A Pandemic—Born Partnership: Cross-Country Chapters of Sisters in Crime Jointly Sponsor a Killer Workshop

Mar 30, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Paula Gail Benson

When the pandemic hit in 2020, one of the most mourned losses was in-person gatherings. In particular, the mystery writing community watched with regret as Left Coast Crime had to open and close the same day due to COVID restrictions. Then other much anticipated conferences had to cancel. It was bleak.

Perhaps one benefit from the lockdown was the discovery that ZOOM, Crowdcast, and other online sources could accommodate and facilitate virtual meetings. Sisters in Crime, an international organization of mystery writers and readers, originally founded thirty-five years ago to bring more attention to women mystery authors, helped encourage use of the new technology in order to maintain connections.

Without assistance from Sisters in Crime, Palmetto Chapter, based in Columbia, South Carolina, we could not have converted its annual Mystery in the Midlands conference, set to feature Charlaine Harris as keynote, from in-person to virtual. In doing so, we reached an audience of over 900 registrants.

One of many things I will never forget from that experience was my opportunity to connect with Sonja Hazzard-Webster, then serving as President of the Capitol Crimes Chapter of Sisters in Crime based in Sacramento, California. She reached out to Palmetto Chapter, encouraging our efforts and registering for our virtual conference. Our friendship was online only, but very genuine. I remember “meeting” Sonja in person at a virtual cocktail hour hosted by then SinC President Lori Rader-Day. Sonja captured everyone’s heart with her vivacious charm.

We lost Sonja too soon: she passed away suddenly in June 2020. However, her influence and inspiration live on in this year’s joint Killer Workshop, sponsored by the Capitol Crimes and Palmetto Chapters.

The Killer Workshop is actually two events in one. Both take place on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

If you are in or near the Sacramento area, you can attend a day-long program at Rancho Cordovo City Hall. The presenters include: authors Dr. Ellen Kirschman, Cara Black, Simon Woods, Eileen Rendahl, Claire Booth, Kris Calvin, James L’Etoile, and Quan Huynh; Rick Nickel, a crime scene professional; publishing industry experts Karen Phillips and Terry Shepherd; and special guest District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who will speak about resolving the Golden State Killer case using genetic genealogy.

For those who can’t be in Sacramento, there’s a virtual option, hosted by Dana Kaye and available through Crowdcast. Attorneys Debra H. Goldstein, Roger Johns, and Wanda Morris will share their experiences as mystery authors. Yasmin Angoe, E.A. Aymar, and Carla Damron will discuss how they wrote about sex trafficking in fiction. Robin Burcell, Terrie Farley Moran, and Charles Todd, all having been co-authors, will talk about writing with a partner.

Both events share an outstanding keynote interview with Gregg Hurwitz, the New York Times #1 internationally bestselling author of twenty-three thrillers, including the ORPHAN X series.
Want to join us? We hope so!

Early bird registration rates are available through March 31, 2022. For the in-person event, Capitol Crimes Chapter members pay $65 and nonmembers $80. After March 31, members pay $75 and nonmembers $90.

For the virtual event, the early bird rate is $25. After March 31, the virtual event rate is $35. (NOTE: the virtual event is available for viewing until July 31, 2022. Those who attend in-person can add on access to the virtual event for $10.)

Here’s a link to register for the Killer Workshop (in-person or virtual): capitolcrimes.wildapricot.org/Workshop

By checking out the information about the Killer Workshop, you can sign up for a dream editing giveaway at: capitolcrimes.wildapricot.org/Dream-Editing-Giveaway (If you register for the workshop, you are automatically entered in the giveaway!)

Members of both Capitol Crimes and Palmetto Chapters remain grateful to Sonja Hazzard-Webster and Sisters in Crime for the ideas and assistance that led to this collaboration. Please consider being part of our Killer Workshop and celebrating with us all things mystery!

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up last week.

Paula Gail Benson’s short stories have appeared online in Kings River Life and the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable and in publications including, A Shaker of Margaritas: That Mysterious Woman; Fish or Cut Bait: a Guppy Anthology; Killer Nashville Noir: Cold Blooded; Heartbreaks and Half-truths; Once Upon a Time; and My Robot and Me. Her short story “Reputation or Soul” is in Malice Domestic’s Mystery Most Diabolical. She blogs regularly at The Stiletto Gang and Writers Who Kill. Her website is paulagailbenson.com.

1 Comment

  1. Can’t wait!!!


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