Bouchercon Standing Rules
As of October 2020
as revised, Bouchercon L , Dallas, November 2019
current through Bouchercon LI , Sacramento, October 2020
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.