampled salmon and broccoli, the steak and I ate the grapes from the fig and date dessert.

Tuesday was my day to volunteer, so I helped stack books for the Book Bazaar and was impressed with how it was set-up. Then we took a trip to Central Grocery, home of the Original Muffuletta Sandwich. A traditional-style muffuletta sandwich consists of a muffuletta loaf split horizontally and covered with layers of marinated olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone. Then a group of use headed to Napoleon House where I. ATE. ALLIGATOR. It was very gamey but good as I ate all of it while left the regular sausage on my plate.

Wednesday, I went on another on another 2-hour tour, this time St. Louis Cemetery #1, where we saw plenty of mausoleum and shrines. We even saw the tomb that actor Nicholas Cage has built. Then it was off the the BOLO Books soiree where we dined on appetizing snacks and imbibed Lemoncello. A good time was had by all.

Thursday was the first official day of the convention and my panel was at noon. We were given a 3-section room and I was surprised that it filled up as it did. The opening ceremony featured the guest arriving on floats. That was fun.

Saturday I attended Ellen Byron’s book launch for Body on the Bayou at Hall-Barnett Gallery where the appetizers were appetizing and the drinks flowing. Another good time was had.

Have you ever attended an author/reader convention?


by Kay Kendall

Many readers of the Stiletto Gang blog know that Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, was held last weekend in New Orleans. It’s an annual gargantuan event that brings together fans, authors, publishers, agents, booksellers, and even critics of crime fiction for a long weekend of learning, awards, and fun. The name honors Anthony Boucher, the distinguished mystery fiction critic, editor, and author. He helped crime fiction gain credibility back when it was considered merely “pulp fiction.”

Where do Bouchercon authors hang out? In the book room of course!
 (l-r) Lisa Alber, Barry Lancet, Laura Elvebak, Manning Wolfe, & me Kay Kendall

Naturally, in New Orleans, the entertainment and fun were stellar. Those of us who attended are still marveling at how the good times rolled and the hospitality was rampant, and some of us are just too tired to type…but type I must.

The first Bouchercon took place in 1970 in Santa Monica, California. Since then, Bouchercons have been held in many cities across the United States and in Canada too. In fact next year’s event begins in Toronto on October 12, 2017. The fiftieth anniversary event will be held in Dallas, Texas. Thousands of totally volunteer hours go into making each Bouchercon a success–a fond memory to cherish and a shimmering event to attend again in the future.

While on the one hand many writers of crime fiction are deeply introverted, on the other hand most throw caution to the winds and revel in the comradeship of fellow authors and fans when at a Bouchercon. Included here are photographs to convince you of this truth.

Megastars chat–on left David Morrell (papa of Rambo) and Lee Child (dad of Jack Reacher)

My first Bouchercon took place in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2011. I’m not an introvert, but even I was initially taken aback by the hootin’ and hollerin’ as friends greeted each other after a year’s absence. I expected to remain excluded from that for years. But I was wrong, thank goodness. The mystery crowd is famous for its inclusivity, its friendliness, and its supportiveness.

At the conference in St. Louis an author on his first Bouchercon panel expressed his astonishment. He had expected to see competitiveness and criticism, like he found when attending his wife’s professional poetry events, where meanness abounded. The friendliness of Bouchercon amazed and pleased him. That was five years ago, and the kindness and support have only grown and expanded since then.

Writing is a lonely gig. Self-doubt is your constant companion. The worldwide publishing situation is super tough. Meeting up with other authors and readers, however, is a balm to your soul. If you are a crime fiction fan or writer and have never attended a Bouchercon–or a smaller conference perhaps nearer to where you live–I urge you to attend. “Just do it.” Friendship, support, well-meant advice, and fun all await you.. It is truly one for all and all for one. We crime authors may write about mayhem and murder, but in real life, we are all (well, say, 99% of us) as gentle as lambs. And so, to close, I’ll reference another famous ad slogan–“Life is meant to be good.”


Kay Kendall’s Austin Starr mysteries <http://www.AustinStarr.com> capture the spirit and turbulence of the 1960s. DESOLATION ROW (2013) and RAINY DAY WOMEN (2015) show Austin, a 22-year-old Texas bride, set adrift in a foreign land and on the frontlines of societal change. Austin learns to cope by turning amateur sleuth.