Crimes and Criminals and the Writers Who Love Them

Crimes and Criminals and the Writers Who Love Them

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Join us for our Building Character Online Workshop!

Please join us on Thursday, November 12th from 5:00-6:30 p.m. for our Building Character workshop and Q&A with mystery author Leslie Budewitz. Leslie will be presenting this event as part of the Sisters in Crime Speakers Bureau.

It is FREE to all members and friends of Low Country Sisters in Crime. However, registration is required.

Please sign up using the following link:

About the workshop:

The heart of every story is the characters. No matter what type of fiction you’re writing – crime fiction, romance, women’s fiction, or mainstream novels – the best plots flow from the characters. Even in a mystery or a thriller, where the plot is critical to the success of the story, the characters are the key. When someone tells you about a book they read, they don’t say “it’s about a bomb... .” They say “it’s about a guy who… .” And when readers fall for series, they remember the characters as much as the individual plots – sometimes more.

This program will look at several ways to dive into your characters, and discover what makes them tick. Writing exercises and a handout will be provided.

What you will learn:

— You will learn several methods for creating coherent, consistent, credible story people.

— You will learn how to think about the essential characteristics of a good character, how to identify critical character traits, and how to use such things as physical characteristics, social standing, personality traits and personality classification systems, and your own experience to deepen the people on the page.

 About Leslie:

Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two cozy mystery series, the Spice Shop mysteries, set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and the Food Lovers’ Village mysteries, set in NW Montana. The latest is the 5th Spice Shop mystery, The Solace of Bay Leaves (October 2020). She’ll make her suspense debut with Bitterroot Lake, written as Alicia Beckman, in April 2021.

Leslie is a three-time Agatha Award winner: 2011 Best Nonfiction for her guide for writers, Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure; 2013 Best First Novel for Death al Dente (making her the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction); and 2018 Best Short Story for “All God’s Sparrows,” her first historical fiction. Her work has also won or been nominated for Derringer, Anthony, and Macavity awards. Leslie is a practicing lawyer, whose practice focuses on civil litigation and employment law, with an unhealthy dose of criminal law.

A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives and cooks in NW Montana with her husband, Don Beans, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their gray tuxedo cat, an avid bird watcher.

Learn more at her website: 

You can also find information about this event at the Low Country Sisters in Crime Facebook page:

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Bouchercon Online: October 16th and 17th

Bouchercon is going online! Now you can attend this annual convention of creators and devotees of mystery and detective fiction from the comfort of home (pajamas and all). The event will be October 16th and 17th.

Registration is $55. if you're interested in moderating or being on a panel, there is a place in the registration to indicate so. For more information, visit the website.

See you all there!

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

SinC Statement of Support

Sisters in Crime is an organization founded on the principles of equality and inclusion. We believe Black lives matter.

The murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd are only three recent reminders of the 400-year history of violence visited upon the Black people of the United States. Militarized police and white supremacists using peaceful protests to incite further violence emphasizes once again that Black lives are vulnerable. Wanting equality is not enough. Wanting peace is not good enough. We have work to do, and it is work that belongs to us all as much as those directly affected by the violence.

We at the national board of Sisters in Crime strive to learn and are committed to putting in place what it takes to create a more welcome, more supportive and more safe space within our organization and the entire crime writing community—in the hopes that we inspire our members and others to join us in sustaining a just community for all.

With this in mind, we are considering several new initiatives to better support the fight against racism and hate within our organization and its chapters.

If you are moved to make an individual effort now, consider making a donation to Black Lives Matter, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Police Accountability Project or other similar organizations fighting racism, rights violations, and/or police brutality. To educate yourself further on issues related to these issues, you may consider books such as How to Be an AntiRacist by Ibraham X. Kendi, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, or So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Buying books? Also consider supporting the work of crime writers of color. You can find a list of authors at Sister in Crime’s Frankie’s List and also at the website for Crime Writers of Color. You could also support Black-owned bookstores at the same time. There are additionally many films, podcasts, and other resources for those who want to learn more.

Sisters in Crime will also be looking to leverage a few of our ongoing initiatives to give additional support where it is needed most:

• The Sisters in Crime Eleanor Taylor Bland Award will expand to give more support to more writers of color each year, and to build a cohort of writers of color who can learn from and support each other. We will be expanding the support offered to winners, runners-up, and all participants. We are extending the deadline for applications by two weeks to June 22, 2020; entry is always free.

• Our We Love Bookstores grant program will make additional $500 grants in 2020 to Black-owned bookstores.

• Our We Love Libraries grant program will earmark the remaining $1000 grants in 2020 to libraries in underserved communities.

If current members of Sisters in Crime have suggestions or questions about any of these measures or other actions, please feel free to email national president Lori Rader-Day at

The Sisters in Crime National Board

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Our June Meeting: Suspense Writer's Guide to Structure

Please join us on Saturday, June 22th from 11:00 to 1:00 at the Hilton Head Branch of the Beaufort County Library for our June meeting, The Suspense Writer's Guide to Structure.

This is a workshop specifically geared for writers of crime fiction using screenwriter Dan Harmon's Circle method. Based on Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, this method isn't linear, but is instead cyclical, and unites plot and character in an easy-to-use framework that is useful not only for planning, but for checking the structural integrity of a finished work. It's also an excellent framework for laying clues and red herrings.

Non-members are welcome (and encouraged!); writers of any type of fiction (not just mysteries) will find this information helpful.

For more information, please visit our Facebook event page.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Our May Meeting: MURDER!

Please join us for our May meeting, Saturday, May 11th from 11:00 AM -- 2:00 PM at The Chromatic Dragon Gaming Pub in downtown Savannah.

We're celebrating all things mysterious and crime solve-y with a get-together at The Chromatic Dragon in downtown Savannah, the Lowcountry's best gaming pub. We'll be bringing POST-MORTEM LOS ANGELES: LIGHTS, CAMERA, MURDER!, the Mysterious Package Company's noir mystery-in-a-box—you bring your sleuthing skills as we solve the case of the slaughtered starlet. This is a group activity-—we provide the game, you buy whatever food and drink you'd like (The Chromatic Dragon is a full service restaurant and bar, so you'll certainly find something you'll like). 

To RSVP, either reply to your email or visit our Facebook event page:

For more info about the game we'll be playing, visit:

And for more info about the Chromatic Dragon (including menu and location), visit:

Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Our April Meeting!

Please join us on Saturday, April 13th from 11:00 to 1:00 at the Hilton Head Branch of the Beaufort Library for our April meeting, a workshop on planning your novel (no outlining required!). 

Donna Kortes will share several different organizing/structuring/planning methods for getting your novel in order. Non-members are welcome (and encouraged!); writers of any type of fiction (not just mysteries) will find this information helpful.

Afterwards, we're going out to lunch for those interested in continuing the conversation and the camaraderie.

For more information, please visit our Facebook event page

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Our January Meeting: Author Branding

Please join us Saturday, January 12th at 12:00 noon for Low Country Sisters in Crime's first meeting of 2019!

We'll be meeting in the community room of member Lance Adams' complex. The address is 121 Tillman Rd. Statesboro, GA 30458. (check your email for the gate code -- message Tina Whittle if you didn't receive it).

Once inside the gates the road splits into three. Take the left branch and follow it to the back of the complex. The Clubhouse is on the right. There is parking in front. Come upstairs and turn left.

Our topic will be Branding for Mystery Authors. We'll be discussing what exactly branding is, why it's important, and how you can go about doing it (even if you haven't finished, or even started, your book).

Lance is hosting us for lunch (Mexican food for both carnivores and cheese-eating vegetarians) so feel free to bring beverages and/or desserts as you would like (though you are required to bring nothing)

For more information, check out our Facebook event.

BONUS: SinC National is offering a FREE one-hour video webinar on this topic the Tuesday after our meeting . You can get some of the legwork for the webinar done ahead of time at our meeting, or use it to further deepen your knowledge. Here's the link to register: