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Bouchercon Standing Rules


as revised, through Bouchercon LI [51], Sacramento, October 2020,

current through Bouchercon LIII  [53], Minneapolis, September 2022


   I.    Board.

            A.  At the conclusion of an annual General Members Meeting the Board shall have the following composition: a representative

                   of the Local Organizing Committee hosting the General Members Meeting; a representative of each of the two preceding

                   Local Organizing Committees; a representative of each Local Organizing Committee  awarded a bid for a future Annual

                   Convention; and nine at-large members elected to three-year terms by the Members at a General Members Meeting.

             B.  Each Local Organizing Committee with a seat on the Board is allowed one vote; if it chooses, it may have more than one

                   representative sit on the Board and participate in discussions.

             C.  If a Local Organizing Committee declines to name a member to the Board, that seats hall remain vacant.

             D.  In the event an at-large seat on the Board is not filled by a vote of Members at the General Members Meeting or becomes

                    vacant in the interim, the Board may name a replacement to serve until the following General Members Meeting and the

                    election of a successor to complete the remainder of that seat’s term.

              E.  Nominations for elected Board members will be vetted by a standing Board Nominating Committee which will prepare a

                     slate reflecting the majority endorsement of the full Board, to then be ratified by the membership by majority vote. The

                     Board Nominating Committee will solicit and identify potential members no later than 90-days prior to the General

                     Members Meeting. Background of nominees should be presented for review to the Members prior to the General

                     Members Meeting.


                F. Each year the Board shall solicit candidates to receive the David Thompson Special Service Award, which recognizes

                      extraordinary efforts to develop and promote the mystery and crime fiction field. The Board shall select the winner and

                      announce the decision in advance of that event year’s Annual Convention.


   II.       Anthony Awards.



                  A. The Anthony Awards shall be given in the following categories:


                    1.   Best Hardcover Novel

                         2.   Best First Novel;


                         3.   Best Paperback Original/E-Book/Audiobook Original Novel;


                         4.   Best Short Story;and


                         5.    Best Juvenile/YA;


                         6.    Best Anthology or Collection;


                          7.    The Local Organizing Committee may choose to include up to three wild-card Anthony Awards in categories

                                  it selects.

                    B.  Nominations

                           1.    Starting by February 28th and continuing until at least April 30th, the current Local Organizing Committee

                                  shall solicit candidates for Anthony Award nominations from full-time registrants of its event and those of

                                  the immediately preceding convention, including Guests of Honor. Those registering for day passes would

                                  not automatically receive a candidate ballot, although the current Local Organizing Committee could choose

                                  to include them. “Guest of” memberships, memberships in the name of corporations and memberships in

                                  the name of fictitious persons are not allowed candidate ballots. A person is allowed only one candidate ballot

                                  even if they are registered under their real name and one or more pen names, or are registered for both



                      2.    “Candidate” shall be defined as:


                                    a.  in the case of published work, should be relevant to the Crime Fiction/Mystery genre and published between

                                         January 1 and December 31 in the year immediately prior to the Bouchercon at which the Anthony Award will

                                         be given;

                                     b.  in all other categories, work occurring or continuing in the year immediately prior to the Bouchercon at which

                                           the Anthony Award will be given.


                                      c.   in Best First Novel, authors who have previously published a novel in any genre are not eligible.

                                      d.   books published simultaneously in Hardcover and another format are only eligible in Best Hardback Novel

                            3.   Each person filling out a candidate ballot may cast up to five choices in any Award category, all five of which shall

                                   have equal weight; repetitive choices in the same category shall be counted as one vote.

                             4.  The Local Organizing Committee shall count the votes cast for each category: the five candidates receiving the

                                   most votes shall be the Anthony Awards nominees. Vote counts and ranking shall remain confidential.

                             5.  If there is a tie between the fifth place and subsequent places, all the tied nominees shall be listed, except that

                                   the Local Organizing Committee may delete the fifth-place nomination and subsequent ties if they have

                                   received less than five percent of the candidate ballots cast in that category.

                              6.  The Local Organizing Committee shall announce the Anthony Award nominees no later than 60 days prior to

                                    the convention. They shall be announced at least once to the membership of the current conference prior to the


                               7.  In the event of a conflict in the application of this subsection, the conflict shall be resolved by the decision of the

                                     current Local Organizing Committee Chair, or his/her designate, which decision shall be final.

                      C. Voting.


                                 1.  All Anthony Award voting shall be done at the Annual Convention.


                                 2. The Local Organizing Committee shall prepare and distribute at check-in one ballot to each Member registering

                                      for the entire Annual Convention Paper ballots for the Anthony Awards shall remain the standard for

                                      Bouchercon. However, each LOC has the option to offer all attendees electronic voting as well, provided

                                      compliance with other Rules and Bylaws. Day pass registrants would not receive an Anthony ballot unless

                                      the Local Organizing Committee decides. “Guest of” memberships, memberships in the name of corporations

                                      and memberships in the name of fictitious persons are not allowed to vote. A registrant is allowed only one vote

                                      even if they are registered under their real name and one or more pen names.

                                 3. The method of voting, deadline and place for return of ballots shall be clearly stated on the ballot. No ballots shall

                                      be accepted after the deadline.

                                 4. The Local Organizing Committee will appoint a Counting Committee and take steps to minimize the possibility

                                      of tampering and ensure that ballots are kept secure and properly counted. No one except the Counting

                                      Committee may be present during the counting of ballots. No nominee may be on the Counting Committee.

                                  5. The Counting Committee shall determine the nominee receiving the highest number of votes, who shall be

                                       declared the Award winner. case of a tie for first place, the Award shall be shared. Vote counts and ranking

                                       other than first place shall remain confidential.

                                   6. The Local Organizing Committee shall announce winners at an appropriate Bouchercon convention.

                           D.  Award Presentation.

                                    1. All full-time members of Bouchercon shall be allowed access to the Anthony Award presentation. If the

                                        presentation is attached to a separate-fee event (such as a dinner or brunch), all such members shall be allowed

                                        free entrance before or after the fee event (as appropriate) to see the Awards being presented.

III.        Bids for Future Bouchercons.


                  A.  Potential Local Organizing Committees that wish to host an Annual Convention should inform the Board Chair in

                        writing by no later than March 1 of their interest, and must submit to the Board a bid by June 30 to have the bid

                        considered that year. Bids should be submitted electronically if possible.

                   B.  Bids must include:

                          1.  A representation the Local Organizing Committee's chair (as used herein “chair” shall also include any co-

                               chairs) that he or she has read “Bouchercon's Best Practices & Recommendations” provided by the Board,

                               agrees to abide by them in so far as reasonably practicable, and is capable and competent to do so.

                          2.  Location.

                          3.  Dates.

                          4.  Preliminary Local Organizing Committee roster, including all chairs, and sufficient information about the

                                committee members’ Bouchercon experience, participation in organizing other events, knowledge of the crime

                                fiction genre, and other helpful expertise demonstrating the ability to conduct a successful Annual


                           5.  Letters of understanding or comparable hotel confirmations setting forth rates,terms, and availability of hotel

                                 room blocks totaling not less than 800 rooms for approximately 1,500 attendees. Any variation on the

                                 minimum amount must be explained and may be accepted by a majority vote of the Board.

                           6. Confirmation of conference facilities for approximately 1,500 attendees. Bids must include facility floor plans

                                designating the location of planned events.

                            7.  Outline of Local Organizing Committee plans for the Annual Convention, including a methodology for fairly

                                  incorporating all aspects of the crime fiction genre in the Annual Convention and selecting authors for panels.

                                  A list of intended Guests of Honor is also recommended.

                             8.  A summary budget showing estimates of major categories of income and expenses, along with an explanation

                                   of the registration price structure.

                              9.  The bid, or Local Organizing Committee contract, shall include an acceptance of the Bouchercon Code of

                                    Conduct and Antiharassment Policy, and an agreement that it will be posted on the LOC’s website and

                                     included in their program book.

                     C.   All contracts with Local Organizing Committees shall require that the Board adopted Bouchercon Code of

                             Conduct and Antiharassment Policy be read and accepted by members at the time of registration.

                      D.   Bids approved by the Board as satisfying: Bylaws, Standing Rules and the Code of Conduct/Antiharassment

                              Policy, shall be presented to the Members at the General Members Meeting.

                       E.   Any chair of a Local Organizing Committee who fails to reasonably discharge his or her obligations under these

                              Rules and the Bylaws is barred from chairing future Annual Conventions without the approval of a majority of

                              the Board.


                        F.   Bids are awarded by the Members by a majority vote.


                        G.   If at the end of a General Members Meeting a location for an upcoming Annual Convention has not been

                                identified, the Board may step in, initiate and secure the Annual Convention location until a Local Organizing

                               Committee bid can be identified.


  IV.      Reporting Requirements to Board.


                  Local Organizing Committees shall:


                  A.  On March 1 of each year, thirty (30) days prior to the start of each year’s Annual Convention, and at any

                         other time the Board reasonably requests, each Local Operating Committee shall present reports by email

                         to the Board Chair for distribution to the Board describing as of that date total paid registrations, receipts

                         and disbursements, any material changes in the information submitted in its bid approved by the Members,

                         and such other information as the Board may reasonably request, and

                    B.  At each Annual Members Meeting present to the Board a report as of that date specifying the total number

                          of paid registrations broken down according to fulltime and any day-pass registrations.


  V.         Rules.


                    A.  Current Rules shall be published and distributed to all Members at each Annual Convention.


                    B.  Amendments to the Rules may be proposed by a Member or the Board.


                    C.  Proposed amendments shall be written and shall be distributed and discussed at a General Members Meeting; when

                           possible, proposed amendments shall be distributed in advance.

                    D.  An amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote of the membership for adoption.


                     E.   A Rule may be temporarily waived by the Board of Directors by a two-thirds vote of the Board.


                     F.  The current Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used when Bylaws and Standing Rules do not address a situation.


                     G.  The Chair shall rule on matters relating to Rules, subject to a majority vote of the Members.

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