2023 Events

Upcoming Events
Desert Sleuths

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

See our 2023 events below.

Please note: If you’re not a member of Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths, you can attend up to 2 chapter presentations before we’ll ask you to please join the chapter. This permits us to have guests while maintaining the overall programming as a membership benefit.


Jan     Feb     Mar     Apr     May     Jun     Jul     Aug     Sept     Oct     Nov     Dec


January 2023

Jan 18th: How to Make Your Dialogue Sing

Dialogue can be one of the trickiest elements of writing fiction – but done right, it can grab your reader’s attention from page one. Discover how in Maggie King’s craft workshop, How to Make Your Dialogue Sing.

Dialogue should always do one or more of the following: provide information; reveal aspects of characters and their relationships with each other; create mood, conflict, and tension; and move things along, advancing the plot.

Maggie explores these essentials of dialogue for writers of every fiction genre. Topics include:

  • Characterization
  • How to make dialogue realistic
  • Dialogue tags
  • Action beats
  • Formatting internal thoughts
  • Proper use of punctuation
  • Balancing between dialogue and narration
  • How to use slang, dialect, and profanity
  • And more

Beginning and seasoned authors will benefit from Maggie’s practical advice and specific examples. In no time, they can improve their technique and increase their chances of success in the marketplace. And their dialogue will sing!

Maggie King smiling with short, reddish brown hair, gold hoop earring, and black shirt.
Maggie King

Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, Death by Cupcake, and Murder by the Glass.

Maggie is a member of James River Writers, International Thriller Writers, and Short Mystery Fiction Society, and is a founding member of Sisters in Crime Central Virginia, where she manages the chapter’s Instagram account. In addition, she serves Sisters in Crime National as a member of the Social Media team. Maggie graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. degree in Business Administration, and has worked as a software developer, customer service supervisor, and retail sales manager. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive.

Website: http://www.maggieking.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaggieKingAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormaggieking/

Buy link for Laughing Can Kill You: https://bookshop.org/p/books/laughing-can-kill-you-maggie-king/17789945

Preregister at: https://bit.ly/3uK7uMi


February 2023

February 15, 6:30 p.m. : Working with Book Bloggers with Dru Ann Love and Kristopher Zgorski

Are you interested in starting a blog of your own? Or trying to get your books on the radar of the book blogging community? We hope so — because across every social media platform, book blogs reach avid readers and publishing professionals, providing incredible marketing opportunities to book reviewers and authors alike.

Dru Ann (of dru’s book musings) and Kristopher (of BOLO Books) are two MWA Raven-Award-Winning bloggers with thousands of followers. Reprising their highly praised and popular presentation from the 2022 New England Crime Bake conference, they will share some sure-fire ways to develop your own blog and get your published book noticed by these increasingly valuable–but also increasingly busy–marketing outlets.

You will leave this session knowing you have gained beneficial insights that will increase your chances of positive and effective interactions with these unpaid resources, regardless of whether you are a newbie or a veteran of the crime fiction community. And if you’re starting a blog, you’ll hear proven tips from the experts on how to succeed in this fun but challenging arena.

Photo of Dru Ann Love
Dru Ann Love

Dru Ann Love reportedly spends her working hours at the mysterious daytime situation. Her non-working hours are spent less reclusively on dru’s book musings, her award-winning blog where the “day in the life,” “get to know you,” and “word with the author” segments are prominently featured beside her short “my musing” reviews. She is an avid reader who loves traveling, sci-fi movies, and is happy to be in her element  within the mystery community.

In 2017, Love was awarded the Mystery Writers of America Raven Award for “outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing.” Dru’s book musings was also nominated for the Anthony Award in 2015 for Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work and in 2018 for Best Online Content. Love was previously Fan Guest of Honor at Domestic Malice (2022) and will be Fan Guest of Honor at Left Coast Crime (2023) and Bouchercon (2023). She has been a member of both Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America since 2011. Website: https://drusbookmusing.com/

Kris Zgorski in white and gray striped shirt wearing glasses leaning against a railing.
Kris Zgorski

Kristopher Zgorski is the founder and sole reviewer at the crime fiction book blog, BOLO Books. In 2018, he was awarded the Mystery Writers of America Raven Award for “outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing.” Kristopher writes a column on digital crime fiction resources for every issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and his blog reviews are syndicated to his column in Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine. He has previously served on the board of directors for Malice Domestic, a crime fiction convention celebrating the traditional mystery. Kristopher has been a member of Sisters in Crime since 2017 and was most recently the Fan Guest of Honor at Left Coast Crime in Albuquerque, New Mexico in early 2022.








March 2023



April 2023




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August 2023




September 2023

Write Now! 2023, September 22-23, 2023, Details TBD

WriteNOW! Conference – Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter

WriteNowBannerArizona’s premiere mystery/crime writers conference for authors, readers, and enthusiasts welcomes writers from all genres. With panel discussions on Craft | Publishing | Marketing, and pre-conference sessions that include one-on-ones with agents and marketing specialists and manuscript assessments by an editor, there’s something for writers at all stages. Named Best Writers Conference in Arizona (2020, The Writer magazine).


October 2023




November 2023



December 2023

End of Year Member Holiday Party: Details TBD