Bouchercon 2022 Voter’s Guide
1. Bouchercon 2022 Board Member Nominations
The Bouchercon National Board has vetted and nominated these individuals and present them to the General Members for approval to become Elected Members of the Board:
Jay Shepherd is a recovering lawyer from Boston. He worked seventeen years as an employment litigator, primarily representing employers and organizations. Jay drafted countless employment policies and handbooks, litigated hundreds of harassment and discrimination cases, and conducted over a hundred training seminars on sexual harassment. Law & Politics magazine once named him one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in New England.” He regularly attends ThrillerFest, Left Coast Crime, the Edgars, and New England Crime Bake. He served three years on the Crime Bake organizing committee, and also served as treasurer of both Crime Bake and the Mystery Writers of America’s New England chapter. Jay is the author of Firing at Will (Apress/Springer) and is currently writing a spy thriller. During the past year, he has served as a volunteer for the Bouchercon National Board.
Marie Sutro holds a bachelor’s of science in business administration from the University of San Francisco, and a master’s of business administration in finance from Notre Dame de Namur University. She has served on the Notre Dame de Namur Alumni Board, and as vice president on the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime. With more than twenty-five years in management positions, she has volunteered with California Library Literacy Services, teaching adults how to read and write. She has attended numerous mystery conferences including Killer Nashville, Left Coast Crime, and others. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National as well as the Sacramento, Colorado, and Northern California chapters.
Her debut novel, Dark Associations, won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Fiction and hit the bestseller list. During the past year, Marie has served as a volunteer for the Bouchercon National Board.
Tracy Clark, a native Chicagoan, is the author of the Cass Raines Chicago Mystery series, featuring ex-cop turned PI Cassandra Raines. A multi-nominated Anthony, Lefty, Edgar and Shamus Award finalist, Tracy is also the 2020 and 2022 winner of the G.P. Putnam’s Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award. She was also nominated for the 2022 Edgar for Best Short Story for “Lucky Thirteen,” which was included in the crime fiction anthology “Midnight Hour.” She is a proud member of Crime Writers of Color, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and serves on the boards of Bouchercon National and the Midwest Mystery Conference. Her latest book, RUNNER, was released in June 2021. Her debut novel, BROKEN PLACES, has been optioned by Sony Pictures Television. Her next book, HIDE, featuring Det. Harriet Foster, releases in January 2023.
Cheryl Head (she/her) writes the Anthony, Lambda Literary, and Next Generation Indie Book Awards nominated, Charlie Mack Motown Mysteries, and is a winner of the Alice B Readers Appreciation Award (2022) and the Golden Crown Literary Society’s Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award (2020).
Cheryl has a B.A. in Radio-TV-Film from Wayne State University, an M.A. in Communication Studies from Ohio University, and has worked as a public broadcasting executive in Detroit and Washington, DC. Cheryl is the current Vice Chair of the national Bouchercon Board.
2. Proposed amendments to Bouchercon, Inc., Bylaws
The Bouchercon National Board has written, debated, and approved amendments to the Bouchercon Bylaws to modernize the governance of the organization and codify practices that have developed over time. When approved, these amendments will take effect at Bouchercon 2022. The complete amended bylaws are attached. Here is a summary:
A. Vision, Mission and Values
Adds the Bouchercon Vision, Mission, and Values statements to Bylaws, to recognize and formalize these important organizational beliefs. (Bylaws 1.2–1.4)
B. Board Meetings
Defines a Board quorum as simple majority of members present, whether in person or virtual, and requires that the Board meet at least twice a year. (Bylaws 2.1)
In extreme circumstances to protect the membership and organization and to uphold Bouchercon’s values, a Board or officer may be removed by a seventy-five- percent supermajority vote. (Bylaws 2.2 & 2.3)
D. Board Membership
To make the Board Membership more democratic, the proposal defines Nonelected Members and allows the current and upcoming two Local Organizing Committees to vote in the same manner as Elected Members. Clarifies that individuals cannot simultaneously sit as Elected and Nonelected Members. Under the current Bylaws, Nonelected Members sit on the Board substantially longer than members elected by the General Membership (five years vs. three years). (Bylaws 2.4)
E. Conflicts of Interest
To guard against conflicts of interest, the proposal prohibits Board members from being involved in judging or administering awards for which they could be eligible. (Bylaws 2.7)
F. Committee Dissolution
In extreme circumstances to protect the membership and organization and to uphold Bouchercon’s values, a Local Organizing Committee may be dissolved by a seventy-five-percent supermajority vote. (Bylaws 3.3)
G. Replacement Convention Bid
To guard against a failed convention bid putting a particular year’s convention in jeopardy, the Board will be required to choose a replacement location and Local Organizing Committee. (Bylaws 4.3)
H. General Membership
To recognize the dedication and commitment of regular attendees to Bouchercon conventions, the proposal grants lifetime General Membership to individuals who attend at least three Bouchercon conventions. Under the current bylaws, any individual could show up at a single convention and vote to change Bouchercon policies. (Bylaws 5.1)
I. Amendments to Bylaws and Standing Rules
To professionalize the organization and allow it to make considered changes when necessary, the proposal specifies that the Board may make amendments to the Bylaws by a seventy-five-percent supermajority vote. Currently, the General Members can amend the Bylaws and Standing Rules only at the annual General Meeting. (Bylaws 6.2)
J. Definition of Year
The proposal defines a Bouchercon year as the period between consecutive Bouchercon conventions. (Bylaws 6.3)
3. Approval of Calgary, Alberta, as the location of the 2026 Bouchercon Convention
Canada’s third-largest city and host of the 1988 Winter Olympics, Calgary is a world-class destination and one of Canada’s cultural capitals. For proposed convention details, please see the attached bid letter.
Draft of Bylaws to be voted on by the General Membership in Minneapolis
Bouchercon, Inc., is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) Indiana corporation that produces annual conventions
across the English-speaking world. Its primary focus is the annual Bouchercon fan convention for creators
and devotees of mystery and crime fiction. The Bouchercon convention has been held annually since
1970. Its name honors the writer, reviewer, and editor Anthony Boucher (rhymes with voucher).
Bouchercon aims to be the preeminent international destination for readers, writers, and publishing
professionals to celebrate and advance the mystery genre.
Bouchercon’s mission is to introduce, attract, and promote readers and writers by producing outstanding,
inclusive events to grow and sustain the mystery community.
Bouchercon values diversity and the contributions of people of all backgrounds, regardless of their age,
ethnicity, race, color, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, or gender
identity. We want to make a safe, inclusive, and welcoming community for everyone. Bouchercon also
seeks to boost marginalized voices and help build a strong, vibrant, and innovative community that
represents the diversity of our world. We will do this by listening to the needs of all our members, valuing
their input, and promoting equality, inclusivity, diversity, and community.
1.5 Code of Conduct and Antiharassment Policy
We are committed to enforcing a code of conduct and antiharassment policy that prohibits discrimination,
abuse, and harassment. All Bouchercon convention attendees, volunteers, vendors, guests, and officials
must read and agree to the current Bouchercon Code of Conduct.
2. Board of Directors
2.1 The Board
Bouchercon is overseen by a Board of Directors, made up of nine elected members and five nonelected
members. The Board may take whatever actions are lawful, necessary, and proper to carry out
Bouchercon’s mission. A majority of the members of the Board must be present to form a quorum. Unless
otherwise provided, a simple majority of present members is necessary to approve Board decisions. The
Board meets in person or virtually at least twice a year.
2.2 Elected Members
There are nine elected members of the Board of Directors, each elected by the General Membership. The
elected members each serve a term of three years, and efforts will be made to stagger the members’
terms as evenly as practicable. If an elected member does not complete their term, the Board will choose
a replacement to serve for the time remaining. An elected member may be removed from office upon a
supermajority of at least three fourths of the members of the Board present.
The Board has four officers chosen from among the nine elected members: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer,
and Secretary. Officers are chosen at the first meeting of the new Board during the annual convention.
Members of the Board vote for the Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. The newly elected Chair names the
Vice Chair. Each officer serves a two-year term. If an officer does not complete their term, the Board will
choose a replacement to serve for the time remaining. An officer may be removed from office upon a
supermajority of at least three-fourths of the members of the Board present. All contracts entered into on
behalf of Bouchercon must be approved and executed in the manner described in the Standing Rules.
2.4 Nonelected Members
The Board also comprises six nonelected members:
• a single representative from the Local Organizing Committee of the current year’s convention;
• a single representative from the LOC of each of the three upcoming conventions following the current
• a single representative from the LOC of the most recent convention; and
• the immediate past Chair, who will serve for one year. (At the end of that year, this nonelected-member
position will remain vacant until the current Chair leaves office.) The LOC representatives of the current
year’s convention and the next two conventions after that have the same voting rights as elected
members. The remaining nonelected members serve the Board in an advisory capacity to share their
experience and expertise, and do not vote.
The identity of the representative of a particular LOC can change from time to time, but no LOC will
have more than one vote on the Board. A person cannot simultaneously be a nonelected member and
an elected member. If an elected member becomes a nonelected member by virtue of their
membership in an LOC, they will automatically surrender their position as an elected member upon
approval of the LOC’s bid. Likewise, if an LOC representative wins a seat as an elected member, they
will surrender their position as an LOC representative.
2.5 Board Committees
The Board of Directors accomplishes much of its work through Board Committees. Committees
undertake work delegated by the Board and make recommendations to the full Board for discussion and
action. The Board decides on the number and functions of the committees. The Chair selects the
committee chairs and members.
2.6 Board Administrator
The Board hires an Administrator, who reports to the Chair. The Administrator oversees all
administrative tasks, including maintaining Board files, assisting Board Committee Chairs, assisting the
Local Organizing Committees, and preparing Board correspondence and minutes.
2.7 Conflict of Interest
To avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, members of the Board will have no role in the judging of
any awards bestowed at a Bouchercon convention, other than awards that the Board itself confers under
the Standing Rules. Board Members involved in the selection process for an award will not themselves be
eligible for that award.
3. Local Organizing Committees
Each annual Bouchercon convention is planned, organized, and run by a Local Organizing Committee,
under the oversight of the Board of Directors.
The Local Organizing Committee will be established during the bidding process as set forth in the
Bouchercon Standing Rules. The composition of the LOC’s leadership and membership is subject to the
approval of the Board.
If at any time the Board of Directors finds it no longer has confidence in an LOC, it may decide to dissolve
the LOC upon a supermajority of at least three-fourths of the members of the Board present.
4. Annual Convention
4.1 Bidding Process
A group of interested persons may prepare and submit a bid for the opportunity of holding a future
Bouchercon convention. The group will submit a bid proposal to the Board for its approval. The bid will be
for a year that has not already been assigned a convention, but no later than five years in the future. The
Bidding Process is detailed in the Bouchercon Standing Rules.
4.2 No-Bid Process
If no bid has been approved three years before an open convention date, any voting Board member may
propose a location and cochairs, with the Board voting on the proposal.
After the Board approves the location and time of a proposed convention, the General Membership votes
to ratify that approval at the next convention. If the General Membership fails to ratify a proposal, the
Board will choose a replacement proposal as provided for in the Standing Rules.
5. General Membership
A Bouchercon General Member is any person who has registered for and attended (as defined by the
Standing Rules) at least three Bouchercon conventions, including the current year’s convention. This
status recognizes the significant commitment an individual has shown to the Bouchercon organization
and its conventions. A General Member must be registered for and in attendance at the current year’s
convention to vote. There are no General Member dues beyond the ordinary registration charges for
individual conventions. General membership continues for the member’s lifetime unless the Board votes
to remove the individual from the General Membership.
5.2 General Members Meeting
General Members may attend and vote at the General Members Meeting held at an annual convention. A
simple majority of General Members present and voting at the General Members Meeting is necessary to
elect members of the Board, to ratify bids for future annual conventions, and for other decisions the Board
5.3 Retired Membership Number
Bouchercon General Memberships are not ordinarily assigned a number. But Membership Number 000 is
retired in memory of the late Phyllis White, widow and lifetime helpmate of Anthony Boucher and longtime
supporter of Bouchercon during her lifetime.
These Bylaws are governed by the Bouchercon, Inc., Articles of Incorporation as amended and filed in
the State of Indiana.
The Board may approve amendments to the Bylaws upon a super majority of at least three-fourths of the
members of the Board present.
6.3 Definition of Year
For the purposes of these Bylaws and all Bouchercon operations, year means the period between
consecutive Bouchercon conventions.