September’s Magnifying Glass Focuses on the Pittsburgh Chapter of Sisters in Crime

august 15 bp 049 (2)By Gale Albright

Pittsburgh pic oneSisters in Crime: Heart of Texas salutes the Pittsburgh Chapter of Sisters in Crime, also known as the Mary Roberts Rinehart chapter. Mary Sutton, chapter secretary, describes how joining the organization helped her writing.

When I walked into my first Sisters in Crime meeting, I had lost my job earlier that year and I’d completed a novel, a cozy, that I’d been working on for about 10 years. I had an idea that I was sorta-kinda okay at this story-writing thing and I wanted to know if others thought so, and if I could get better.

 I don’t think you could have prepared me for what came next. I found so much more than just a writing group. These women welcomed me with open arms. They gave encouragement when it was needed, praise when it was deserved, and advice when necessary. Over the past three years, I’ve learned so much about how to write well, about all those things that good writers do, and given them names. I’ve learned I’m not a cozy writer. I look back on that early manuscript and the problems leap off the page at me. Being with Sisters in Crime has given me a wealth of craft knowledge that has enabled me to take my writing to new heights – and I’m still learning. But more importantly, it’s given me friendships with other people on the same journey, a group of “sibs” who help me celebrate the successes and soothe the heartache of the failures.

 Anyone interested in learning more about writing crime fiction, I cannot say this enough: Find your local chapter of Sisters in Crime and introduce yourself. You won’t be sorry.Pittsburgh pic five


As M.E. Sutton: Hero’s Sword

As Liz Milliron: The Laurel Highlands Mysteries


Chapter President Diana Stavroulakis talks about what makes Pittsburgh Sisters in Crime special:

We’re a fairly large chapter that gains about five new members a year.  I attribute this to the fact that we’re very active and we keep all of our events open to the public.  Within the last three months, we’ve acquired six new members! 

Our chapter is diverse — not just in each member’s background, but also in each member’s needs from our group.  For this reason, I made sure that our programming these last two years (this is my second term as President) has offered a wide variety of options.  I started the online book club, which discusses current books in the genre from the viewpoint of writers.  It’s not your traditional set of book club questions.  This activity provided a connection for the members who are unable to attend physical meetings and “in person” events.Pittsburgh pic four 

 What I would like others to know about our chapter is that it has many dimensions.  We have sisters and misters in our chapter; we have full-time writers, and those that write at night while continuing with other professions (like me!)  We have members that love the ability to reach out through the list serve and get advice from others; and we have members that are able to attend every single meeting, workshop and event.


Inside LUCKY CHARMS you’ll find twelve crime tales from the members of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Pittsburgh chapter of Sisters in Crime, Inc. You’ll dig into gritty police procedurals; enjoy a spangle of suspense; tuck into a cozy or two; and thrill to a cool touch of noir. Each story tells a tale of surprising good luck or of good luck gone sour. We invite you to brace yourself for an entertaining read.

Pittsburgh pic threeLink to LUCKY CHARMS information


Link to Pittsburgh Sisters in Crime


See link below to find out about Mary Roberts Rinehart and Mystery Lovers Bookshop

Pittsburgh pic two



Pittsburgh mystery bookshop



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