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Friday, September 11, 2015

The Dead Bird Boss's Wrap Up by Kris Lynn

In 2010 I joined the San Joaquin Valley Sisters in Crime mainly because fellow critique partners told me to enter the Dead Bird Contest associated with ‘the Sisters”. I did and won the Baby Bird. This year I agreed to be the 2015 Dead Bird Boss and it was a great experience. It afforded me the opportunity to connect with members of our chapter of Sisters in Crime and to work with those who have taken on this role before. A lot of bonding all the way around. I was told that as “the Boss” I had a lot of latitude to run the contest so I did make a few changes, specifically requiring online submissions only. 

To help the transition from paper submittal by mail or hand-delivery to the new digital process, I created The Society of the Coveted Dead Bird website with directions and encouragement. The site is more than a place to find out about the contest rules, theme and how to submit a story. It is the start of a portal for all lovers of mystery – readers and writers – to find out about the world of short mystery writing. More info on this as time goes on.

The Dead Bird Awards Presentation went off very well. All except the 2nd Place winner were present. The trophies were adorable. I designed certificates for the winners and one for all who entered the contest so the Society could honor them as well. Kudos for all who take the time to write a mystery and then send it in. I know it takes a lot of courage.

This year all the stories were good. I enjoyed every one of them! The race was indeed close. 

The contest’s theme was “Death of the Party” and here is the guest list to the deadly affair:

1st Place - JoAnne Lucas for “Of Oaks and Obligations”  A fancy dinner party with lots of champagne, and a pretender to the throne who shouldn’t pretend – if he wanted to stay alive, that is.

2nd Place - Chelle Martin for “Last Dance”  A Barn Dance with murder-minded hoedowners.

3rd Place - Terrance Mc Arthur for “Golden Potato”  The after effects of a filling and chilling Thanksgiving Dinner.

Best Hook - Linda Boettcher for “The Writer”  On the way to the party someone messes with the Writer’s novel, and someone is dead.

Baby Bird - Kaitlin Campos for “Red Velvet Drowning”  A birthday party pre-empted by a post-funeral celebration of life.

JoAnne Lucas, Kaitlin Campos, Mary Taylor, Terrance McAruthur

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