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.

March 2024

“Writing Adjacent” for Fun and Profit: What & Why & How to Write Beyond Your Fiction, with Kirsche Romo, Kelly Oliver, and Sharon Short

Wednesday, March 20th, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Chapter Meeting at 6:00 p.m.; Presentation from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Your primary project may be to write a novel or novella or short stories. But whether you are an emerging or established writer, there are advantages to working in other genres and finding other places (in print and online) to publish your shorter pieces.

build street cred | hone your writing skills | raise professional visibility | earn extra cash

image with 3 presenters: Romo, Oliver, Short
Romo, Oliver, Short

In this panel, these three established and award-winning mystery authors— Kirsche Romo, Kelly Oliver, and Sharon Short—will discuss some of their “other writing” that is ancillary to their novel writing but adds value to their brand. Combined, these authors have written hundreds of book reviews for numerous publications, developed a newsletter with tens of thousands of subscribers, contributed a regular column in Writer’s Digest for four years running, and more.

They will discuss how they started on these “adjacent” paths. You will Learn How To:

  • find places that will welcome your writing,
  • pitch your writing,
  • balance “adjacent” writing with your primary project, and
  • where they find their ideas, as well as
  • some “do’s and don’ts” for pursuing these other avenues.

This will be a panel discussion with 15 minutes for Q&A at the end.

Bio: Kirsche Romo (K.L. Romo) writes about life on the fringe. She is passionate about women’s issues, loves noisy clocks and fuzzy blankets, but HATES the word normal. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, for which she directs the QueryFest program at ThrillerFest, and is Assistant Editor of their entertainment website, The Big Thrill. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Bio: Kelly Oliver is the award-winning and bestselling author of three mystery series: the seven-book suspense Jessica James Mysteries; the three-book middle grade Pet Detective Mysteries; and the seven-book historical cozy Fiona Figg Mysteries (with spin-off Fiona Figg & Kitty Lane Mysteries). She is the current President of Sisters in Crime.

Bio: Sharon Short is the author of fifteen published books. Her newest, Trouble Island, is historical suspense inspired by bootlegging and family history. Sharon is a contributing editor to Writer’s Digest, for which she writes the column, “Level Up Your Writing (Life)” and teaches for Writer’s Digest University. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

Preregistration required. Presenters are virtual unless they are already in the area. Select in-person or virtual. The Virtual Presentation is on Zoom. In-person attendance is at the Tempe Public Library. 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.
(East Coast: add 3 hours; Central, add 2; Pacific, subtract 0)

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

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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