Bouchercon Standing Rules
as revised, through Bouchercon LI , Sacramento, October 2020,
current through Bouchercon LII , New Orleans, September 2021
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.