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 If you are unpublished but are writing in the fields of mystery/suspense/thriller/crime, you will get to meet many authors in your field.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 their registration and then we do the best we can to give all published authors a panel spot.

If you are an author who has already registered for Bouchercon 2023, be sure to provide your bio (less than 100 words) and your photo for the program book.  In addition, please give us info that will help us place you on a panel that fits you well.  Survey to provide info and upload photo and bio:  https://forms.gle/eViPmFnNr9QtmaL47

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. Only those who receive a nomination ballot (registered for last year’s Bouchercon or this year’s Bouchercon) can nominate a work. Only those who are registered for this year’s Bouchercon and are in attendance can vote.

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)

Ads may be purchased in our program book. Your publisher can provide free books to our reader’s choice book room and other options (details to be released in March of 2023). To find out about how to purchase an ad see the page: bouchercon2023.com/bouchercon-program

Debut Authors (New Authors Event)

On Friday, September 1st (7am), we will hold the traditional New Author Breakfast.  At this breakfast, readers are invited to come eat while authors published in the last year (basically since our last Bouchercon) give a brief introduction to their first published book.  It’s a fun way to hear about new books and meet people.  Plus free food!  If you have a book that has very recently been published or will be published by the time of Bouchercon, sign up to show your interest in participating in this program.  There are a limited number of slots so people are accepted on a first come, first served basis.  Fill out this form:  https://forms.gle/BMJQ3XUG8zoLUwbNA

Speed Dating

On Thursday, August 31st (7am), we will gather in a large room and pairs of authors will circulate to different tables to introduce themselves to readers.  They will have a minute each and then a bell rings and they all circulate to another table and go again.  It’s a fast paced round of Meet the Author.  Authors are encouraged to bring bookmarks, swag, etc. and to make it as fun and engaging as possible.  If you are interested in participating, use the form to give us your info.  Slots are limited:  https://forms.gle/rPk2rxgayXRXkJ1j9

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.