Desert Sleuths Chapter
of Sisters in Crime

An Organization for Writers, Readers, and Fans of Crime Fiction and Mystery 


Desert Sleuths is a proud member of Sisters in Crime, an international organization that promotes the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers. Sisters in Crime helps women achieve equality in the industry by raising professionalism, serving as the voice for excellence, and achieving diversity in crime writing.

Desert Sleuths is located in the Phoenix Metropolitan area and serves members throughout the State of Arizona and beyond! Our members include bestselling, award-winning authors, emerging writers, fans of mysteries and crime stories, and other writers of other genres. We are an inclusive organization. Whatever your gender, level of experience, or genre, you are welcome to join us!


Current Events

Due to their popularity, Desert Sleuths is continuing hybrid (virtual and in-person) programs throughout 2024. We encourage local members to join us in person at the Tempe Public Library and those farther away to continue using Zoom.

Member Meeting: 6:00 p.m.; Presentation: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
The current month program is highlighted below. See our entire month-by-month programming under the 2024 Events page.

April 2024

Wednesday, April 17th, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Chapter Meeting at 6:00 p.m.; Presentation from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
(East Coast: add 3 hours; Central, add 2; MT, add 1; Pacific, subtract 0)

The Long Road to Overnight Success, with Craig Johnson

3 images: The Longmire Defense book cover, author Craig Johnson, Robert Taylor as Walt Longmire on cover of Cowboys & Indians magazine
The Longmire Defense, author Craig Johnson, and Robert Taylor as Walt Longmire

Join us for a very special presentation from Craig Johnson, the New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire mystery novels, the basis for Longmire, the hit Netflix original drama. He has graciously offered to share his writing journey, from growing up in West Virginia, to the earliest days of writing, to his Netflix success (with over 4 million viewers), to his most recent and upcoming novels. You will not want to miss this event.

Bio: Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire mystery novels, which are the basis for Longmire, the hit Netflix original drama. The books have won multiple awards: Le Prix du Polar Nouvel Observateur/Bibliobs, the Wyoming Historical Association’s Book of the Year, Le Prix 813, the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award, the Mountains & Plains Book of the Year, the SNCF Prix de Polar, Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, The Watson Award, Library Journal’s Best Mystery of the Year, the Rocky, and the Will Rogers Award for Fiction. Spirit of Steamboat was selected by the Wyoming State Library as the inaugural One Book Wyoming. Johnson lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population twenty-six.

Preregistration required. Presentations are virtual unless the speaker is in the Greater Phoenix area. Then we may announce an in-person location and have a hybrid meeting. You will receive a confirmation message with the information for attending in person or to register on Zoom.

Please register on Zoom before the event.
(Registration will be available a few days after the March program has ended.)

Members, please come to the chapter member meeting at 6:00 p.m.

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May 2024

Saturday, May 11th, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (MST)
(East Coast: add 3 hours; Central, add 2; MT, add 1; Pacific, subtract 0)

Workshop $25 Desert Sleuths and TSinC members, $35 all others

Four or Five Key Points on the Short Story
A virtual workshop with Art Taylor

Man with glasses in a dark blue shirt smiles gently at the camera
Art Taylor

Short stories must start quickly—middle of the action. The final lines need to wrap everything up—and offer a surprise plot twist. Between start and finish, every word must count. Oh, and the best word count: 5000. (Don’t go over!)

In this virtual workshop, Edgar Award-winning short story author Art Taylor offers fresh insights and perspectives into some of the “rules” for writing short fiction—and offers tools for writers to use in drafting, revising, and putting the final polish to their own stories.

While this workshop is one of several offerings to help our members get their stories into shape for the upcoming anthology, SOWEST: DANGER AWAITS!, we encourage others to take advantage of this learning opportunity and improve your short story skills.

Bio: Art Taylor is the Edgar Award-winning author of two short story collections—The Adventure of the Castle Thief and Other Expeditions and Indiscretions and The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74 and Other Tales of Suspenseand of the novel in stories On the Road with Del & Louise, winner of the Agatha Award for Best First NovelHe won the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Short Story for “English 398: Fiction Workshop,” originally published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and he has won three additional Agatha Awards, an Anthony Award, four Macavity Awards, and four Derringer Awards for his short fiction.

Taylor’s work has also appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, and he edited Murder Under the Oaks: Bouchercon Anthology 2015, winner of the Anthony Award for Best Anthology or Collection, and California Schemin’: Bouchercon Anthology 2020. He is an associate professor of English at George Mason University, and he has contributed frequently to the Washington Post, the Washington Independent Review of Books, and Mystery Scene Magazine.

You can find Taylor at:


X (aka Twitter):



Preregistration Required: The workshop will be conducted via Crowdcast, but you will register on our site and receive a confirmation message after you complete your payment. 

If you already have a Crowdcast account, please register with us using the same address you use on Crowdcast. That will remove one step from your being ready to attend. If you do not have a Crowdcast account (it’s free), you will be asked by Crowdcast to create one after we upload the registrations to their platform. You must follow through with that to get into the workshop and to view the workshop again after the event has concluded.

One week before the workshop, you will receive a confirmation message from Crowdcast with the login link.

(East Coast: add 3 hours; Central, add 2; MT, add 1; Pacific, subtract 0)

Desert Sleuths and Tucson SinC members, we will confirm your membership before submitting your registration to Crowdcast.

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All 2024 Events

It’s all over except the replay!

WriteNOW! Conference Logo
WriteNOW! Conference

WriteNow! 2023, September 22-23, 2023

Named Best Writers Conference in Arizona (2020, The Writer magazine)

Arizona’s premiere mystery/crime writers conference for authors, readers, and enthusiasts welcomes writers from all genres. WriteNow! 2023 will again be virtual, with an in-person anthology release and author signing.

With a focus on Craft ♦ Publish ♦ Market, there’s something for writers at all stages. Friday’s Pre-conference program includes one-on-ones with agents, manuscript assessments by an editor, and a marketing workshop. Saturday’s Main Conference has interviews, presentations, and a craft workshop.

Details are on our conference page.

2023 Events 


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All 2022 Events


Covid-19 Guidelines from SinC National and AZ DHS

SinC National has published their meeting guidelines for this stage of the Covid-19 pandemic:

2021 In-Person Meetings Guidelines

The AZ DHS has as well:

Arizona Department of Health Services recommendations


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