Self Publishing Soup to Nuts

Jessika did a great job on Saturday. If you missed it, you can view the recording here. Jessika Hazelton Zoom Recording. Passcode: 7HG%xD^!

Also, here is the link to the self-publishing pamphlet she mentioned.

If you’re ready to let your inner book out join Jessika Hazelton of The Troy Book Makers to learn the ins and outs of the self-publishing process. From finding an editor, to designing a beautiful book, to selling online and in bookstores, this presentation will cover all the steps of the publishing journey. With over 15 years of working with authors of all experience levels The Troy Book Makers are in a unique position to speak on publishing in general as well as the specifics of self-publishing and the many avenues available for doing so. 

Jessika Hazelton, book lover and cat enthusiast, is the owner of The Troy Book Makers. She received her BFA in writing and publishing from Emerson College before getting her dream job at The Troy Book Makers. After over a decade as an author liaison and graphic designer, working with hundreds of authors, she still thinks she has the best job there is. 

Join us on Zoom on July 22 from 11:00 AM EST to 12:30 PM for this informative session. To get the link, RSVP to our gmail account.

From Representation to Resolution: The Work of a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Brad Barbin

Here is the video of Brad Barbin’s presentation: Passcode: u2sXvC1=

https://sistersincrime-org.zoom.us/rec/share/4P_0fbKdBpzSwXRwn4drbA7XikIEHHMznvUiF6yyZUIGsvWVr1X9LJeSvi4LEeej.qRCZoDjTGfqPtgRx Passcode: u2sXvC1=

Please join us Saturday, June 24, as veteran attorney Brad Barbin discusses the ins and outs of criminal defense work.

Barbin, who has practiced in both state and federal court, will explain his role from the day he’s contacted about representing a defendant until the case is resolved either by a conviction or an acquittal. Along the way, Barbin will describe how defense attorneys interact with clients, prosecutors, and judges, and will leave plenty of time for questions.

Brad’s talk begins at 1 p.m. at the Hilltop branch of the Columbus Public Library at 511 S. Hague Ave. on the city’s west side.

Ohioana is Back

The Ohioana Book Festival is returning to the Columbus Metropolitan Main Library ( 96 S. Grant Ave. Columbus, OH 43215) on Saturday, April 22. There will be book signings from 10:30-5:00 PM as well as author panels and readings from 10:45-4:30. Our own Eileen Curley Hammond and Kandy Williams (moderator) will be part of the Cozy Mystery Panel from 2:30-3:15 PM in the Auditorium, and Andrew Welsh-Huggins will be giving a reading at 2:00 PM in room 2A. We’ll have a table there, so stop by and catch-up. For more information, click here. http://www.ohioana.org/programs/ohioana-book-festival/schedule/

Coming Soon: BCW Writing Critique

Working on that mystery novel? If your fingers are now bloody nubs after the last couple of years in solitude, you’ve probably got a good start on a rough draft or a manuscript of something promising.  So now’s the perfect time for a critique/review by your peers.  For those unfamiliar, it works like this: submit your first chapter / first few pages / opening scene (up to 10 or so pages) by Monday, 3/13 (even sooner is better) to buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com.  And note:  this is a communal event so as ye submit, ye must also critique. 

  • Meeting date: 3/18/23 (Saturday), Noon – 2 p.m., Upper Arlington Main Library, 2800 Tremont Road, Meeting Room B.
  • Due date: 3/13/20 (Monday), midnight.
  • Send manuscripts to buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com. Note: if you submit, you’ll also need to participate as a reviewer.
  • What to send: manuscripts should be 10 pages, maximum (if not starting at the beginning, try to provide a few sentences for context). Manuscripts can be from a budding novel, novella, short story, etc.. Since these are partials, please do not send your entire work.
  • Manuscripts: double-spaced, 1” margins, 12 pt. font (no fancy/cursive fonts please). For simplicity, all submissions should be in the form of Word documents (no PDFs . . . otherwise we can’t return manuscripts with comments). Also, please include your name and email address (necessary for reviewers to email back comments).
  • All reviews will be sent back to the authors so please make any changes/comments using the ‘Track Changes’ and ‘Comments’ feature in Word.
  • If you don’t want to send anything but are happy to be a reviewer, please contact us for copies of submissions.
  • After the meeting, please email your comments of each manuscript back to the author.
  • Please give constructive feedback and remember to be kind.

Sad News From Buckeye Crime Writers

Jim Sabin

Our friend, treasurer, and webmaster, Jim Sabin, died on Friday, January 27th. We will miss his laughter, his dedication, and his love of writing.

Here is his obituary and information about the visitation and service, which will take place on Tuesday, February 7th:

Jim Sabin, age 49, of Canal Winchester, died peacefully on Friday, January 27, 2023, at the OSU Wexner Medical Center after a two-year courageous battle against cancer.
            Jim was born April 24, 1973, in Oregon, Ohio, to Jeanne (Faylor) Sparks and James Sabin. He graduated from Whitmer High School in 1991 and then attended Ohio University, Athens, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Journalism, graduating in 1995. He worked in newspaper journalism for decades, both reporting on various local beats and editing local newspapers. In 2017, he returned to his alma mater, Ohio University, to work in Media Relations.
            Jim was an avid reader and a talented writer, and this writing talent was no more obvious than when documenting his battle against cancer. Music was also one of his passions, and going to concerts with friends or his sons gave him great joy. He loved sports, particularly baseball and his Detroit Tigers – a love he passed on to his younger son, Alex, and shared with the children he coached over the past few years. Family time was important to Jim. He was so proud of his sons, and devoted to his wife, whom he described as his rock. He was a caring, generous, and kind husband and father.
            Jim leaves behind his loving wife of eleven years, Lucy Sabin; sons, Chris and Alex Sabin; mother, Jeanne Sparks; dad, Steve Sparks; siblings, Bill (Megan) and Joe (Coty) Sparks; and various cousins, nieces, nephews, and other loved ones.
            Jim was preceded in death by his grandparents, Richard and Carol Faylor and Joanne and Eldon Dolby; his aunt, Connie Phillips; and his cousin, Christopher Phillips.
            Family and friends are welcome to visit Tuesday, February 7, 2023, from 12 to 2PM at the Dwayne R Spence Funeral Home, Canal Winchester, with a service starting immediately at 2PM. A live streaming of the service will also be available, with a link provided closer to the service date.

There was a lovely tribute to him from the Lancaster Eagle Gazette, which can be found here.

How do you squeeze in a short story or 12?

Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Andrew Welsh-Huggins

Thank you to Andrew for another great presentation. To view the recording, click here. The passcode is V5z2hi#n.

Also, Andrew has several links in the recorded chat but for ease of use, and some additional ones, here they are:

Short Mystery Fiction Society: https://shortmystery.blogspot.com/

Short story tracking websites: Duotrope (https://duotrope.com/) and Submission Grinder (https://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/). 

The William Shunn format, frequently required by magazine and anthology editors:

https://www.shunn.net/format/

And two blogs I didn’t mention but should have:

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine’s Trace Evidence blog: https://trace-evidence.net/

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine’s Something Is Going to Happen blog: https://somethingisgoingtohappen.net/category/ellery-queen-2/

Contributors to both the AHMM and the EQMM blogs provide interesting insights into their writing process, often focusing on short fiction. Once on the site, each page provides a sign-up option via a box that pops up in the bottom right-hand corner.

A New Year means new goals! If you’ve ever thought about writing short stories but didn’t know where to start, have we got a session for you. Andrew Welsh-Huggins, author of the Andy Hayes mystery series, also flexes his creative muscles by crafting short stories. A growing list of his works have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly Magazine, and Mystery Tribune. 

But how does he do it? When is there time and head space for smaller, though still-challenging, projects? Or is writing short pieces just what you need to kickstart your year and get you into a steady habit of writing? Andrew will share tips on how to pen an ideal balance between plot and characterization in a limited space. And writing for an anthology? He’s got you covered there too. If that wasn’t enough, he’ll also dive into how and where to submit your stories–including paying markets. 

Andrew’s latest short story, “The Delivery,” is featured in the newest Mickey Finn volume with the tagline: When a routine drop-off in an Illinois college town goes awry, it’s up to freelance mailman Mercury Carter to set things straight. 

Mark your calendars and join us, via Zoom, Saturday, Jan. 21, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. when Andrew shares his insights.

Mickey Finn: 21st Century Noir, Volume 3

Christmas-y short stories!

We had a fabulous holiday party back on Dec. 3, and we wanted to share our short stories! As a reminder, here were the rules:

  • Must involve the following 5 words: 1) mint, 2) pine, 3) wrap, 4) flake and 5) mug. All 5 words must be included in the story, although plurals and transmogrifications are accepted (e.g., ‘flakes’ and ‘snowflake’). Words may also be used as proper nouns, have more than one meaning, etc. (Be creative)!
  • Participants can be BCW members or anyone attending the holiday party. But you must attend the party to win a prize!
  • Extra points for holiday themes, but keep in mind what we write (mysteries, thrillers, suspense, etc.).

On to the stories:

A Yeti’s Revenge

By Kandy Williams

“Mint green!”

“Pine green!”

Vlad the yeti sighed to himself as the gnomes argued. No one cared what shade of green they painted the mayor’s sleigh for the parade. Especially not Vlad.

Mayor Marty had scoffed and laughed in his face.

You? Open a shop here at the North Pole, selling snowflake macramé wall hangings? With your ugly mug?”

Vlad let it go. Although the gnomes ran a gluten-free wraps shop. And Mrs. Claus sold cheeses made from yaks’ milk in the off season. True abominations.

For today, he’d focus on the parade—and the expression on the mayor’s face when the triggered avalanche buried him in that green sleigh.

Special delivery

By Jim Sabin

Leo couldn’t understand it. His order had been simple – a nice, dark hot chocolate he could transfer to a mug and sit by the fire, wrapped in his favorite blanket. But no, the delivery driver had brought him a mint hot chocolate instead. It was the third time this week he’d gotten the wrong order, all from the same driver. The lady was flaky, sure, but three times? But Leo had figured it out. He’d followed her to her car this time, found she had his proper hot cocoa in it, and now she was resting peacefully under the pine tree out back. And the fire was so delightful.

Party Preparation

By Eileen Curley Hammond

Kandy Kane swigged the minty-fresh mouthwash. She was late, like always, but this time she had a good excuse—Sammy Flake.

Turns out Sammy was trying to weasel in on their trade—cute Christmas mugs. Dogs, cats, ponies, you name it, they etched it. Well, she wasn’t about to let him take money from her pocket. No siree. People automatically thought she was soft cause of her name. They had that wrong.

Sammy now rested six feet under near the big pine on Jefferson. He looked pretty good wrapped in her trademark red and white stripes.

My Cat

By Eliza Lee

“Beepbeepbeep!

Alpine Taxi had arrived early (and loudly).

I gulped the last of my coffee, rinsed the mug, and then snatched up a protesting Peppermint to place her into her carrier.

Black duffle (some metal clanking inside) in one hand, and Peppermint’s carrier in the other, I took one last look around the living room – the blood spatter, chunks of brain matter, and a mangled mound of flesh, now tightly wrapped in plastic.

I smiled.

I did warn him. She is my cat.

I turned to step out into the fluffy, drifting snowflakes of Christmas Eve, waving to the driver.

2022 BCW Holiday Event is Dec. 3 (Part Deux)

For the second year in a row since (the plague whose name shall not be spoken), it’s on again: the BCW Holiday Event! At the same place (the Rusty Bucket at 180 Market Street, New Albany, OH)! At the same time (noon – 2:00 p.m., or thereabouts)! Saturday, Dec. 3! With the same people (us)! And since we’re slaves to tradition, we’ll be doing the same stuff, including the short story contest and book swap. Check out the itinerary below:

Vote for Board Members: It’s that time again. Note: You do not need to attend the holiday event to vote, but you must contact us prior to the event to count (feel free to reach us at buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com). And we’re always looking for volunteers so don’t be shy. If you have skills or just want to help out, we’re not as scary as we look.

Upcoming Events for 2023: We had 10 presentations in 2022, including a couple of actual in-person events. The others were Zoom presentations that included participating SIC chapters from around the country and abroad. It’s been crazy busy lately and we’re still working on 2023, but come find out what we’re looking into.

Story Contest: It’s on again, with prizes of dubious value awarded to the wieners. And in BCW, everybody’s a wiener. So you’re virtually guaranteed to win something . . . unless we get like a hundred people, in which case some prizes may be a hearty handshake accompanied with a resounding ‘attagurl/attaboy.’ But if interested, see details below.

Book Swap: Yeah, baby (said in a culturally stale Austin Powers voice). You know the drill by now; each person brings a wrapped book to be swapped with someone else. Note: This applies to all attendees (BCW members, friends, spouses, dates, children, people who wandered into the dining space looking for the bathroom, and those giving us a look-see for the first time). Once the books are distributed the ‘receivers’ will unwrap them, and the ‘givers’ will provide their reason for choosing that particular book (terrific characters, plot with a surprise twist, inspired writing, etc.). And the book swap will be accompanied, per usual, by the hilarious and confusing Right/Left story recitation, in memoriam to our own Carolyn Melvin, a.k.a. ‘Sweet Mama,’ who passed away this summer (and always handled the Right/Left storytelling at past BCW events). So be prepared to give a short summation of your gift, and to receive one in return.

Story Contest rules:

  • 100 words maximum.
  • Must involve the following 5 words: 1) mint, 2) pine, 3) wrap, 4) flake and 5) mug. All 5 words must be included in the story, although plurals and transmogrifications are accepted (e.g., ‘flakes’ and ‘snowflake’). Words may also be used as proper nouns, have more than one meaning, etc. (Be creative)!
  • Participants can be BCW members or anyone attending the holiday party. But you must attend the party to win a prize!
  • Extra points for holiday themes, but keep in mind what we write (mysteries, thrillers, suspense, etc.). Don’t be afraid to let out your inner Kay Scarpetta . . . bwahahaha!
  • Submit entries to buckeyecrimewriters@gmail.com no later than midnight, Thursday, Dec. 1. Please include the name of the author. One entry per attendee, please. Top finishers will be presented at the holiday party Saturday, Dec. 3, with awards to be determined.

And there you go. Mark your calendars and start scribbling . . . the 2022 BCW Holiday Event is now official. Like they say on the monster truck commercials, ‘If you’re not there, you better be dead or in jail, and if you’re in jail, BREAK OUT.’ See you there!

Story Architecture: Strategies for Planning Before Writing

Tracee de Hahn

What a great session! Thanks to Tracee for a wonderful presentation. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here. The passcode is Lr@LB0%V

Join us via Zoom from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 12 as we learn from SinC National Board Member Tracee de Hahn.

Whether you are a plotter, pantser, or somewhere in between, your book deserves a strategy. What is your springboard, and where do you want to end? We’ll talk strategy, without sending everyone into a plotter or pantser camp. 

Tracee writes the Agnes Lüthi mystery series set in Switzerland. Born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, she grew up in Kentucky. She currently lives in Virginia. Prior to writing fiction, Tracee began her career in the practice of architecture, using the need to see great buildings as an excuse to travel. After several years in Switzerland and receiving an advanced degree in European history, she turned her hand to the non-profit world, eventually running alumni relations for a west coast university.

Coming in October: The Business of Writing

Ray Wenck

You’ve written a book and gotten it published (traditionally or independent). Now what?

Join Ray Wenck as he talks about his journey and how he views the business of writing.

Writers should understand their reason for writing. If your goal is to profit from your writing, learn how to optimize your business to attain those goals using all of the tools available.

This will be our first in-person meeting in quite some time, and it’s going to be a good one. Please join us from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Old Worthington Library, 820 High Street, Worthington. There will also be a late lunch afterward to continue the conversation, should you so desire.

The cover of Ray’s latest release, Amazon Best Seller, “Fractured World,” is below.

Fractured World/Ray Wenck