Bouchercon Standing Rules

As of October 2020

as revised, Bouchercon L [50], Dallas, November 2019

 current through Bouchercon LI [51], Sacramento, October 2020


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 seat shall 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 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

                  before the 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 publicized 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 year’s annual convention.The award shall be

                 presented during the convention

II.  The Anthony Awards


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


                  1.  Best Novel

                  2.  Best First Novel

                  3.  Best Paperback Original

                  4.  Best Short Story; and

                  5.  Best Critical Nonfiction Work

                  6.  The Local Organizing Committee may choose to include up to three Wildcard 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 convention 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 conventions.

                   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;


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

                        which the Anthony Award will be given. 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 convention.

                      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. In 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 count the nominations cast for each category; the five

                               candidates receiving the most nominations shall be Anthony Award nominees. 

                   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 and 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 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 by 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 conventions,

                                  knowledge of the crime fiction genre, and other helpful expertise demonstrating the ability to

                                  conduct a successful Annual Convention.

                             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 author 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 shall include an acceptance of the Bouchercon Harassment and Conduct Statement, and

                                     agree men 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 the adopted Bouchercon Code of Conduct

                          and Harassment statement for acceptance by members at the time of registration.


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

                           Harassment 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 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 Board 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 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 the date specifying the total

                             number of paid registrations broken down according to full time and 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 for adoption.


                          E.  A rule may be temporarily waived by a two-thirds vote.


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



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

Copyright©Bouchercon 2020

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