|New Palmetto Chapter of SinC|
As I’ve written previously on this blog, becoming a member of the Guppies (for Great Unpublished) online chapter gave me the opportunity to learn about short story calls, the encouragement to submit, and the interaction with a group of excellent critique partners who helped me develop and hone my skills. In addition, through the Guppy short stories critique group, I met E.B. Davis, James M. Jackson, and Gloria Alden. E.B. asked me to become a member of Writers Who Kill and later suggested that I run for the Guppy Steering Committee, on which I now proudly serve as a member-at-large, inviting new members to join the list servs and coordinating short story critique groups. I’m excited that at the end of this month, again thanks to E.B. who schedules Guppy classes, I get to present a free online mini-course on “The ABCs of Dialogue.” Every experience has taught me so much about the profession and helped me grow as a writer.
From its beginnings, Sisters in Crime has been rooted in a clear-eyed assessment of the writing business with the idea of improving conditions for all writers. The official history on the SinC website points to a conference on Women in the Mystery held at Hunter College in March 1986 as the “gestation.” Sara Paretsky’s speech about use of violence against women in mysteries started the discussion.
In October 1986, Phyllis Whitney wrote a letter to the Mystery Writers of America raising concerns that women authors were not being nominated for awards. At the 1986 Baltimore Bouchercon, Sara Paretsky called a meeting of interested women and pointed out that women mystery authors’ books were not being reviewed in a comparable percentage to those of male authors. From those events and other gatherings, the organization developed with the following mission statement: “Sisters in Crime is committed to helping women who write, review, buy, or sell crime fiction. Our ultimate goal is to become a service organization to address issues of concern to everyone involved in the mystery field.”
Margaret Maron, the third national President, began using the abbreviation SinC instead of SIC, which some people encouraged. Margaret is quoted on the SinC website: “Several women wanted SIC, as in ‘Let’s sic ‘em!’ but I knew we were less about hostility than about working together in sync, so I used SinC in all my correspondence and official letters.”
Over the years SinC has never wavered from being in sync with authors and affiliated professions by offering unconditional support for successful and emerging writers and acknowledging the importance of reviewers, book sellers, and libraries. National provides grants to libraries and encourages that they feature mystery collections including books by local authors.
Both national and the chapters have offered extraordinary craft programs at conferences and online. Writes of Passage, edited by Hank Phillippi Ryan and featuring articles by numerous respected mystery authors, is a national publication that provides insight and encouragement for every aspect of writing. It has been nominated for an Agatha this year.
|Murder in the Magic City 2015|
Chapters have distinguished themselves and their members by publishing short story anthologies. E.B. Davis has featured those anthologies in her series of WWK profiles. In addition, many of the stories in those anthologies have been nominated and won national mystery awards.
While SinC was organized to advance opportunities for women mystery authors, it has not been discriminatory and welcomed “brothers” or “misters” to join its membership. WWK blogging partners Warren Bull, James M. Jackson, and Sam Morton are all proud members of SinC and its chapters. In fact, Warren has served as President of the Border Crimes Chapter. As far as I know, there has been no national male President, but I’m sure one would be welcomed to the Goddess pantheon.
I’m both honored and humbled to be elected as the first President of the Palmetto Chapter. Sasscer Hill is our Vice President, Wanda Craig our Secretary/Treasurer, Riley Miller our Web Maven, and Sam Morton our Program Chair. We meet the third Saturday of each month at the Grecian Gardens restaurant in West Columbia, South Carolina. This month, we’ll hear from C. Hope Clark about the wonderful resource she has created, FundsForWriters.com. Already, we’ve been showered with welcomes and offers of help and support from national and our fellow chapters.
|WWK blogging partners at Murder in the Magic City|