Friday, December 9, 2016

SMFS Member Guest Post: An Explanation of the Sisters in Crime “We Love Short Stories” Initiative by Debra H. Goldstein

Earlier this week, I referenced the latest issue of the Sisters In Crime Magazine and how there were pieces in it from Jan Christensen and Debra H. Goldstein. Debra contacted me and asked to write about the SIC short story initiative for our SMFS blog and I eagerly accepted. The result of that conversation led to her guest post below.

An Explanation of the Sisters in Crime “We Love Short Stories” Initiative by Debra H. Goldstein

After Bouchercon 2015, then Sisters in Crime President Leslie Budewitz commissioned an ad hoc committee to address concerns being expressed about the health of short story markets. As she noted, many SinC members “got their first publishing credits with short mysteries.  They remain a tremendous avenue for new writers to break in; for published authors, they provide an opportunity to tell stories that would not support a novel or to hold reader interest between books. Other authors simply prefer the form. They’re fun to write, and fun to read.”

The committee, comprised of Debra H. Goldstein (chair), Art Taylor, and Deb Lacey, explored the different markets and found that:

1)         The paying market for short stories has been shrinking,
2)         The print publications traditionally publishing short stories have experienced a major decrease in circulation numbers, and
3)         Online markets, many of short duration, have increased, but few provide paying opportunities for writers.

The committee proposed and the national board adopted the creation of the SinC “We Love Short Stories” initiative. “We Love Short Stories” was launched at Malice Domestic 2016 via an announcement from President Budewitz, followed by an e-mail blast and an article in the inSinC discussing the importance of short stories. To further effectuate this initiative, partnerships were established with several publishers and corporations to provide discounts and other subscription incentives to SinC members. 

It was also decided that articles should appear in each issue of inSinC on writing short stories, finding markets, promotion, understanding what editors want, differences between single and multiple author anthologies, and how to publish stories traditionally and independently. Articles published during the past year include “Why I Write Short Stories” (Ruth Moose), “Ellery Queen Magazine Turns 75” (Art Taylor), “Why Write Short Stories” (Debra H. Goldstein and Mary Jane Maffini), “Success With Short Stories” (Dale T. Phillips), “Short Story Mystery Anthologies” (Debra H. Goldstein), and “Short Mystery Fiction Society” (Jan Christensen). 

Materials were shared with local SinC chapters suggesting programs or activities that could be done to demonstrate “We Love Short Stories.” For example, the Atlanta Sisters in Crime Chapter recently sponsored a community-wide one day day short story workshop taught by four recognized short story writers. In addition to general topics related to craft, skill, and markets, attendees were introduced to the existence of groups, including the Short Mystery Fiction Society. 

Sisters in Crime hopes that promoting short stories through varied opportunities, including workshops, articles, and discounts, will engage readers and writers to take an active role in supporting the short story. Why? – because “We Love Short Stories.”

Debra H. Goldstein ©2016

Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery (Five Star Publishing – April 2016) and the 2012 IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan’s campus. Her short stories and essays have been published in anthologies including Mardi Gras Murder and The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fourth Meal of Mayhem as well as in The Birmingham Arts Journal, More Magazine Online, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable,, Kings River Life Magazine, Over My Dead Body! and Mysterical-E. . Debra serves on the national Sisters in Crime and Guppy Chapter boards and is an MWA member. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, Joel, whose blood runs crimson.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

SMFS Flash and Bang Anthology Mention

Over on the Crime Fiction Lover website in the post  "NTN: How to find new crime authors" the SMFS Anthology Flash and Bang is mentioned as one of a number of good sources to look at for new authors. The November 16th post has anthology suggestions in alphabetical order putting the SMFS approximately in the middle of the page if you go to the website.

My thanks to Sarah M. Chen for bringing this to our attention.

Available in both print and eBook formats the anthology can be purchased at the publisher, Untreed Reads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other fine bookstores.

Kevin R. Tipple

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Short Mystery Fiction Society in the inSinC- December 2016

Past President Jan Christensen has an article in the December issue about SMFS. She explains a little bit about the group and how she became involved in it. The interesting piece is on page 16.

Also in the issue just before that is a two page article from SMFS member Debra Goldstein on "Short Mystery Anthologies." This piece is the first of a two part interview article with editors Michele Slung, Jon Betancourt, and Jay Hartman. Debra also is the Head of the SinC Short Story Initiative adopted by the group under the moniker, "We Love Short Stories."

You can read the December issue of inSinc: The Sisters in Crime Quarterly at:

Lots of good stuff to read so make sure you take a look.

Thank you to Jan Christensen for providing the link to the issue.

Kevin R. Tipple

SleuthSayers: "Writing What I Knew" by SMFS Member John M. Floyd

SleuthSayers: Writing What I Knew: by John M. Floyd How many times have we, as writers, heard that we should "write what we know"? I'm not sure I always agr...

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Society Members' News: November 2016

The members below reported their publishing successes this month: 

Micki Browning, “Sleighed” in Mystery Weekly Magazine: December 2016. The short story is also scheduled to be the featured tale for the free weekly story on December 20, 2016.

M. H. Callway, Glow Grass and Other Tales, Carrick Publishing (October 2016).

Sarah M. Chen, “Besties & Blow” in Fast Women And Neon Lights: Eighties Inspired Neon Noir, Short Stack Books (November 2016) and "Grateful Touring" in Windward: Best New England Crime Stories 2016, Level Best Books (November 2016).

Diana Deverell, “Opening Day, 1954” in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (November 2016) and ​“Boot Scoot” in the Very Merry Christmas Bundle (BundleRabbit for November-December 2016).

Gail Farrelly, “They eDone Him Wrong" in Kings River Life Magazine, (November 21, 2016) and “Busted!: A Thanksgiving Mystery Short Story” in the Yonkers Tribune (November 22, 2016).

John Floyd, “Flu Season” in The Norwegian American, (November 4, 2016) as well as “Jackpot Mode” in The Strand Magazine: Holiday 2016 (October-January 2017) and “Candid Camera” in Woman’s World (November 28, 2016). John also reports that he has the short story, “Survival” in the November 26 edition of Kings River Life Magazine.

Debra H. Goldstein, “Thanksgiving I Do, I Don’t: Thanksgiving Mystery Short Story” at Kings River Life Magazine (November 17, 2016).

Lisa Lieberman, “Yemay√†'s Revenge” in Windward: Best New England Crime Stories 2016,  Level Best Books (November 2016).

Robert S. Levinson, “The Body in the Backyard” in Mystery Weekly Magazine: December 2016.

Stephen Liskow, “The Girl in the Red Bandanna” is the Honorable Mention Winner for the Al Blanchard Short Crime Fiction Contest, Crime Bake 2016.

Nina Mansfield, “Big Hair, Banana Clips and the Figure Four Leg Lock” in Fast Women And Neon Lights: Eighties Inspired Neon Noir, Short Stack Books (November 2016).

Paul D. Marks, “Ghosts of Bunker Hill” in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (December 2016).

Ruth M. McCarty, “The List” in Windward: Best New England Crime Stories 2016, Level Best Books (November 2016).

Bern Sy Moss, “White Lies and Green Bean Casseroles: Thanksgiving Mystery Short Story” at Kings River Life Magazine (November 22, 2016).

Susan Oleksiw, Wrath of Shiva: Anita Ray Mystery Series Book 2, Harlequin Worldwide Mystery (November 2016).

Meg Opperman, “Murder Under the Baobab” in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (November 2016) and "Surf's Up," in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine: #21 (November 2016). Meg also reports that her latest Book Blog column in the feature “Write Side Up” titled, “No, Officer, I Swear I’m Not a Serial Killer” is now up at the Washington Independent Review of Books (November 28, 2016).

Alan Orloff, “Cheap Medz” in Windward: Best New England Crime Stories 2016, Level Best Books (November 2016).

Josh Pachter, "Pisan Zapra" in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (November 2016).

Anita Page, “Fresh Start” in in Windward: Best New England Crime Stories 2016, Level Best Books (November 2016).

Travis Richardson, “The Designated Day” at Near To The Knuckle on November 3, 2016.

Jude Roy, Searching for Lilith: A Cajun PI Series, Self-Published, November 2016.

Jacqueline Seewald, “Spirit” in New Zenith Magazine: Issue 2 Fall 2016.

Judy Penz Sheluk has the short stories “Goulaigans” and “Saturday with Bronwyn” in The Whole She-Bang 3, Toronto Sisters in Crime (November 2016).

Bonnie K. Stevens, "How Safe Can You Get?” in Kings River Life Magazine, (November 12, 2016).

Elizabeth Zelvin, “Stalker” at Spinetingler (November 18, 2016).

Email news for next month's post to SMFS President Kevin R. Tipple (KEVINRTIPPLE at VERIZON dot NET).