What Sisters in Crime New England Means to Me


Edith Maxwell here. I joined Sisters in Crime and the New England chapter in 2006, right after I attended my first Crime Bake conference. Everyone was so friendly at Crime Bake, I was astonished that I hadn’t joined before. I had had a story published in Riptide by Level Best Books in 2004, but for some reason Sisters in Crime wasn’t on my radar yet. The first New England chapter meeting I attended was held in Kate Flora‘s home. Sheila Connolly had just landed her first two work-for-hire contracts with Berkley for the Orchard Mystery series and the Glassblowing series, and now she also writes two other series.

I have learned a huge amount about writing, publishing, and marketing from the workshops sponsored by SINC-NE, and from the generous members who don’t hesitate to reach out to newer authors. Lee Lofland spoke on police procedure to a big crowd in Hank Phillippi Ryan‘s attic. Hallie Ephron gave a great workshop on how to write. Elizabeth Lyon spoke for a day on writing and revision.

Crime Bake is also a big learning opportunity, both in the sessions and in the bar. Most of all I have learned from my fellow sisters (and brothers). I’ve learned about perseverance, honing the craft, generosity, and marketing through social networking (thanks, Julie Hennrikus!).

As for perseverance, I’ve submitted every year to Level Best Books and got another story in the Thin Ice edition.  I completed the first in my Quaker Linguist series, Speaking of Murder, which is still looking for a publisher, and the second in that series is nearly complete. I joined the Board a couple of years ago so I could give back to this great all-volunteer organization.

And now, along with members  Liz Mugavero, Jessie Crockett, and (current chapter president) Barb Ross, I have a three-book contract for a cozy Local Foods Mysteries series with Kensington Publishing, thanks to Sheila Connolly’s outreach to the membership with a message from agent John Talbot. I can hardly believe my good luck, and find writing to a deadline somewhat terrifying at the same time. A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die should be out in the spring of 2013 if all goes well.

I’ve also learned a great deal from the online Sisters in Crime and Guppies groups, but that’s another post.

I know I still have a LOT to learn, and I’m sticking close by my SIsters and Brothers so I don’t miss anything! How about you? What have you learned from the chapter, or from other chapters? What would you like us to offer you to expand your horizons? Will we see you at Crime Bake?


About Edith Maxwell

Agatha- and Macavity-nominated and national bestsetlling author Edith Maxwell writes the Local Foods Mystery series (Kensington Publishing) and the historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink). As Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries series and the new Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries (both from Kensington Publishing). Edith has also published award-winning short crime fiction. She lives north of Boston in an antique house with her beau and three cats.
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9 Responses to What Sisters in Crime New England Means to Me

  1. I can’t agree more, Edith, about how much there is to gain from membership in Sisters in Crime and its New England Chapter. I’ve made loads of friends,taken advantage of oodles of low-cost or free learning opportunities and found my writing practice enriched by the experience!

  2. Rhonda Lane says:

    What a nice tribute to SinCNE, Edith. Our Gun Day events allow us to shoot and learn about a wide variety of guns. The annual writing craft workshop has been so valuable to me. And even more valuable and cherished are the friends I’ve made through the group.

  3. edithmaxwell says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Nancy and Rhonda. Yes, the gun workshop, which I have missed twice! Can’t wait for the next one. And, always, the friendships.

  4. I didn’t know about SinC until after I’d written my first mystery novel and scored my first contract – I still remember my first meeting where I meet Kate Flora and everyone was incredibly welcoming. Such a thrill at each chapter meeting when we go around and some (like you, Edith) has such great news! And everyone cheers — and they really mean it.

  5. edithmaxwell says:

    How fun to hear about your first meeting, Hallie! The cheers are amazing, it’s true, and it’s because people really mean it.

  6. What a wonderful post! My first SinC meeting was at Janet Halpin’s house, and I was so terrified…I knew absolutely no one. ANd then Kate Mattes’s Christmas party..where Kate Flora and Hallie and Dana Cameron were so fantasic..I kept whispering to my husband–LOOK AT THESE PEOPLE! We have their BOOKS!

    CoNgratulations, Edith–and everyone..it’s so wonderful to have sisters!

  7. edithmaxwell says:

    Hank, I can’t imagine you terrified! And so pleased we’re all sisters.

  8. patremick says:

    Thanks, Edith, for a great reminder about a great organization!!

  9. edithmaxwell says:

    Yes, Pat, isn’t it?

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