Gala Luncheon in honor of SinC's 25th Birthday

Our New England chapter held a wonderful luncheon for Sister's in Crime's 25th Birthday on September 24, 2011 at the Colonial Inn in Concord, MA.


Honored Guests from left: Ruth McCarty, Kate Flora, Linda Barnes, Margaret Press, Pat Remick, Sheila Connolly

Linda Barnes told funny stories and spoke from the heart about the founding of the national organization. Former SinCNE and SinC National President Kate Flora spoke about the founding of our own chapter and emphasized the spirit of camaraderie, not competition that is the heart of Sisters in Crime.  All of the speakers described the mentoring, support and friendship they have found at SinCNE.

In addition to the remarks made by the special guests who were present, a number of past presidents and goddesses who were unable to attend sent us their thoughts about Sisters in Crime which are below.  More photos are here.  Thanks to our current President Sheila Connolly for collecting the quotes and to Mo Walsh for taking the terrific photos.

SinC 25th Anniversary Quotes

"I've always regretted that I didn't know about Sisters in Crime until after I'd sold my first novel. The writing, the querying, the waiting, the revising, the waiting (again), the revising (again and again)... would have been so much easier to bear if I'd had the kind of community, support, and wisdom that SinC members offer to one another."
--Hallie Ephron

"As a committed feminist, it didn't take any convincing for me to join Sisters in Crime at Malice III in 1991. Over the years, the mission has remained paramount—promoting equality for women writers in the mystery genre—but the unexpected pleasure along the wayside has been the enduring friendships with fellow sisters and brothers. There isn't room enough in this Silver Anniversary booklet to list them all, but I'd like to mention three—our own Kate Mattes close to home; Beth Wasson and Mary Lou Wright out in Kansas. For some years I was the head of Mysteries for Minors, which was eventually taken into MWA, and met a whole new section of our membership through that. Joining Sisters in Crime is the "What to do first" when embarking on our shared mysterious journey. I'm proud to have signed up our goddesses, Hallie Ehron and Hank Phillippi Ryan. So, let's raise a fist today, if it's holding a glass of bubbley so much the better, and toast SinCNE and SinCs everywhere."
--Katherine Hall Page

"What a gift SinC is to writers! I remember my first meeting, which was the founding meeting of Sisters in Crime/New England. All these women who were WRITERS! I was so in awe of them. Maybe I could be a writer too... SinC has taught us all Shameless Promotion for Brazen Hussies, raised the profile of all women mystery writers, and helped us all navigate the new shoals of 21st-century publication. Here's to another wonderful 25 years!"

--Sarah Smith

"The first SinC/NE event I went to was in Salem, at the now defunct Tangled Web bookstore. Toni Kelner, Hallie Ephron, Kate Flora, and I think Margaret Press were there. I mumbled something about writing a mystery, the first time I ever admitted it to anyone besides my husband or my writing group. They encouraged me to join (as did Kate Mattes) and I found a nation-wide community. It's now the first thing I recommend to new writers and mystery readers.

I remember later working with Hallie and the MWA folks on the very first Crime Bake, taking notes in a Mexican restaurant in Cambridge. Later, when I was SinC chapter president and working on CB with Lynne Heitman, I got to interview Tess Gerritsen, which was a total thrill. 

Another favorite memory was the first time I represented New England at the presidents meeting at Malice Domestic. I was so impressed by how everyone wanted to help improve the visibility of SinC, figure out ways to support women in mystery, and reach out to libraries, bookstores, and reviewers. That spirit of cooperation, enthusiasm, and volunteering is
rare; it energized all of us."
--Dana Cameron

"As a former member, president, and program chair of the Sisters in Crime New England Chapter I helped revitalize the chapter during a period of waning membership. At that time I was a mystery fan and a long-published non-fiction author, and through chapter activities I learned a lot about the mystery genre. When I moved back to New York in 2004 one of the first things I did was look up the New York/Tri-State SinC chapter. My first mystery story is about to be published in our second chapter anthology, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices (L&L Dreamspell, 2011), and clearly I couldn't have done it without SinC!"
--Lynne Lederman

"What I gained from being one of the New England Sisters in Crime, first off, was many friends. Companionship as I was getting back into writing after years when writing wasn't part of my daily job. I did write at least three books while I was still in Massachusetts. One is hopeless, but the other two have been well-received, enough so that I have confidence to continue. Also, I bring aspects of writing fiction to my non-fiction, such as the necessary structure of tension-release-greater tension, etc., and using the flow of conversation to communicate better with my readers. Readers of my articles and books tell me how easy they are to read. Very gratifying."
--Joan Mickelson

"If aspiring writers are silly enough to ask me for advice, I always say, “It’s all in who you know. And if you don’t know’em, get out and meet’em.” Network. I’m not talking about editors and agents. I’m talking about everybody. That’s how you learn the ins and outs of anything, from cooking to running for office to genealogy to back country hiking to reading and writing mystery novels. Everything.
And if you love mystery novels, Sisters in Crime is one of the best ways to network. If you can join a chapter, you’ll learn from other mystery readers and writers. If you join the national, you’ll get the great newsletter. Plus, you’ve proved that you’re serious about the mystery world. I’ve met so many people who were important to me – both professionally and just as friends – through Sisters in Crime. Being president was a great honor, but perhaps being editor of the newsletter was even better. It gave me so many excuses simply to call people and ask them nosy questions.
And as I said – network, network, network. Other people will help you, and you may be surprised to find out you can help other people. And you’ll enjoy every minute."
--Eve Sandstrom (JoAnna Carl)