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Speakers Bureau

Libraries, bookstores, schools and community groups have discovered the rewards of offering mystery fans programs from the Sisters in Crime New England Speakers Bureau.

From Woonsocket, Rhode Island, to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, published mystery writers speak to packed houses about the trials and jubilations of plying the mystery craft.

Typically, a panel of three published authors address a topic chosen by the sponsoring organization. Some favorite topics are listed below. Individual speakers, pairs of speakers or panels are available. All speakers are members of Sisters in Crime New England.

To see currently scheduled Speakers Bureau events, click Speaker Events


Here are some suggested panel topics. If you don't see what you want here, feel free to inquire.

It's a Mystery to Me: Authors describe the writing process—getting that first idea, creating characters, doing the research, and the daily writing schedule that gets it done.

The Modern Heroine: Single mothers, cops, attorneys, journalists—today's heroines balance relationships and careers, leap over sexist obstacles, and rescue themselves from danger. Women authors are redefining the genre. Find out how they create strong women characters.

Stealing from the Dead—Ideas and Where We Gets Them:
  You don't need to be an international spy to write a page-turning thriller. How to put a new twist on an old plot, search newspapers, visit courtrooms, learn to discover plots right in your own neighborhood.

Using What You Know to Write a Mystery: Been a housewife? A domestic worker? Single parent? Lived in a creepy old house? You think your life's been boring--but exciting plots are buried in your own expertise. Finding the clues to the novel only you can write.

How to Create Characters: Contrary to popular belief, most mystery writers don't use their family and friends in their books, at least not directly. Hear how writers find their characters, the good ones and the bad ones, and how writing a fictional character may differ from the real-life bad guys.

The Modern Historical: The new historical mystery is set in the twenty-first century; writers are using the techniques of the historical to look at their readers' history, and their own.

Publicity Today: Mystery authors today not only have to write a good book, but help it get into the right hands. Learn how to toot your own horn, write your own blog, and plan your own publicity.

Death in Shorts: Many mystery novelists also write murderous short stories. Learn how writers plot, construct and populate the mystery short story, from the light-hearted to the noir.

Mystery Making: How They Do It, an Interactive Panel on Plotting: Four mystery authors (two thriller/suspense ones and tow cozy/traditional ones) will demonstrate how they plot their books, using bits of information randomly selected from the audience.


Contact: For more information or to book an event contact Leslie Wheeler at

Fees: There are no fees, but if your library or organization normally offers honoraria, our writers appreciate them. Whenever possible we ask for $50.00 per author, and many organizations are able to offer more, which we appreciate.

Books: We also appreciate the opportunity to sign books, provided either by the speakers or by a local bookstore or library Friends organization.

Brochure: You can download our Speakers Bureau brochure

Hints and tips: Click here for Planning for a Successful Library Event a helpful and informative article by Kate Flora