Saturday, December 31, 2016

Society Members' News: December 2016

The members below reported their publishing successes this month: 

BJ Bourg, “Thief in the Night” at Over My Dead Body! (December 2016).

Craig Faustus Buck, “Bunker Mentality” at Flash Bang Mysteries Issue 6: Winter 2017 (December  2016).

Sati Chock, “Soon Night Will Press Upon You" in the Candlesticks and Daggers: An Anthology of Mixed-Genre Mysteries, CreateSpace (December 2016) as well as “The Eye of The Beholder” in After the Happily Ever After: a collection of fractured fairy tales, Transmundane Press (December 2016).

Jan Christensen, “The Game’s Afoot” at Mysterical-E: Fall 2016 Issue (December 2016).

Herschel Cozine, “The Numbers Game” at Over My Dead Body! (December 2016).

Peter DiChellis, “The Pinnacle Diner Murder” at Over My Dead Body! (December 2016).

Barbara Eliasson, “Mean Girls” at Flash Bang Mysteries Issue 6: Winter 2017 (December  2016).

Gail Farrelly, “Santa and the Poor Box” in The Yonkers Tribune as a five part serial from December 19-23, 2016.

John M. Floyd, “Unsigned, Sealed, and Delivered,” in Flash Bang Mysteries: Winter/January 2017 Issue (December  2016).

Richie Narvaez, “Merry Xmas from Orchard Beach” at Spinetingler (December 14, 2016).

Jude Roy, “The Imagineer” at Mysterical-E: Fall 2016 Issue (December 2016).

Jacqueline Seewald, “Genesis" at Over My Dead Body! (December 2016) and “Dinosaur Digs” at the kids magazine, Bumples. Jacqueline also has a short story, Marriage Counselor, in A Bit of a Twist: Read on the Run Anthology, Smoking Pen Press (December 2016).Also out this month is The Inheritance from Intrigue Publishing (December 2016).

Nupur Tustin, "The Christmas Stalker" in Heater, Vol 4, #11 (December 2016).

Victoria Weisfeld, "A Slaying Song Tonight" in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (January/February 2017).

Elizabeth Zelvin, “Elvis and the Shifter: A Christmas Mystery/Fantasy Short Story” at King’s River Life Magazine (December 13, 2016).

When and only when he makes the call onlist, email news for next month's post to SMFS President Kevin R. Tipple (KEVINRTIPPLE at VERIZON dot NET).

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Guest Post: Five Reasons To Love Reading Short Mystery Stories by SMFS Member Peter DiChellis

After reading Debra H. Goldstein's post earlier this week about the Sisters in Crime "We Love Short Stories" Initiative, Peter DiChellis was inspired to contribute the below post. He also caused a bit of a nasty flashback for me regarding High School English class each year.

Guest Post: Five Reasons To Love Reading Short Mystery Stories by Peter DiChellis

I’m a dedicated mystery reader who cringes at the term “short story” because it prompts memories of slouching in a high school classroom, gazing out the window, waiting for a bell to signal escape. We weren’t allowed merely to read short stories. We had to study them! Teen torture. (Okay, you caught me. My high school years were hardly my most ambitious.)

Despite those ancient scars, I love reading short mystery stories. Here’s why:

1. It’s like going on a treasure hunt. When I open a mystery anthology or magazine, or click through a top-notch ezine, I always discover new authors, new stories from favorite authors, new characters, and new writing styles. I can never predict what gems I’ll find on these adventures. I love the surprise.

2. Short mysteries gimme a break! Like most mystery readers, I enjoy novels. Short mysteries provide a perfect, quickie break after finishing a long or intricate book. I’ll plunge into another 400-page commitment soon enough. Gimme a short break first!

3. I love taking lots of quick, tasty bites. Reading short mysteries reminds me of attending a food fair with booth after booth offering tasty samples. I can try a variety of unique flavors, one after another, one bite at a time.

4. Short mystery stories pack remarkable creative punch. Good mysteries require first-rate plotting. Good shorts require airtight writing. Tough to do both at once. I love seeing it happen.

5. Short mysteries deliver wall-to-wall wow. Creative punch isn’t simply what writers put into a story; it’s also what they cut out. Shorts, to channel Elmore Leonard, leave out the parts people skip. Pure story, no filler. Wall-to-wall wow.

If you share my love of short mystery stories, please spread the word! But if you’re still not convinced, try this: Next time you’re in the library, check out a mystery anthology or magazine. (If you can’t wait until then, click through one of these online ezines right now.)

Here’s my guarantee: Trying a few short mysteries through the library or internet won’t cost you a dime. You’ll enjoy a diverse and entertaining reading break. You’ll find at least one story that absolutely wows you and discover at least one author whose work you’ll want to explore further. And you might even fall in love with short mystery stories. Is that a sweet deal or what?

Peter DiChellis ©2016

Peter DiChellis concocts sinister and sometimes comedic tales for anthologies, ezines, and magazines. Peter is a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society and an Active (published author) member of the Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. For more, visit his site Murder and Fries at

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

SMFS Member Guest Post: An Explanation of the Sisters in Crime “We Love Short Stories” Initiative by Debra H. Goldstein

Earlier this week, I referenced the latest issue of the Sisters In Crime Magazine and how there were pieces in it from Jan Christensen and Debra H. Goldstein. Debra contacted me and asked to write about the SIC short story initiative for our SMFS blog and I eagerly accepted. The result of that conversation led to her guest post below.

An Explanation of the Sisters in Crime “We Love Short Stories” Initiative by Debra H. Goldstein

After Bouchercon 2015, then Sisters in Crime President Leslie Budewitz commissioned an ad hoc committee to address concerns being expressed about the health of short story markets. As she noted, many SinC members “got their first publishing credits with short mysteries.  They remain a tremendous avenue for new writers to break in; for published authors, they provide an opportunity to tell stories that would not support a novel or to hold reader interest between books. Other authors simply prefer the form. They’re fun to write, and fun to read.”

The committee, comprised of Debra H. Goldstein (chair), Art Taylor, and Deb Lacey, explored the different markets and found that:

1)         The paying market for short stories has been shrinking,
2)         The print publications traditionally publishing short stories have experienced a major decrease in circulation numbers, and
3)         Online markets, many of short duration, have increased, but few provide paying opportunities for writers.

The committee proposed and the national board adopted the creation of the SinC “We Love Short Stories” initiative. “We Love Short Stories” was launched at Malice Domestic 2016 via an announcement from President Budewitz, followed by an e-mail blast and an article in the inSinC discussing the importance of short stories. To further effectuate this initiative, partnerships were established with several publishers and corporations to provide discounts and other subscription incentives to SinC members. 

It was also decided that articles should appear in each issue of inSinC on writing short stories, finding markets, promotion, understanding what editors want, differences between single and multiple author anthologies, and how to publish stories traditionally and independently. Articles published during the past year include “Why I Write Short Stories” (Ruth Moose), “Ellery Queen Magazine Turns 75” (Art Taylor), “Why Write Short Stories” (Debra H. Goldstein and Mary Jane Maffini), “Success With Short Stories” (Dale T. Phillips), “Short Story Mystery Anthologies” (Debra H. Goldstein), and “Short Mystery Fiction Society” (Jan Christensen). 

Materials were shared with local SinC chapters suggesting programs or activities that could be done to demonstrate “We Love Short Stories.” For example, the Atlanta Sisters in Crime Chapter recently sponsored a community-wide one day day short story workshop taught by four recognized short story writers. In addition to general topics related to craft, skill, and markets, attendees were introduced to the existence of groups, including the Short Mystery Fiction Society. 

Sisters in Crime hopes that promoting short stories through varied opportunities, including workshops, articles, and discounts, will engage readers and writers to take an active role in supporting the short story. Why? – because “We Love Short Stories.”

Debra H. Goldstein ©2016

Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery (Five Star Publishing – April 2016) and the 2012 IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan’s campus. Her short stories and essays have been published in anthologies including Mardi Gras Murder and The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fourth Meal of Mayhem as well as in The Birmingham Arts Journal, More Magazine Online, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable,, Kings River Life Magazine, Over My Dead Body! and Mysterical-E. . Debra serves on the national Sisters in Crime and Guppy Chapter boards and is an MWA member. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, Joel, whose blood runs crimson.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

SMFS Flash and Bang Anthology Mention

Over on the Crime Fiction Lover website in the post  "NTN: How to find new crime authors" the SMFS Anthology Flash and Bang is mentioned as one of a number of good sources to look at for new authors. The November 16th post has anthology suggestions in alphabetical order putting the SMFS approximately in the middle of the page if you go to the website.

My thanks to Sarah M. Chen for bringing this to our attention.

Available in both print and eBook formats the anthology can be purchased at the publisher, Untreed Reads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other fine bookstores.

Kevin R. Tipple

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Short Mystery Fiction Society in the inSinC- December 2016

Past President Jan Christensen has an article in the December issue about SMFS. She explains a little bit about the group and how she became involved in it. The interesting piece is on page 16.

Also in the issue just before that is a two page article from SMFS member Debra Goldstein on "Short Mystery Anthologies." This piece is the first of a two part interview article with editors Michele Slung, Jon Betancourt, and Jay Hartman. Debra also is the Head of the SinC Short Story Initiative adopted by the group under the moniker, "We Love Short Stories."

You can read the December issue of inSinc: The Sisters in Crime Quarterly at:

Lots of good stuff to read so make sure you take a look.

Thank you to Jan Christensen for providing the link to the issue.

Kevin R. Tipple

SleuthSayers: "Writing What I Knew" by SMFS Member John M. Floyd

SleuthSayers: Writing What I Knew: by John M. Floyd How many times have we, as writers, heard that we should "write what we know"? I'm not sure I always agr...