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November 07, 2014


Jessie Lourey

Well said, Dana, and thank you for culling all the important information. I especially appreciate the section you put in bold: "Good people make mistakes without intending to. Good people can respond to those mistakes while still valuing the effort that went into the process. Working together, they can address concerns and find solutions."

Dana Cameron

Thanks, Jessie! As difficult as this is now, I think it's an important process.

Kelly Saderholm

Great post Dana. I did not know about "Men of Mystery" and was rather astonished that Bouchercon would sponsor them- because it sounds like that is exactly what they are doing. I am glad some correction is being made. Not keen on the rebuke statement though. Kudos to you for writing this post!

Dana Cameron

Thanks, Kelly! Appreciate it!

Marcia Talley

Brava, Dana. You have encapsulated the issue so well. For various reasons, I won't be attending B'con this year {pout} the first one I've missed since Monterrey. But sounds like things are heading in the right direction out in Long Beach.

Toni LP Kelner

Dana, this is lovely--both caring and well thought out. I hated to see the conflict arise--for a writer specializing in mysteries, I hate fighting--but I think the outcome is worthwhile.

Many cheers to the hardworking Bouchercon committee, and extra cheers to Bouchercon attendees who are so committed to the event.


Great post, Dana. I especially loved the bit about aligning intention and perception.


Thank you for this beautifully written post, Dana. Like Jess, I think your bolded statement is the key to it all.

We are all only human and mistakes are made - intended or not. But, people have a right to voice their opinions without being bullied.

None of that means the Bouchercon organization was trying to be unfair, nor does it mean that those who spoke up do not love Bouchercon and what it stands for. What it means is that we as humans can ALWAYS do better.

Bouchercon Long Beach is going to be a success! And I will be there to enjoy it!

Clair Lamb

Well said, Dana. Thanks for laying it all out so clearly.

Dana Cameron

Thank you, Marcia and Toni; I'll miss seeing you, Marcia!

Catriona, thanks--that is such a huge part of this. EVERYONE is trying to do their best to make it a great con; not all agree on what that looks like.

Thanks, Clair and Kris; Kris, I look forward to B'con and seeing you there!

Mark Stevens

Well said...! Good grief. In 2014?
Room comps at conferences are no small deal. This sounds like, say, a snooty golf club, not Bouchercon. If I were start listing the ways female writers have influenced by writing career, well..
My current editor (Terri Bischoff from Midnight Ink)
Linda Hull
Patricia Highsmith
Ruth Rendell
Agatha Christie
My wife
My daughters
Karin Slaughter
Nevada Barr
Rita Mae Brown
Margaret Coel
....I could be here all day.

I guess there's this: what's the point?

Elaine Viets

Thank you for writing this, Dana, and for the getting to the heart of the matter: "Good people make mistakes without intending to. Good people can respond to those mistakes while still valuing the effort that went into the process. Working together, they can address concerns and find solutions." Joan Hansen and the local Bouchercon did find a satisfying solution. That is doubly to their credit. I remember earlier Bcons where women's objections to all male events or women being shunted off to less important days were blithely ignored. This is real progress. Now we ALL can enjoy this Bouchercon. See you there.


Hey look, a molehill.

I wonder what can we make out if it?

Linda Hull

Thank you so much for this thoughtful, fair-minded, appreciative look at the situation. I wholeheartedly agree with what you've said and appreciate that you've spoken out in this way.

Nikki Bonanni

It seems there is a very simple solution, maybe te one they are working on. Have one panel for Men of Mystery, and another for Women of Mystery.

Marlyn Beebe

Great post. And thank you for including all the links, which makes it so much easier to follow the unfolding of the whole story.


If I read Robin Burcell's post correctly, it is important to note that Bouchercon isn't paying for MOM and Left Coast Crime didn't pay for it either, when MOM was part of their programming. I would also point out that many who objected to this MOM will sit on women-only panels at the convention next week. Now it has been said that MOM event isn't the same as a panel, and therefore the rules against exclusion don't apply. In truth MOM is not even a panel. It is a gathering during which participants speak for one minute only. And it is a charitable event designed to help teenaged writers. If fairness is the goal, then there should be no all-female or all-male panels at this convention. Women on these panels should refuse to sit on them. And MOW, SIC, MWOA should work on including the marginalized writers of color and LGBT writers as well--especially those for whom gender binalty is a stifling and repressive form of dehumanization.

sharon fiffer

Well-said, Dana. Thank you.

Sharon Fiffer

Charlaine Harris

Thanks, Dana, for a very well reasoned post clarifying the situation and its rectification. Easier to look forward to Bouchercon now.

Sally Schmidt

Thanks for this post. I first became of all of this when I read Sara Paretsky's blog (reposted by you, I think). Your post and the links help to understand the whole story.

This will be my first Bouchercon. I am so looking forward to it! Glad to see everyone is able to work together to make it a success and the amazing event I know it will be.

Margaret Maron

Dana, I'd propose you for Secretary of State if I thought anyone this fair-minded and sensible could be confirmed. Thanks for this post. Even though I won't be at B'con in body, I'm always there in spirit.

Charlaine Harris

Margaret, we wish you'd be there, too. And I second your idea that Dana should be Secretary of State!

C. Clark Criscuolo

It's a good column, and these gaffes will change things. I think that so many people were miffed because mysteries are still classified as a male domain.

Yes, there was a bright shining moment in the early 90's where publishing embraced female authors (I was a part of that wave although I had to write under a gender-neutral name to get published.) It was a great thing, but has now passed as all things do.

I think it is reasonable to point out the deficiency, however, wouldn't it be nice if the whole thing was based on talent and readability instead of gender and those blessed by legacy publishing? Not holding my breath, but I'm throwing it out there for consideration.

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