Anthologies

SOWEST: DANGER AWAITS!

Releasing in September 2025: Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Anthology – Desert Sleuths Book 11, Book 9 in the SoWest series

Submissions accepted 9/1/2024 – January 4, 2025

Take advantage of short story presentations, workshops, and other programming we’re offering to enhance your short story writing skills, then submit your best.

Contributing authors will be selected through a blind judging process by the editors of the 2025 anthology. Claire A Murray (lead editor), Meg E Dobson, Eva Eldridge, Suzanne E Flaig, Sarah Smith.

Eligibility
  • You must be a Desert Sleuths member in good standing, with dues paid to both National SinC and Desert Sleuths, in 2024 and 2025 to be eligible. Your 2024 membership must be active before submissions open.
  • Any accepted author who does not renew SinC National and Desert Sleuths memberships in 2025 will be dropped from the anthology.
  • Not a member? Join Now! (before 9/1/24 to be eligible to submit)
Criteria
  • A crime or mystery must be a primary element of the story with an element of danger awaiting the main character.
  • The central storyline must take place in, and be clearly recognizable as, Arizona.
  • Timeframe can be contemporary, futuristic, or historical. Any subgenre of crime/mystery is permitted. Be creative!
  • Maximum word count: 5,000 words (Note: this is an increase over previous anthologies)
  • Authors may submit up to two original, unpublished (print, self, e-format) stories written to the theme. If both stories from an author are accepted, only one story will appear. Please note that webzine and other online venues constitute “published.”
  • Stories should be sensitive to people of diverse backgrounds, in line with National Sisters in Crime’s goals for Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. See here for resources.
    • We’re not asking for diversity stories; we’re merely reminding authors that people from backgrounds other than our own, if we include them in our stories, should be represented without tropes, stereotypes, and mistakes.
  • We do not accept stories that feature abuse of children or animals or with gratuitous violence or sex.
  • Full guidelines regarding formatting and submission will be available here in April.

Our Prior Anthologies

Image with 10 book covers
Previous Desert Sleuths Anthologies

 

All are available in paperback or as ebook on Amazon

SoWest: Wrong Turn

Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Anthology – Book 10

image: Front Cover for SoWest: Wrong Turn
SoWest: Wrong Turn

Cover Design: Maegan Beaumont
Submissions Coordinator/Proofreader: Margaret C. Morse
Lead Editor: Claire A Murray
Co-Editors: Meg E Dobson, Suzanne Flaig
, Sarah Smith

Congratulations to the 16 authors who were chosen in a blind submissions process and gave us these engaging tales of assassins, serial killers, family, motherhood, survival, trust, abuse, escape, blackmail, espionage, and romance … where one wrong turn made a difference.

Autographed copies are available at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore. Paperback and ebook also available on Amazon.

SoWest: Wrong Turn authors (** indicates first fiction publication)

Patricia A. Bonn ♦ Lauren Buckingham ♦ Susan Budavari ♦ Jo Burrough** ♦
William D. Butler ♦ Meg E Dobson ♦ Suzanne E Flaig ♦ Roberta Gibson ♦
Laura MacKenzie** ♦ Kim McCavan ♦ Kathy McIntosh ♦ Susan Cummins Miller ∙
Claire A Murray ♦ D.R. Ransdell ♦ Paula Barr Skillicorn ♦ Joseph S. Walker

SoWest: Love Kills

Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Anthology – Book 9

SoWest: Love Kills

Published: September 10, 2021

Available on Amazon Kindle

Lead Editor & Cover Design: Maegan Beaumont
Co-Editors: Deborah J Ledford, Susan Budavari, Shannon Baker, Roni Olson, Meg Dobson

Contributing authors were chosen using a blind submission process. Congratulations to our 2021 authors:

Shannon Baker
Mysti Berry
Meredith Blevins
Patricia Bonn
Lauren Buckingham
Susan Budavari
William D. Butler
Patricia Curren
Meg Dobson
Beverly Forsyth
Denise Ganley
Roberta Gibson
Katherine Herbert
Tom Leveen
Susan Cummins Miller
Charlotte Morganti
Julie Morrison
Claire A. Murray
Kris Neri
Karen Odden
Roni Olson
DR Ransdell
Kim Rivery
Elena Smith

SoWest: Ladykillers

Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology – Book 8

Dive into the shadowy pockets of Arizona—a world of schemes, ancient magic, mystical landscapes, and big-city intrigue. Between the covers of SoWest: Ladykillers you will meet brazen culprits, venomous victims, and heroines who let their bold colors fly. Be prepared! Anything can happen with ladykillers on the loose.

“I love the way these skilled writers turn murder into entertainment. A great read!” ~ Anne Hillerman

Contributing authors: Shannon Baker, Mysti Berry, Meredith Blevins, Susan Budavari, William Butler, Patricia Curren, Meg E. Dobson, Suzanne Flaig, Katherine Atwell Herbert, Alec Hillbo, Arthur Kerns, Jay Kinney, Deborah J Ledford, Merle McCann, C.W. Miiller, Kwinn Mitchell, Timothy W. Moore, Julie Morrison, Kris Neri, Toni Niesen, R K Olson, Tamera Zarr.

Lead Editor: Deborah J Ledford. Co-Editors: Susan Budavari, R K Olson, Meredith Blevins. Cover Design: Maegan Beaumont.

SoWest: Killer Nights

Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology – Book 7

SoWest: Killer NightsThe sun descends over the mountains and valleys of the
Arizona desert. Under cover of darkness, evil flourishes. Not afraid of the dark? You will be. Desert Sleuths offer 20 tales in the latest edition of their award-winning anthology series. Grab a flashlight. Pull the covers over your head. SoWest: Killer Nights will keep you awake until sunrise.

“SoWest: Killer Nights showcases twenty southwest crime tales filled with suspense, tension and action. A great read.” ~ Clive Cussler, International Bestselling author

Authors: Shannon Baker, Mary Ball, Rebecca Boschee, Susan Budavari, Bill Butler, Meg E. Dobson, Wendy Fallon, Suzanne Flaig, Connie Flynn, Deborah J Ledford, Sharon Lynn, Merle McCann, Kathy McIntosh, Dana McNeely, Timothy W. Moore, LaDonna Ockinga, R K Olson, Judy Starbuck, Kari Wainwright, JoAnne Zeterberg.

Lead Editor: Connie Flynn. Co-Editors: Susan Budavari, Ann Ciemnoczolowski, Meg E. Dobson, Merle McCann, R K Olson. Editorial Advisor and Formatter: Deborah J Ledford. Cover Layout: Kästle Olson
Available in Print and for Kindle

SoWest: So Deadly

So West: So Deadly AnthologySisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology – Book 6

BEST ANTHOLOGY 2016 FINALIST AWARDS: International Book Awards ~International Readers Favorites Awards ~ New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards ~ USA Best Book Awards

Murder. Revenge. Blackmail. Greed. Envy. Corruption. From the glamorous soirées of power brokers to gritty, dark alleys to snowy mountain hideaways—the twists and turns keep coming. The Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter presents 22 whip-smart stories in their award-winning anthologies series.

Authors: Isabella Maldonado, Nancy Hart Newcomer, Susan Budavari, Kate Joy Steele, Connie Flynn, M. Evonne Dobson, Teresa Waggoner, Bill Butler, Denise Todd, Merle McCann, Suzanne Flaig, Kaye Owen, Laurie Fagen, Yvonne M. Corrigan-Carr, Katherine Atwell Herbert, Robert Dukelow, Mary Ball, Kris Neri, Susan Cummins Miller, Lori Hines, Jacinda J. Power, Patricia Bonn.
Lead Editor: Yvonne M. Corrigan-Carr.
Editors: Susan Budavari, Susan Cummins Miller, Merle McCann, Meg E Dobson, Dana King-Esquer.
Editorial Advisor and Formatter: Deborah J Ledford.
Consulting Editor: Donna T. Hanna.
Cover Layout: Kästle Olson

SoWest: Crime Time

So West: Crime TimeSisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology – Book 5

Ever been in the wrong place, at the wrong time? Feel safe where you are now? In this volume from the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter, 20 authors show why you need to keep your guard up. Be ready to react. In the desert, in the mountains, in the Valley towns of Arizona, when you least expect it…It’s CRIME TIME.

Authors: Shannon Baker, Susan Budavari, Yvonne M. Corrigan-Carr, Laurie Fagen, Katherine Atwell Herbert, Machelle Langseth, Isabella Maldonado, Isabella Maldonado, Merle McCann, Margaret Morse, Kris Neri, Nancy Hart Newcomer, Toni Niesen, R K Olson, Cathy Ann Rogers, Martin Roselius, Amy Schuster, Jackie Sereno, Louise M. Signorelli, Kate Joy Steele, Kari Wainwright.
Lead Editor: Deborah J Ledford.
Editors: Nancy McCurry, Susan Budavari, Merle McCann

SoWest: Desert Justice

SWDJ Front Cover Final - jpegSisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology – Book 4

~ SUSPENSE MAGAZINE’S BEST ANTHOLOGY OF 2012 LIST ~

Evil abounds…Frustrations mount…Calls for revenge cry out! In this volume, Desert Sleuths Sisters in Crime offers 20 tales you won’t forget. Victims fight back, police pursue bad guys, scores are evened…but when all else fails, get a taste for how the desert claims its own!

Authors: Shannon Baker, Susan Budavari, Laurie Fagen, Suzanne Flaig, Arthur Kerns, Deborah J Ledford, Elizabeth R. Marshall, Merle McCann, Margaret Morse, Kris Neri, Nancy Hart Newcomer, Toni Niesen, Virginia Nosky, R K Olson, Cathy Ann Rogers, Martin Roselius, Amy Schuster, Judy Starbuck, Judith Starkston, Kate Joy Steele.
Lead Editor: Deborah J Ledford.

Editors: Nancy McCurry, Susan Budavari, Sally J. Smith, Berkley Bosch

SoWest, So Wild

Named as Finalist for Best Anthology of 2011 by Suspense Magazine
Named as Finalist for Best Anthology of 2011 by Suspense Magazine

Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology – Book 3

Murder and mayhem western style. The Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime offers 20 exciting tales. Everything from old-time shootouts to modern day forensics, noir to comedy can be found in this compelling anthology. Walk on the wild side of the Southwest, as Arizona celebrates its centennial year. Hang up your spurs, kick back and enjoy!

Authors: JoAnne Zeterberg, Howard “Doc” Carron, Margaret Morse, Virginia Nosky, Kris Neri, Isabella Maldonado, Susan Budavari, Barbara Goodson, Lori Hines, Martin Roselius, CR Bolinski, Amy Schuster, Toni Niesen, Carrie Sears Bell, Judy Starbuck, Nancy Newcomer, Merle McCann, Leslie Kohler, Deborah J Ledford, Nancy McCurry.
Lead Editor: Deborah J Ledford.

Editors: Nancy McCurry, Isabella Maldonado, Virginia Nosky

How NOT to Survive a Vacation

Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology – Book 2

From Hawaii to Bar Harbor, from Alaskan cruise ships to Arizona ghost towns, this showcase of 18 original short stories from the talented Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter ranges from humorous to noir, from suspense to cozies. Murder, revenge, passion, treachery and greed abound in this exceptional anthology–the perfect traveler’s guide to all things criminal and mysterious.

Authors: JoAnne Zeterberg, R K Olson, Merle McCann, Diana Manley, Susan Budavari, Marty Roselius, Chantelle Aimée Osman, Kris Neri, Barbara Goodson, Judy Starbuck, Connie Flynn, Lori Hines, Deborah J Ledford, Suzanne Flaig, Howard Carron, Robin Merrill, Nancy Nielson Redd, Margaret Morse.

Editors: Chantelle Aimée Osman, Deborah J Ledford, Suzanne Flaig, Merle McCann.

How NOT to Survive the Holidays

Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology – Book 1

The perfect gift! Start with a four-legged detective who fancies pasta, add a ghost who delivers a lost fortune, and a godfather who’ll stop at nothing to protect his family, blend in tales of homicide, greed, treachery and vengeance for this holiday anthology of 17 original short stories by members of the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter.

Authors: Deborah J Ledford, Connie Flynn, Susan Budavari, CR Bolinski, Chantelle Aimée Osman, Merle McCann, Jean Steffens, R K Olson, Judy Starbuck, Sarah Parkin, JoAnne Zeterberg, Anne Marisky, Suzanne Flaig, Mary E. Burt, Howard B. Carron, Nancy Nielson Redd, Kris Neri.

Editors: Susan Budavari, Suzanne Flaig, Merle McCann, Chantelle Aimée Osman