Past Events


May 4
“What Makes a “Killer” Book Cover?” with Karen Phillips (Zoom)

April 27
Hayward Lit Hop
Books on B, Hayward

April 20
“Pick Your Poison,” with Dr. Jen Prosser (Zoom)

February 24
“How To Do Faster and More Targeted Research,” with Michal Strutin (Zoom)

January 10
“Authors and Taxes,” with CPA Maura Matera (Zoom)


December 2
Joint Holiday Party with Sisters in Crime NorCal
Lafayette Library, Lafayette

October 28
Catriona McPherson, Claire Booth, Pat Canterbury, Faye Snowden & Eileen Rendahl
Folsom Library, Folsom

October 21
Noir at the Bar with Heather Chang, Stacie Grey, M. M. Chouinard & Reece Hirsch
Red Poppy Art House, San Francisco

October 21
Laurie R. King, Peggy Townsend, Vinnie Hansen & Jack Erickson
Capitola Library, Capitola

October 14
Rhys Bowen, Michelle Chouinard, Glenda Carroll & Susan Shea
Mill Valley Library, Mill Valley

October 7
Eddie Muller
House of Shields, San Francisco

September 16
San Mateo County Library Indie Author Fest
Millbrae Library, Millbrae

August 12
“How to Write a Sex Scene,” with Eileen Rendahl and Tamsen Schultz (in conjunction with the Golden State Romance Writers)

July 22
“How Authors Become Bestselling Authors,” with Clay Stafford

May 27
“Improve Your Dialogue,” with Mysti Berry

May 13
“Characters Who Aren’t People: When Places Play a Role”: Glenda Carroll in conversation with Vera Chan (Facebook Live)

May 6-7
Bay Area Book Festival: Various venues in Berkeley, CA
Noir at the Bar, emceed by Randal Brandt, with Rina Ayuyang, Margot Douaihy, Mary Robinette Kowal, T. Jefferson Parker, Kwei Quartey & Marcie R. Rendon
The Art of Suspense, with Katy Hays, Marcie R. Rendon & Brendan Slocumb, with moderator Laurie R. King 
Mysteries and Thrillers: Dangerous Destinations, with Margot Douaihy, Catriona McPherson, T. Jefferson Parker & Kwei Quartey

April 22
Hayward Lit Hop, with M.M. Chouinard, Daisy Bateman, Joe Clifford, Ellen Kirschman & T.E. MacArthur
Odd Fellows Lodge, Hayward

April 8
“How I Write What I Write,” by Faye Snowden (Facebook Live)

March 25
“The U.S. Constitution and the Mystery Novel,” by Micheal O’Connor 

March 11
“In Short Order: Short Stories from Inception to Ink,” with Vinnie Hansen & John Floyd (Facebook Live)

February 11
“Romance Can Be Murder: The Art of Blending Romance and Mystery,” with Beth Barany, Linda Gunther, Laurie R. King, Margaret Lucke, Thena MacArthur, Eileen Rendahl & Tammy Qualls. Moderator: M.M. Chouinard.

January 28
“Becoming Your Own Publisher: Advice, Tips, and Pitfalls,” with Janet Dawson & Peggy Lucke
“Self-Editing Your Work,” with Laurie R. King & Zoe Quinton


December 11
Virtual Holiday Party with Sisters in Crime
Download “Seasonal Sips & Tastes” (PDF), featuring recipes and cheese pairings presented during the party.

December 10
“The Art of the Rewrite: Bashing Your Manuscript into Place,” with Laurie R. King (Facebook Live)

November 6
“Jewish Noir” with Kenneth Wishnia, Eileen Rendahl, Ellen Kirschman, Terry Shames, and Steven Wishnia
Jewish Community Library, San Francisco

October 29
“Build a Better Website, Sell More Books,” with Fauzia Burke

October 27
Mystery Author Panel with Glenda Carroll, Joe Clifford, Beth McMullen, and Mary Rae
Mill Valley Public Library, Mill Valley

October 22
“LitCrawl: Noir at the Bar,” with Dale Berry, Vera H-C Chan, Joe CliffordLaurie R. KingSusan Shea
The Latin American Club, San Francisco

October 13
“Is NaNoWriMo right for you?” with M.M. Chouinard, Catriona McPherson and Gigi Pandian

October 8
“Hot Bodies, Cool Prose: Writing Sex Scenes,” with Claire Johnson (Facebook Live)

October 1
“Scrivener vs. Plottr: Tools of the Trade,” with Eileen Rendahl and Margaret Dumas

August 27
“Hitchcock and the Censors,” with John Billheimer
Burlingame Public Library

August 13
“Medical Mysteries: Getting it Right,” with Dr. Mary Rae (Facebook Live)

July 16
“Rudiments of TikTok for Authors,” with M.K. Dean 

June 30
“Passing on the Torch”: Four award-winning queer mystery writers discuss the queer authors who influenced their work. Ellen Hart discusses J.M. Redman, John Copenhaver muses about Patricia Highsmith, Cheryl Head remembers Nikki Baker and Michael Nava talks about Joseph Hansen. (Streamed live on the San Francisco Library’s YouTube channel)

June 11
“Objection! Criminal Law Procedures,” with Michael Nava (Facebook Live)

May 14
“Worthy Opponents: How to Create Memorable Protagonists and Antagonists,” with Margaret Lucke (Facebook Live)

May 7-8
Bay Area Book Festival: Various venues in Berkeley, CA
Afternoon (Boba) Tea & Mystery, featuring Vera H.C. Chan, Jennifer J. Chow and Dale Berry
Castles, Canals, and Freeways: Historical Mysteries of the Twentieth Century, moderated by Brian Cliff of Trinity College, Dublin, with Cara Black, Rhys Bowen, Laurie R. King, and Gary Phillips
Noir at the Bar, moderated by Laurie R. King, with Cara Black, Thomas Enger, Carin Gerhardsen, Tod Goldberg, Gary Phillips, and Camilla Sten
How to Write a Mystery, moderated by Laurie R. King, with Dale Berry, Steve Hockensmith, Catriona McPherson, and Gary Phillips

April 30
Hayward Lit Hop, with Glenda Carroll, Vera Chan, Michelle Chouinard, Ellen Kirschman & Lisa Towles
The Pizza House, Hayward

April 16
“Get Started on Your Middle Grade Mystery,” with Bryan Patrick Avery (Facebook Live)

March 26
“A Tutorial on Amazon Ads for Authors,” with Janet Margot

March 12
“Always Outline! Never Outline! Two Writers Talk About Plotting,” with Claire Johnson & Margaret Dumas (Facebook Live)

February 26
“Discover the Secrets for Self-Publishing Success,” with Howard VanEs, President of Let’s Write Books

February 12
“Getting the Most out of a Conference,” with Laurie R. King (Facebook Live)

January 29
“Self-Publishing: Lessons Learned,” with Sheldon Siegel, Alec Peche, & Cindy Sample

January 8
“My Book is Published – Now What? Book Promotion,” with Lisa Towles & Michelle Chouinard (Facebook Live)


December 5
Virtual Holiday Party with Sisters in Crime

November 20
Laurie R. King – “Giving Your Best Author Talk (in life or on screen)” (Facebook Live)

November 13
How to Design Your Writing Space for Maximum Creativity, According to Science, with architect Donald M. Rattner (Zoom)

October 13-30
Mystery Month
Watch the replays on our Facebook page!
October 13: “Locked Rooms to Hot Air Balloons: Crafting the Perfect Setting and Making It Real” — Daisy Bateman (M), John Billheimer, Mark Coggins, Margaret Dumas
October 16: “Plotting: Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts — Plotting it All Together” — Camille Minichino (M), Glenda Carroll, Deborah Crombie, Eileen Rendahl
October 20: “Historicals: Stepping Into the Past — Crafting the Historical Mystery” — Laurie R. King (M), Catriona McPherson, Ann Parker, Michael J. Cooper, Priscilla Royal
October 27: “Noir: Dames and Smooth Operators — Step Into the Shadows of Noir” — David Corbett (M), Alex Segura, Cara Black, Rachel Howzell Hall
October 30: “Paranormal: Things That Go Bump on the Page” — Margaret Dumas (M),  Melissa Bourbon, Nancy Cole Silverman, Steve Hockensmith, Margaret Lucke, Maggie Toussaint

October 23
Noir at the Bar
Dale Berry (emcee) with Michael Nava, Lisa Towles, Alan Jacobson, and Michelle Chouinard
Silver Sprocket, San Francisco

September 11
“Writing Your Best Book,” with Janet Rudolph (moderator), S.A. Cosby, Matt Coyle, Laurie R. King, Jess Lourey and Ivy Pochoda

August 14
Bryan Avery – “Writing Mysteries for Children and Middle Schoolers” (Facebook Live)

July 17
“Writing Middle-Grade Mysteries,” featuring Steve Hockensmith (M), Pat Canterbury, Janae Marks, and Beth McMullen (Facebook Live)

July 10
Michael Nava – “POV” (Facebook Live)

June 15
“Queer Mystery Writers,” featuring Michael Nava (M), Cheryl A. Head, Greg Herren, Dharma Kelleher and P.J. Vernon—discussed the mystery genre and its special attraction to queer writers. (Streamed live on the San Francisco Library’s YouTube channel)

June 12
Steve Hockensmith – “The Short Fiction Market” (Facebook Live)

May 8
Margaret Dumas – “Writing Realistic Dialogue” (Facebook Live)

March 21
“Mysteries with a Mission,” featuring Michael Nava (M), Professor Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Manual Ramos, Naomi Hirahara, Paula L. Woods (virtual event)

March 6 
Lisa Towles – “Create Your Own Book Trailer” (Facebook Live)

February 13
Eileen Rendahl – “Romancing the Mystery” (Facebook Live)

January 23
Nicholas Erik – “Building a Six-Figure Career” (virtual event)

January 9
Sabrina Flynn in conversation with Laurie R. King – “Indie Publishing, or I’ve Finished My Manuscript. Now What?” (Facebook Live)


December 19
Eileen Rendahl – “What Makes a Cozy, a Cozy?” (Facebook Live)

December 12
Virtual Holiday Party with Sisters in Crime

December 5
Cara Black  – “Location, Location, Location” (Facebook Live)

November 21
Heather Haven – “Humor” (Facebook Live)

November 7
Catriona McPherson – “Mood” (Facebook Live)

October 24-30
Mystery Week
Watch the replays on our Facebook page!
October 24: “Stayin’ Alive: How to stay creative while the city’s breaking and everybody’s shaking” — Camille Minichino (M), Rhys Bowen, Ann Parker, Margaret Dumas, J.J. Lamb
October 25: “Crime Through Time: Writing the Historical Mystery” — Janet Rudolph (M), Jacqueline Winspear, Janet Dawson, Priscilla Royal, Hal Glatzer
October 26: “Where? How? Settings & Research in a Mystery” — Laurie Sheehan (M), Catriona McPherson, John Billheimer, Gigi Pandian, Michael Nava
October 27: “Where’s My Hero? Finding Characters Who Work for You” — Claire Johnson (M), David Corbett, Camille Minichino, Ann Parker, Eileen Rendahl
October 28: “Dangerous Ideas: Does Genre Fiction Matter?” — Randal Brandt (M), Faye Snowden, Rae James, Laurie King, Owen Hill
October 29: “A Highly Suitable Job for a Woman: The Female Sleuth in Mystery Fiction” — Heather Haven (M), Cara Black, S. A. Lelchuk, Daisy Bateman, Robin Burcell
October 30: “A Bit of This, a Lot of That: Mixing Up Genre” — Laurie R. King (M), Maya Bohnhoff, Stephen Hockensmith, Nick Mamatas, Margaret Lucke

October 19
Noir at the Bar
Laurie R. King (emcee) with Cara Black, Robin Burcell, Rae James, S.A. Lelchuk, Camille Minichino, Jason Ridler, Faye Snowdon, & Jacqueline Winspear

October 16-17
Virtual Bouchercon, featuring the NorCal Players’ “Ghost Town Mortuary”—an original 1946 Anthony Boucher radio play

October 10
David Corbett – “The Art of Character” (Facebook Live)

September 26
Claire Johnson – The ABC’s of Writing a Mystery (Facebook Live)

September 19
Your Author Newsletter (virtual event)
Presented by Jane Friedman

September 12
Laurie R. King – How to Write the Perfect First Chapter (Facebook Live)

September 5
Successful Indie Publishing and Marketing (virtual event)
Julie Smith in discussion with Heather Haven 

August 8
A Beginner’s Guide to Scrivener (virtual event)
Presented by Eileen Rendahl 

July 18
Improve Your Author Website (virtual event)
Presented by Jane Friedman

June 27
A Frank Discussion with the Spouses of First Responders (virtual event)
Police Psychologist and MWA member Ellen Kirschman led a discussion with three spouses of first responders.

May 5
Bay Area Book Fest (virtual event)
Meg Gardiner & Rachel Howzell Hall in conversation with NorCal chapter President Laurie R. King

April 11
Get Your Murder Scene Right (virtual event)
Dr. Judy Melinek, a board certified forensic pathologist, and with her husband, writer T.J. Mitchell, are the New York Times-bestselling coauthors of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner, and the new forensic detective mystery First Cut. They presented an overview of death investigation procedures, and discussed their process of weaving science and art into genre fiction.

February 19
NorCal Noir: An Evening with Mystery Writers of America
Featuring Reece Hirsch (moderator), Michael Nava, Claire Ortalda & Lisa Towles
Oakland Public Library – Dimond Branch

February 15
The Why of Where: Crime Writers Talk About the Sense of Place in Crime Fiction
Featuring Nancy Tingley (moderator), Glenda Carroll, Priscilla Royal, Susan C. Shea & Domenic Stansberry
Petaluma Regional Library

January 25
Self-Publishing Workshop
Featuring Brooke Warner—writing coach, publishing expert, author, TEDx speaker, weekly podcaster, and Publishers Weekly columnist
Rockridge Library