Biennially, Desert Sleuths produces a member-written anthology of crime and mystery stories. The process begins in the preceding fall with the opening of submissions and editor readings. The resulting anthology of short stories releases to coincide with our annual fall conference, WriteNOW!


Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Anthology #11

The 2025 Desert Sleuths anthology will feature Desert Sleuths member-written and edited mystery and crime short stories with a theme of Danger Awaits!

Planned Release Date: September 2025 as part of WriteNOW! 2025

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.

  • 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 on 9/1/2024.
  • Any accepted author who does not renew their 2025 SinC National and Desert Sleuths memberships will be dropped from the anthology.
  • Not a member? Join Now! (before 9/1/24 to be eligible to submit)
  • Theme: A crime or mystery must be a primary element of the story with an element of danger awaiting the main character.
  • Location: 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!
  • Word Count: Maximum 5,000 words (Note: this is an increase over previous anthologies)
  • # Submissions: Authors may submit up to two original, unpublished (print, self, e-format) stories written to the theme.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.”
  • Respect for Others: 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.
  • 12 pt Times New Roman font, double-spaced with half-inch paragraph indents—not tabs; no editor should have to reformat your document paragraph by paragraph.
  • Save in Word format (.doc, .rtf, or .docx). Header or footer should include story title and page number.
  • Blind Submissions: Every story is initially read by all editors. Your name should not appear anywhere in the story file. In Word, go to File/Info/Inspect Document and have it remove all “Document Properties and Personal Information.”
  • Submit: Email your properly formatted story to
    • Email Subject Line: 2025 Submission, Story Title, Your Name.
    • Email Body: Story title, word count, your name, and contact email (include phone # in case we cannot reach you via email). Please put our submissions address in your email whitelist
  • Confirmation: You will receive confirmation from our Submissions Coordinator that your story was received (usually within 1 or 2 days). If you do not hear within 3 days, please email and ask if it was received.
  • Submissions will be read as they come in, so please don’t wait until January to submit. Our editors will be reading all submissions and need time to consider everyone’s story with care.
Post Submission:
    • Planned Release Date: September 2025 at WriteNOW! 2025, with a release party planned for that weekend.
    • Author Compensation: Twenty-five dollars ($25) or two (2) complimentary copies of the printed anthology.
    • Publishing Rights: DS Publishing, on behalf of the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter, retains the first publishing rights and non-exclusive worldwide printing and electronics rights to the accepted stories. The copyright remains with the author, and DS Publishing will establish that copyright for each author. Full details of author rights and when author can publish a story that appears in the anthology will be detailed in the contract.
    • Publishing Format: The anthology will be published in eBook and print formats available from Amazon.  The chapter will make specially priced print copies available for authors to purchase and give as gifts. These must be ordered through the chapter and not directly from Amazon.

Our Prior Anthologies

Image with 10 book covers
Previous Desert Sleuths Anthologies


All are available in paperback or as ebook on Amazon
Click here to see each anthology plus our cookbook.