April is an amazing month for Canadian crime writing and especially for the Mesdames. We don’t just emerge from hibernation – we ROAR!

With spring comes spring cleaning. Our website is up to date thanks to the work and techie know-how of Mme Marilyn Kay.Marilyn Kay We owe her a huge debt of thanks!

Do check out our updated Who We Are and Anthologies pages. And especially for emerging writers, our resource-rich, Events and Workshops page (formerly Learn from the Mesdames).

April is crime writing award season!

The  2018 Arthur Ellis Awards Shortlist Event takes place on Wednesday, April 18th. The  event stretches across the country from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Vancouver, B.C. with author appearances and of course, The Big Reveal.

In Toronto, award-winning author, Elizabeth J. Duncan will emcee the event, and special guest, Maureen Jennings will announce the Arthur Ellis Award finalists.

Mmes M. H. Callway and Rosemary McCracken are delighted to be among the presenters at the Toronto Arthur Ellis Awards Shortlist Event. For details please see the graphic above.

On Thursday,  April 19th, Mme Caro Soles will announce the finalists for the 2018 Bony Blithe Award for Best Light Mystery. Be sure to check out the Bony Blithe Facebook page  here.

And fingers crossed for the authors whose stories appeared in 13 Claws! The finalists for the 2018 Derringer Awards will be announced shortly.




New Publications and Congratulations!

The 2018 Malice Domestic anthology, Mystery Most Geographical, is now available to readers on Amazon. We’re especially excited because it contains Mme Sylvia Warsh’s story, “The Cabin in the Woods”.

Sylvia and fellow author and Arthur Ellis award winner, Susan Daly, are the only two Canadian authors with stories in the collection.



Mme M. H. Callway’s  suspense story, “The Cry”  appears in the April issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine, which showcases noir and hard-boiled short fiction.

Mystery Weekly is a Canadian publisher recognized by the Mystery Writers of America.  All stories are eligible for consideration for the Edgar Award.

To learn more about this exciting new publication, to subscribe and to read some great new stories, check out their website here.


Edizioni le Assassine has acquired the Italian rights to Mme Lisa de Nikolits’s novel No Fury Like That and the translation into Italian is underway.  Una furia dell’altro mondo will be published in Milan in 2019!


Tuesday April 10. Mme Rosemary McCracken’s course, Novel Writing II: How to Develop Your Novel starts up again at George Brown College, 200 King St. East, Toronto. Sessions run every Tuesday through June 26, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Two hours of every class will be devoted to critiquing students’ work.

Prerequisites are the college’s Novel Writing I or an approved equivalent. Register by clicking here. For more information call  416-415-5000, ext. 2092.

Wednesday April 18. Arthur Ellis Shortlist Event. Authors Alison Bruce, Pamela Blance, Mel Bradshaw, M.H. Callway, Sharon Crawford, Rosemary McCracken, Lynn McPherson, Lorna Poplak and Ann Shortell will pitch their newest works to the audience.
Chapters/Indigo, 2300 Yonge St., Toronto. 7-8:30 p.m. Free admission, open to the public.

Also on Wednesday April 18thMme Lisa De Nikolits will be reading for the Wonderful Women Writers Series sponsored by the Centre for Women’s Studies in Education at OISE, University of Toronto.

Readings are at 5:15 to 7 pm, Rm 2-227, 2nd floor, OISE/ UT, 252 Bloor St. West. The event is hosted by Dr. Nora Gold, Writer in Residence.

Melodie CampbellOn Thursday, April 19th, Mme Melodie Campbell, will host and moderate a conversation with American best-selling authors, Karin Slaughter and Alafair Burke. The event, presented by Harper Collins Canada, takes place at Centennial Hall, Burlington Public Library, 7 pm. Free admission but because of demand, please register at the library at 905-333-9995.

And on Sunday, April 22, Melodie will be interviewed by Mme Donna Carrick on Dead to Writes (see below).  Mel will read “Dog Trap”, her flash story in 13 Claws.


On Monday, April 23rd, Mmes Catherine Dunphy, M. H. Callway, Lisa De Nikolits and Marilyn Kay present an evening with the Mesdames of Mayhem at the Pape/Danforth Branch, TPL. They will discuss: Why we love mysteries; You Bet Women Rule the Crime Writing World and Canadian Mystery Writers You Should Know About. Free admission, 7 pm, 701 Pape Avenue. To pre-register, please call 416-393-7728.

Also on Monday, April 23rd, 4-5:30 p.m., Mme Rosemary McCracken joins fellow CWC mystery writers Mel Bradshaw, Sharon Crawford, Nanci Pattenden and Cynthia St. Pierre on an interactive crime-writing panel at the Richmond Hill Public Library, Richmond Green Branch, 1 William F. Bell Pkwy, Richmond Hill, Ont.  The panel will discuss why they write crime fiction, self-publishing and the current publishing landscape, and their own intriguing works. They’ll also give impromptu critiques of the first page of short stories or novels from the audience. The pages will randomly selected.  This is a drop-in event; no need to register or buy tickets. 905-780-0711.


Ed PiwowarczykThe first Noir at the Bar of the year, hosted by Rob Brunet and Hope Thompson, takes place on Thursday, April 26th, 6:30 pm at the Wallace Gastropub, 1954 Yonge St.

M. Ed Piwowarczyk will be reading with fellow noir writers J. Kent Messum, Amy Stuart among others.  Ed will be reading from “Snakebit”, his story in 13 Claws.

On Saturday April 28th, Mme Rosemary McCracken  will give a 3-hour workshop—suitable for all skill levels—on the craft of writing a novel at the Whitby Public Library405 Dundas Street West, Whitby, Ont. The course looks at character development, point of view, the four-act plot structure, and much more.

The second half of the workshop is devoted to critiquing the FIRST PAGE OF NOVELS in progress. The first page is crucial because literary agents and publishers often read no further. To participate, drop off a copy of your first page on or before Saturday April 21st at any of the Central, Brooklin or Rossland branches. (Format: Times New Roman font, 12-point type, 1.5 spacing, one-inch margins. Include the title of the novel.)

The workshop is free. Group size is limited to 16, so register early.
Contact: 905-668-6531 ext. 2020,



April 1: Interview with author John Rakestraw (Rakestraw Book Designs) and short story reading of “Pretty Sure What Done Him In”, Alex Carrick (Carrick Publishing)

April 8: Interview with author Janet Kellough (The Bathwater Conspiracy) and short story reading of “The Monkey, The Croc and the T-Rex”, Alex Carrick

April 15: Interview with author Jon Strother (The Best of Friday Flash) and reading of short story “The Seagull Poet of Butter Bay”, Alex Carrick

April 22: Interview with author Mme Melodie Campbell and reading of “Dog Trap”, Melodie Campbell (13 Claws, Carrick Publishing)

April 29: Interview with True Crime author and organized crime expert Stephen Metelsky and reading of “Remember Me”, Alexander Galant (Starship Goodwords, Carrick Publishing)


Several important events are coming up in May. Details later this month.

Thursday, May 24th The Arthur Ellis Awards Banquet. Purchase tickets through the CWC website.

Friday, May 26th. The Bony Blithe Minicon and awards banquet. Save the date.

May 26th to 27th, Limestone Genre Expo, Waterfront Hilton Hotel, Kingston 

Join Mmes M.H. Callway, Lisa De Nikolits, Marilyn Kay, Rosemary McCracken, Madona Skaff and fellow members of Toronto Sisters in Crime in celebrating all works genre!


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