It’s hard to believe my year as President of Sisters in Crime New England is coming to a close. For the last five years, in the isolating world of writing, SinCNE has been “my community.” Not only have there been great friendships and lots of laughs, my fellow sisters and brothers have also been my sounding boards, the people who reassure me on a regular basis that I’m “not crazy.” Or, at least if I am crazy, it’s some sort of mass delusion in which we’re all participating.
I was very grateful for this opportunity to give back.
It was a busy year at SinCNE.
- In January, we offered a well-attended social media course with Shawn Nicholls, senior digital marketing director at HarperCollins.
- In March, we had “SinCNE Reads Across New England” events in five of the six New England states. Having members gather and read from new works and works in progress on a state-by-state basis proved to be very successful, and we plan to replicate this event in 2013.
- In April, we had our fantastic Donald Maass workshop. People are still talking about this event. It had a huge impact on my work-in-progress and I know lots of people who feel the same way. We also had three panels at the annual conference of the Popular Culture Association, which met in Boston this year.
- In June, we had a tour of the Boston Public Library with a private lecture from the curator of the special Forgotten Chapters exhibit on Boston’s literary past.
- In July and August we held Beach Reads events on Cape Cod, on Massachusetts’ North Shore, in Maine and in Connecticut.
- Also in August, SinCNE member Sylvie Kurtz offered an online course in Revising Without Getting Sick of Your Manuscript.
- In September, we had a tour of the wonderful Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. We combined with the Connecticut chapter of Romance Writers of America and the Charter Oak Romance Writers for a panel on “Putting the Romance in Your Mystery and the Mystery in Your Romance.”
- In October, we had booths at the New England Library Association annual conference in Sturbridge, MA and at the Boston Book Festival. Many of our authors signed and sold books at both events.
- And finally, capping off our year as it always does, the New England Crime Bake, which we co-sponsor with the New England Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. It was another sold-out year, with great master classes and panels, and fun social events. Joseph Finder was an accessible and gracious guest of honor.
We also took care of some housekeeping this year, such as adopting new bylaws, transitioning our newsletter to a monthly News Update via a contact management system, and starting this Pen, Ink and Crimes blog.
And we did all this while publishing 40+ books and over 25 short stories and holding 20+ Speakers Bureau events. As I write this, we have 221 members, which is a record for us.
I’d like to thank our hardworking Executive Committee, without whom these many milestones never would have occurred—Julie Hennrikus, Sharon Daynard, Michele Dorsey, Nancy Gardner, Lisa Haselton, Ang Pompano, Sheila Connolly, Leslie Wheeler, Mo Walsh, Edith Maxwell, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Lynn Marie Steinmayer and Pat Remick. What an amazing group. I’d also like to thank the many members who worked hard to make these events happen.
I’ll still be around. I’ll be on the Executive Committee next year and will continue working with the website, which will give me the chance to continue to interact with all our members.
I wish everyone happy holidays and a happy and productive new year!