top of page

Bouchercon Bylaws

As amended, through Bouchercon LIV [54], San Diego, September 2023; current through

Bouchercon LV [55], Nashville, September 2024


 I.    Bouchercon, Inc., the World Mystery Convention, is a nonprofit organization (hereinafter referred to as “Bouchercon”) which

       holds an annual convention (hereinafter referred to as “Annual Convention”) in honor of Anthony Boucher, the distinguished

       mystery fiction critic, editor and author whose real name was William Anthony Parker White.  It is the World’s premier convention

       bringing together all parts of the mystery and crime fiction community, and is commonly referred to as Bouchercon with the

       appropriate sequential number appended.




      A.  Vision: To be the pre-eminent international destination for readers and authors to celebrate the mystery genre.

           Mission: The mission of Bouchercon is to introduce, attract, and promote readers and authors by producing outstanding

           inclusive events to grow and sustain the mystery community.


            Values:  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. We are committed to enforcing a code of conduct at all times,

            to fight discrimination, abuse and/or harassment of any type.


            Bouchercon also seeks to boost marginalized voices and help build a strong, vibrant, innovative community that represents the

            diversity of our world.  We are committing ourselves to learning from the past and working with everyone to build a better

            future.  We will do this by listening to the needs of all our members, valuing their input, and pushing this organization to

            improve itself on representing the best ideals of equality, inclusivity, diversity, and community.  (New Bylaws I.A., I.B., and I.C.)


II.  Membership.  Full-time registered attendees and Guests of Honor of each Annual Convention (hereinafter referred to as

      “Members”) shall constitute the membership of Bouchercon from the beginning of each year’s convention until the commencement

       of  the following year’s convention.


III.  Board of Directors.

       A.  The Bouchercon Board of Directors (hereinafter referred to as “Board”) shall be established to further the goals of Bouchercon.

           1.   Unless authorized by the Members, Board members are not entitled to receive renumeration for the duties they perform on

                 behalf of Bouchercon, except they may be reimbursed for expenses.

           2.   Every Board member shall be deemed to have assumed office on the express understanding, agreement and condition that

                 each director and officer shall be indemnified and saved harmless from any costs, charges or expenses arising from any

                 action, suite or proceeding relating to the activities of Bouchercon and its Board unless it arose from their own willful

                 neglect, fraudulent misconduct, or failure to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of Bouchercon.

           3.   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. (New Bylaw III.A.3)

           4.   A Board member may be removed from office for cause. Cause may include, but is not limited to: misuse of funds, Code of

                 Conduct violations, and malfeasance. An act of removal will require a super majority vote of at least three-fourths of the

                 members of a Board quorum. (New Bylaw III.A.4.)

       B.  The officers shall be Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The Board shall appoint its officers to two-year terms

             commencing after the conclusion of each General Members Meeting.

       C.  The Board shall:

            1.   Act in the interim between Annual Conventions as needed to maintain and improve Bouchercon.

            2.   Conduct a General Members Meeting at each Annual Convention.

            3.   Prepare proposals for Bylaws (hereinafter referred to as “Bylaws”) and Rules (hereinafter referred to as “Rules”) changes to

                  be put before the members at the General Members Meeting.

            4.   Determine if bids submitted for future Annual Conventions meet minimum requirements established in the Bylaws and

                  Rules.Any bid deemed by the Board to meet these requirements will be presented to the Members for approval, except that

                  if more than three acceptable bids are submitted for any one year, the Board can choose to limit presentations to the top


            5.   Maintain a “Best Practices” manual and a history of Bouchercon.

            6.   Assist Local Organizing Committees to conduct successful Annual Conventions and review results of each year’s


            7.   Appoint committees and conduct projects that lead to the long-term success of Bouchercon.

            8.   Receive excess revenue generated by each Annual Convention; distribute funds to Local Organizing Committees as seed

                  money or for operations, conduct special projects, and fund Board operations.None of these funds shall inure to the benefit

                  of any Board member.All revenue received shall be used for the purposes of Bouchercon.

            9.   Report at each General Members Meeting on Bouchercon’s receipts, disbursements and financial status.

          10.   Protect and promote the Bouchercon name, image, and brand.

          11.   Recruit and hire an Administrator who will serve at the will of the Board of Directors and report directly to the Chair of the

                  Board.The Administrator will support and promote all activities of Bouchercon and be subject to all its policies.

          12.   Create a position of an immediate Past-Chair who will assist the current Chair in a non-voting, ex-officio capacity for one



IV.   Annual Convention.

       A.  The Annual Convention shall be held in September, October or November of each year in a location approved by the Members

             at a General Members Meeting.Annual Conventions may be approved up to five years in advance.

       B.   Local Organizing Committees shall bid to hold Annual Conventions through a process enumerated in the Rules.

       C.   A bid for an Annual Convention in a non-North American site may be awarded if it will occur at least five years from another

             non-North American Annual Convention.

       D.   If at the end of a General Members Meeting a location for an upcoming Annual Convention, within the subsequent five years,

              has not been identified, the Board may step in, initiate, and secure an Annual Convention location until a Local Organizing

             Committee is identified.

       E.   In the event that the Local Organizing Committee is unable to meet financial and program elements in its approved bid, and

             subsequently cannot show evidence of a viable Bouchercon convention at least two years prior to the event year, the Board

             may choose a replacement location and/or Local Organizing Committee. Any convention approved prior to 2027 is not

             included under this bylaw.


V.     Local Organizing Committees.

        A.  Local Organizing Committees wishing to host an annual Convention must submit a bid to be placed before the Members at the

             General Members Meeting.A Local Organizing Committee awarded a bid must either become a subsidiary of Bouchercon, or

              be or become a tax-exempt, but not tax-deductible, nonprofit corporation.

        B.  The chair, or at least one of any co-chairs, of the Local Organizing Committee must, within six weeks of a bid being approved,

              sign a contract with the chair of the Board agreeing to hold the Annual Convention under the provisions of its bid, these

              Bylaws and the Standing Rules.

         C.  Guests of Honor.

               1.  The Local Organizing Committee for each Annual Convention shall select its Guests of Honor, which may include Fan

                    Guests, Author Guests, Toastmaster, Special Guests, Distinguished Contribution to the Mystery Community, and Lifetime


               2.  Guests of Honor may have their hotel, travel and meal expenses covered by the Local Organizing Committee, but shall not

                    receive any honorarium for appearing or speaking at an Annual Convention.

               3.  An individual may serve in different Guest capacities at different Annual Conventions, but should not serve in the same

                    capacity twice.

          D.  Anthony Awards.

                1.  The Anthony Awards shall be given to honor the memory of Anthony Boucher.The Local Organizing Committee shall

                     oversee the determination and awarding of the Anthony Awards within the provisions of these Bylaws and Rules.

                2.  Anthony Awards are given for work with a first publication date (when applicable) during the year before the Annual

                     Convention.In the convention if the work’s first publication occurs in a non-North American country, nominations may be

                     made based on that date, or on a subsequent North American publication date.

                3.  Awards shall be designated by the year they are awarded, rather than when the work was published or produced.

           E.  National is responsible for income and expenses associated with holding an annual convention and assumes convention

                 contractual liabilities. (Amend to Remove and Replace Bylaw V.E. and Bylaw V.J.)

           F.   Local Organizing Committees shall present progress reports at each General Members Meeting before and during its

                 Annual Convention.

           G.  Within 90 days after its Annual Convention, the Local Organizing Committee shall provide the Board any and upcoming

                 Local Organizing Committees with its membership list.

           H.  Within one year after its Annual Convention, the Local Organizing Committee shall provide the Board with a full and final

                 accounting of the finances of its Annual Convention.During that year, the Local Organizing Committee will continue to

                 provide financial reports as outlined in the Rules.

            I.   Each Local Organizing Committee shall prepare a program book for its Annual Convention.


VI.   General Members Meeting.

           A.  The Board shall hold a General Members Meeting at each Annual Convention open and advertised to all Members; the

                 current Local Organizing Committee and the Board shall encourage Members to attend.

           B.  Unless otherwise specified, a simple majority of the Members present and voting at the meeting shall be sufficient to take


           C.  There shall be no quorum for the General Members Meeting.

           D.  Actions that may be taken at the General Members Meeting include but are not limited to:

                1.  Awarding bids for future Annual Conventions;

                2.  Electing members to the Board;

                3.  Approving Bylaws and Rules; and

                4.  Such other items as deemed appropriate.

           E. The agenda for the General Members Meeting shall be established by the Board.

           F.  For the purposes of these Bylaws and all Bouchercon operations, year means the period between the conclusion of a

                Bouchercon convention and the conclusion of the following Bouchercon convention.(New Bylaw)


VII.    Membership number 000 is retired in memory of the late Mrs. Phyllis White, widow and lifetime helpmate of Anthony Boucher

          and longtime supporter of Bouchercon during her lifetime.


VIII.   Bylaws.

          A.  The current Bylaws shall be published and distributed to all Members at each Annual Convention; when possible, proposed

               amendments to bylaws shall also be published and distributed.

          B.  Amendments

               1.  Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by a Member or the Board.

               2.  Proposed amendments shall be written, discussed and voted upon at a General Members Meeting.If the proposed

                    amendment(s) receive a majority of votes at the General Members meeting, those proposed amendments shall be

                    approved that year.

bottom of page