Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sisters in Crime Book Bloggers Challenge

By Barbara Fister

Avid readers are always on the lookout for ideas about what to read next. They also like to share what they’ve been reading. So, to satisfy both urges – and to celebrate SinC’s 25th anniversary – I threw down a reading challenge.

I hope some of you will want to take it up and will post your own thoughts – on your own blogs or here at the SinC blog – about favorite mysteries by women authors. (To submit posts to the SinC blog, contact KathieFelix[at]

Here’s what I posted at my blog:

I am somewhat loath to issue a reading challenge, given that one of the greatest pleasures of reading is choosing books you just feel like reading without being told what to read. But this challenge includes a lot of latitude for crime fiction fans, so I hope it will let you indulge in an activity enjoyed by avid readers: that of grabbing people by the virtual elbow and saying “have you read this book? It’s sooooo good!”

Given that Sisters in Crime is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year at Bouchercon, it seems a good time to blog about women’s contributions to crime fiction.

Easy challenge: Write a blog post about a work of crime fiction by a woman author; list five more women authors who you recommend.

Moderate challenge: Write five blog posts about works of crime fiction by women authors. For each, mention another woman author who writes in a similar vein.

Expert challenge: Write 10 blog posts about works of crime fiction by women authors. For each, mention three similar women authors whose works you would recommend.

Deadline: Whenever. Another one of the joys of reading for pleasure is not having deadlines. Also, feel free to recycle previous reviews. I’m all about recycling.

If you tag your posts with “SinC25” I will compile them. And if you tweet, use the hashtag #SinC25.

You can do it!

If you aren’t familiar with Sisters in Crime, it’s a nonprofit organization with the mission to “promote the professional development and the advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry.” SinC was founded on the heels of a talk Sara Paretsky gave at the first conference on women in detective fiction held at Hunter College in March 1986. The organization now has 3,000 or so members worldwide and is welcoming to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

For writers in particular, both published and not yet published, it offers some terrific opportunities for friendship and professional development. (Full disclosure: I’ve been a member for many years and am currently serving on the board.)

By the way, this image is based on the famous “We Can Do It/Rosie the Riveter” poster in the National Archives. Feel free to reuse my Rosie the Reader variation.

Guess I’ll dive into the deep end and sign up for the Expert Challenge. Stay tuned …

Barbara Fister is the author of the Anni Koskinen mysteries. The most recent title in the series is Through the Cracks. She is an academic librarian and serves on the SinC board as Secretary.


Susan Wingate said...

I LOVE this challenge and count me in. I have to read 6 books by the end of August for a competition but can slip my easy and moderate challenges up on my blog.

I will also participate in the "expert" challenge because I'm a sadist at heart and when I get a challenge, I think... "I can DO that!" with a wrinkled nose and pursed lips. So, you're on babe! :)

Count me in. -Susan.

Peg Nichols said...

Almost 25 years ago I was living in Chicago, helping take care of my grandson while my daughter finished medical school. On weekends I tried to get out of the house to give the young family some time together.

In the Chicago Tribune I read that some writer from Eudora, Kansas, would be speaking at a library on Sunday afternoon. Since my home base is Olathe, I wondered if the Eudora writer might be someone I would know. Of course, the Eudora writer was Sara Paretsky, and I think she had just finished her first year as president of SinC. I didn't join SinC until years later when I finally had some time for writing, but some of my inspiration comes from hearing Sara talk at a very early stage in the development of SinC.

Barbara Fister said...

Yay, Susan! I plan to do the expert challenge, too. Gulp.

Peg, what a wonderful story, and how cool that you not only heard Sara speak back when the organization was new but that you had connections both through Kansas and Chicago.

Norma Huss said...

I'm so glad the deadline is whenever! Since I began my first blog on Goodreads yesterday, I'll start with 'easy.' However, since I would like to do a blog tour in September and October, I'll try to work my way up.

I can't believe how many opportunities open up for commenting and promoting women writers if one is alert to opportunities!

Msmstry said...

Barbara, what a GREAT idea! I'll accept on the expert level. In fact, my September library talk's topic will kick start my list. It's on "Great Beginnings" or firsts in series. One pretty much has to compare these to something else in order to hook new readers.


Catherine Al-Meten said...

Just connected with SinC through FB, and was inspired to get a blog started. I'm accepting the challenge, started with the easy challenge, and will work on up. A good way to inspire me at this stage.
Connect to my blog, The Games Afoot: