FAQ for Writers Registering for Bouchercon

Learn more:

  • Benefits of Attending Bouchercon for Writers
  • How to get on a panel
  • How to nominate your book/story for an Anthony Award
  • How to advertise (Bouchercon program and other options)
  • Debut Authors (New Authors Breakfast)
  • Speed Dating Event
  • Swag Table
  • Donate to our Auction
  • Volunteer

Benefits of Attending Bouchercon for Writers

Whatever stage of your writing career you are in, Bouchercon can be a good fit for you. If you are unpublished but are writing in the fields of mystery/suspense/thriller/crime, you will get to meet many authors in your field. You will also get to know readers who might some day be reading yours books. While we are not a “craft conference” geared to teach writing, you will find a lot of information about craft gets covered in panels at Bouchercon. Plus you will have a lot of fun–and be inspired to write more when you return home.

For published authors, you get to meet up with other authors and meet your fans (and potential new fans). There were be plenty of opportunities to talk about your latest publications and hopefully get a new crowd to start reading your work. But it’s also a great opportunity to talk to other writers. We find some of the best times happen in between panels and during dinner or at the bar, where people gather and just talk. Lifelong friends are made. Call it networking if you will, but it is also just a fun thing to meet people who love the same things you do.

How to get on a panel

All authors who want to present at the conference must register for the conference before the cutoff date of April 15th to be considered for a panel. Other than our Guests of Honor (who are chosen three years in advance), all other authors pay for your their registration and we do the best we can to give all published authors a panel spot.

We cannot guarantee you a panel but will do our best. You might end up as moderator but we try to give everyone an opportunity. Panels are announced in early July.

How to nominate your book/story for an Anthony Award

The Anthony Award nominations begin on February 28th. Nominate a book or story that was published the previous year (2022) in one of the qualifying categories. Details on how to do so will be given in late February. We do not accept nominations outside of that process.

A special Anthony Award committee (separate from the Board of National Bouchercon and the Local Organizing Committee) manages all parts of the process. Nominations are due April 30th. Nominations are counted and the finalists announced around May 7th.

Voting occurs at Bouchercon 2023. You must be present to vote. Voting ends early on Saturday and the award are presented to the winner at the Anthony Awards on Saturday evening (after the Banquet).

How to advertise (Bouchercon program and other options)

Advertising will be available in the Spring of 2023. We will announce pricing then. Ads may be purchased in our program book.

Debut Authors (New Authors Event)

If your first book was published recently (since the last Bouchercon, particularly) you may qualify for this special event. Signups will start in the late Spring. We invite about 200 attendees to breakfast and the small number of spotlighted Debut Authors have just a minute or two (timing will be given to you when you sign up) to tell the room about their book. It’s a great way to get the word out to an enthusiastic audience of readers.

Speed Dating Event

Authors sign up to be a Speed Dater in the Spring. We set up tables with 10 seats in a banquet room. Eight of those seats are filled with readers anxious to hear about a lot of great books (and take home swag and gifts). The bell rings and sets of two authors move to a table. They each have one minute to speak (and hand out bookmarks and other items). The bell rings and all the authors move to the next table. Meet lots of people and tell them about your latest book. Bring bookmarks, chocolates, offers for a free ebook, pens, or whatever else you think will make you stand out from the crowd and cause the listeners at the table to seek out your book to buy.

Swag Table

There will be a designated area for you to leave bookmarks, postcards, and other branded goodies to promote your writing. This will be the only allowed place for you to leave promo items laying out but, believe me, people go by there and look all conference long. Leave room in your suitcase for your promo items.

Donate to our Auction

Bouchercon 2023 will be raising money for two great local charities (more info on the page listed in the menu). The silent auction needs donations. Think of something clever that will appeal to the mystery reading crowd who comes. Don’t just donate a book, that won’t get bids the way a themed grouping will. For instance, if your book involves tea–then donate a pretty grouping of a teapot, selections of tea, and some chocolates along with a signed book. Everyone comes to look, so it’s free advertising, and one lucky fan wins a great prize. All money from the silent auction goes to the charities.

There is also a Live Auction Saturday night after the Anthony Awards. If you offer us a particularly good and valuable item, it might end up there, so let us know if you think you have something for that. All proceeds from the Live Auction also goes to the charities.


Bouchercon needs volunteers at all stages of the process. See the volunteer tab in the menu for more info.