Bouchercon Bylaws

Current through August 28, 2021

as amended, Bouchercon XLVIII [49], St. Petersburg, September 2018, Bouchercon L  [50],

Dallas, November 2019, Bouchercon LI [51], Sacramento, October 2020


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 event bringing together all parts of the mystery and crime fiction community and is commonly referred to

      as Bouchercon with the appropriate sequential number appended.


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



           1.  Unless authorized by the Members, Board members are not entitled to receive remuneration 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, suit 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.


      B.  The officers shall be Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The Board shall appoint its officers to one-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 three.

            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.  Hire an Administrator, in order that the business of Bouchercon not unduly burden individual officers and

                 committees of the Board. Said Administrator shall serve at the will of the Board of Directors and report to the

                 Chair of the Board. The Administrator is not a member of the Board but serves as an ex-officio and non-voting

                 member. The Administrator shall carry out an ongoing program of record-keeping, organizational reporting, and

                 general administrative support as determined by the Board.

          12.  Create a position of Immediate Past-Chair, who as a non-voting ex-officio member will serve a one-year term in

                 an advisory capacity.

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 conclusion of the General Members Meeting a location has not been approved for an Annual Convention

          scheduled within 36 months, or if an approved bid is withdrawn for a Convention planned within 36 months, the Board

          can approve a location for such Annual Convention.

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 Achievement.

          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


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

               Annual Convention. In the event 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. Each Local Organizing Committee is responsible for all expenses associated with holding its Annual Convention and

         acknowledges that Bouchercon and all other Local Organizing Committees have no liability for covering any

         Convention deficits.


      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 with a full

          accounting of the finances of its Annual Convention and provide the Board and any 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. 

      J. After the Local Organizing Committee has paid all expenses for its Annual Convention, any funds remaining must be

          turned over to the Board for the purposes established in the Bylaws and Rules.

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


     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.

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 and shall be distributed and discussed at a General Members Meeting. If

               the proposal receives a majority of votes at that Meeting, it shall be considered for adoption at the subsequent  

               General Members meeting.

          3.  At the subsequent General Members Meeting a two-thirds majority is required for adoption.