Desert Sleuths Chapter
of Sisters in Crime

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


Our Desert Sleuths chapter 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.

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

May Meeting: Getting Your Query Right with Karen Odden on Wednesday, May 19th

 In the workshop, “Can I Hook You on My Book? Tips for Writing Effective Query Letters to Agents,” Karen Odden draws on industry research and her interviews with agents including Josh Getzler (HG Literary), Paula Munier (Talcott Notch Literary), and Melissa Richter (Fuse Literary) to provide current advice about the query letter, which is really a genre all its own. Even for established writers, it is a challenge to take a book of 80,000-100,000 words that we know and love (and of which we no doubt have sections memorized!) and not only distill it down to fewer than 300 words but to go “meta” on it in a way that will entice an agent. Like a good novel, the effective QL both tells and shows that you and your manuscript are ready to be represented.

Karen begins with a discussion of how to find agents to query. She then breaks the QL into four parts—(1) shape the hook, (2) pitch the book, (3) pitch you, and (4) KISS at the close—and provides examples of both poorly crafted elements and more effective ones. She offers “rules of thumb” to help writers avoid pitfalls as well as “instant turnoffs”—elements that cause an agent to set aside the letter. Attendees will be shown two successful query letters and will be given Paula Munier and Melissa Richter’s query information.

June Meeting: A Conversation with Historical Mystery Author Ann Parker

Updates soon. Save the date: June 16th.

Monthly Meetings

On the third Wednesday of the month, we meet to hone our skills, learn how to get published, promote our work, and network with other crime fiction writers. Our guest speakers include professionals in the writing and law enforcement industries, including publishers, editors, and other authors.

6:30p-7:00 pm Business meeting and chapter check-in
7:00-8:00 pm Speaker
Meetings are held via Zoom. All members receive an email with the details in the monthly newsletter and a day or two before the meeting.

(Nonmembers please email desertsleuths at Gmail dot com to request a one-time guest pass.)