Friday, May 6, 2016

Sisters in Crime President Thanks MWA for Raven Award

Thank you.

This award is a tribute to the vision that a roomful of women crime writers had nearly 30 years ago, and it’s a most fabulous prelude to our birthday celebration, which we’re beginning this fall. That it comes from our partners in crime makes it especially fitting, and especially wonderful.

This award also acknowledges all the officers, chapter leaders, and members who have made Sisters in Crime a true sisterhood, and who have done the hard work of bringing about change – bettering the lives and careers of all crime writers, because when women prosper we all prosper.

And in that spirit, I would like to ask everyone in the room who is a member of Sisters in Crime, including our brothers in crime, to please stand, and let me thank you.

And to the rest of you, we can take care of that.

I’d like to thank the past presidents and current board members here tonight:

  • Sara Paretsky, past president and a founding mother,
  • Margaret Maron, past president,
  • Catriona McPherson, immediate past president,
  • and Lori Roy, our treasurer.
I also want to acknowledge our Executive Director, Beth Wasson, who is not here tonight. She will be at Malice Domestic this weekend, so if you’re headed down there, please congratulate her when you see her. Sisters would not be what it is without her.

Of course, there is still work to be done.

When a man says he won’t read a book by a woman, there is work to be done.

When a bestselling male author says from the stage at a major writers convention that women cannot write thrillers, there is work to be done.

And when there are white readers, some of them writers, who can’t tell you when they last read a book by an author of color, there is work to be done.

And so, we will continue doing the work for the next 30 years, and more.

Thank you for giving us the wings. 

Leslie Budewitz

Sisters in Crime 

Photo Credit: Frank Price. Pictured: Leslie Budewitz, Catriona McPherson (immediate past president), Sara Paretsky (past president).

Watch the video of the speech here:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

End the Cuba Trade Embargo on Books

by Leslie Budewitz, President

Some of you may have read or heard about the publishing industry petition to the White House and Congress to end the Cuba trade embargo as it pertains to books and educational materials. You can read the petition on the Publishers’ Weekly website,

Following a unanimous vote by the board, Sisters in Crime signed the petition. This is not about politics, but about free expression and the exchange of ideas. In the words of the petition, the book embargo is "counter to American ideals of free expression," and "books are catalysts for greater cross-cultural understanding, economic development, free expression, and positive social change."

Individuals may also sign the petition, and I hope you’ll consider doing so.

Monday, January 25, 2016

SinC Supports the Fair Contract Initiative

By Leslie Budewitz, President of Sisters in Crime

In the new year, Sisters in Crime is taking a stand, along with more than two dozen other organizations that also belong to the Authors' Coalition, in support of the Fair Contract Initiative sponsored by the Authors' Guild. On January 5, 2016, publishers were sent an open letter asking them to reconsider certain provisions in standard book contracts, and to make changes that are more fair to authors.

Those terms include royalty rates for e-books, non-compete and option clauses, clauses that drastically cut royalty rates on heavily discounted sales, and other terms. In the next phase of the initiative, Authors' Guild representatives will be meeting with various publishers, small and large, to discuss contract reform.

Read the letter, sent to members of the Association of American Publishers, and articles analyzing the standard book clauses of concern on the Authors' Guild FCI page,

Authors and agents have been advocating some of these changes for years; others have arisen more recently.

Sisters in Crime is pleased to be part of this important effort. The board will keep you informed of future developments.