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Currently, there are two vacant positions on the Board. The following persons have submitted their name, were vetted and found acceptable by the Bouchercon National Board. They are presented here for General Members’ approval:


Chip Cowell


A passionate mystery fan and first edition book collector with a home library of over 21,000 volumes of detective fiction and scholarly works on the genre. I have regularly attended 16 Bouchercons with my wife, Ronnye, since my first in Austin Texas (2001).


I am a corporate attorney in Houston Texas at Akin, a national law firm, where I specialize in debt finance. At Akin I have served for 10 years as the Houston Office Diversity Chair. I am a graduate of Yale College, where I was a college newspaper editor, and Yale Law School. I am an active community volunteer. I have served as Councilman on the Hunters Creek Village City Council since my first election in 2015. As Councilman I spearheaded annual tree restoration projects resulting in the planting of hundreds of new oaks and pines. I have also served on the Board of Directors of the Houston Racquet Club and the Yale Club of Houston, where I chaired Bylaws updating projects, and on my church Board of Trustees.


I currently serve on the Board as an interim Board member. I would be grateful to have the opportunity to continue to serve the Bouchercon community by maintaining and strengthening our great traditions enabling peoples of all backgrounds to share their love of mystery fiction.


Shelley Kubitz Mahannah


Shelley Kubitz Mahannah (writes as Michelle Kubitz) is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America (MWA). Shelley was elected to the MWA-Midwest board from 2018 to 2019. As part of her work on the board, she co-coordinated the chapter’s Hugh Holton Award and organized local events in the Twin Cities area.


Shelley served on the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for Bouchercon Minneapolis (2022), where she co-chaired programming for the event. In 2023 she participated in reviewing the programming for Bouchercon San Diego. Currently, she participates as a member of the Bouchercon Advisory Committee where she has lent her expertise to update the Bouchercon Best Practices Manual. She is also assisting in the plans for the upcoming Bouchercon Kids programs in New Orleans and Calgary.


Her aspiration for Bouchercon is to promote inclusion with the understanding that diversity is a broad spectrum. In her previous life, Shelley was a reporter for a myriad of Midwestern newspapers. Currently, she works as a proposal manager for a software consulting firm. She lives in Rochester, Minn., with her husband, kiddos, and cats.


“In the storied history of Bouchercon, I am a fairly new face to the festivities. (Dallas in 2019 was my first!) As a writer, going to Bouchercon feels like a family reunion; as a fan, attending Bouchercon is a cross between literary Graceland and Disneyland. In serving on the board, I want to support the framework that makes Bouchercon a treasured experience for fans and industry professionals.”




Addition of the month “August” to the Language Specifying Annual Convention Months (Bylaw 3.3.)



This amendment would add the month of August to months approved for conducting Annual Conventions.


Current Bylaws specify:

“The Annual Convention is to be held in September, October, or November. The bid will be for a year that has not already been assigned a convention, but no later than five years in the future. A bid may not be made for a location outside North America unless five or more years has passed since the most recent convention outside North America.”



Proposed Text of Amended Bylaw:

 “The Annual Convention is to be held in August, September, October or November. The bid will be for a year that has not already been assigned a convention, but no later than five years in the future. A bid may not be made for a location outside North America unless five or more years has passed since the most recent convention outside North America.”




A bid has been received, in full compliance with the Bylaws, for a 2028 Bouchercon Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The following is the bid letter from the proposed Indianapolis Local Organizing Committee:


Dear Bouchercon Membership and Board,

We are pleased to have the board and membership consider our bid for bringing the 2028 Bouchercon World Mystery Convention to Indianapolis, IN in 2028. This letter is submitted on behalf of Visit Indy, our industry partners, and local organizers of interest.


USA Today has ranked Indianapolis as the #1 Convention City in the US. Within easy walking distance from the JW Marriott, our conference hotel and event

site, Bouchercon attendees can enjoy world class museums, the nation’s largest urban park, 300+ downtown restaurants, magnificent historic monuments, theater, and sporting events.


Diana Catt, President of Speed City Indiana Chapter of Sisters in Crime and Brian Sweany, Acquisitions Director of Recorded Books, have agreed to Co-Chair Bouchercon 2028 and have already reached out to select members of the local literary community to judge their response. The result has been uniformly positive! Many of those approached so far have attended multiple Bouchercon events and/or volunteered in 2009 when Indianapolis last hosted Bouchercon. With further outreach, we fully expect to secure a solid volunteer foundation to meet the demands for running this conference.


Indianapolis and surrounding areas have a vibrant literary community. Potential supporters and sources of local volunteers include Speed City Indiana chapter of Sisters in Crime and our close neighbor Derby Rotten Scoundrels (Kentucky chapter of SinC), Indiana Writers Center, Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter, Midwest Writers Workshop, Prime Crime Conference, Indianapolis Public Library and surrounding local libraries, Kurt Vonnegut Museum, James Whitcomb Riley Museum, Ray Bradbury Museum, Independent book stores including The Author’s Patch, Indy Reads, and MacArthur Books; and local publishers including Per Bastet Publishing, LLC and Cardinal Publishing Group.


Warmest Regards,

Diana Catt, Co-chair, Bouchercon Local Organizing Committee

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