(Note: these FAQs are a work-in-progress. For any questions not answered here, please contact us.)

General Information

Bouchercon consists of panel discussions and other programming on a wide variety of topics designed to allow lots of interaction among readers and writers. Topics can be humorous or serious, educational or entertaining, and most often are a little bit of everything.

In addition, there are author signing sessions, a book store, and special events such as award ceremonies, pool-side auction, and parties. And always, there are a lot of people just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company (check the bar)!


The Bouchercon (pronounced bough-sher-con) World Mystery Convention is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization which holds an annual convention in honor of Anthony Boucher, the distinguished mystery fiction critic, editor, and author.

Every year, readers, writers, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers, and other lovers of crime fiction gather for a four-day weekend of education, entertainment, and fun.

The first Bouchercon took place in 1970 in Santa Monica, California. Since then, the conference has been held in many cities across North America and Europe.

At Bouchercon

You will receive your convention badge, a holder for your convention name badge, any paid event tickets you selected, your Anthony Ballot, and a convention tote bag. Every registered attendee receives a complimentary large program book and a pocket program book, both of which include the convention program, panels, and information on the participating authors.

You will receive tickets for free books, which you can redeem at the Book Bazaar located in the Sheraton. Author swag and other mystery-related information can be placed on tables in the Sheraton and Hyatt hotels. 


In addition to the Book Bazaar, publishers will be offering free books throughout the convention. You will also receive your Anthony Award ballot and Award dinner ticket if you registered for it.

Book Bazaar
When you pick up your registration at the Sheraton, you’ll be given a book bag and a registration packet that will contain tickets for free books, which you’ll be able to redeem at the Book Bazaar (nearby the Registration area and also in the Sheraton).

Book Store
The Book Store (located in the Hyatt) is where vendors will have the books by panelists and presenters for sale. This is also where the book signings will happen.

Registration and the Book Bazaar (note: this is not the Book Store) will be located at the Sheraton. More detailed directions will be added as the conference date gets closer. Registration will open at 2 p.m. Wednesday, October 14.


For Authors

You must be registered in advance (look for a deadline announcement in early summer) to be considered for a panel. We always have more authors attending than we have space available on panels, but we do our best to accommodate everyone. There are also plenty of non-panel opportunities to interact with readers at Bouchercon!

The Anthony Award nominations are submitted online only by people who attended Bouchercon last year (2019) and/or are registered for Bouchercon 2020. Contact is made by email.

The convention Book Store vendors sell books by presenters and panelists. Consignment vendors also accept books from attendees and arrangements are made individually. We will post additional information on the book vendors with their contact details soon.

Tables will be available in both hotels if you would like to bring promotional items for your book (swag: bookmarks, postcards, etc.).


Yes! Bouchercon is entirely planned and run by volunteers. We can’t do it without you! Go to: [email protected].

When you complete your online or mail-in registration, check the “yes” box for volunteering. You can also contact our volunteer chair via email here. As the convention date gets closer, we’ll contact you with specific information.


No. Bouchercon is a totally unpaid volunteer effort.

Anthony Awards Banquet

Yes. The Anthony Awards will be presented in the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium after the banquet.

Attendees will have a choice of Beef, Chicken, or Vegetarian. All choices are gluten-free.

The Anthony Awards Banquet will take place on the lawn outside of the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.


If space is available, we may offer day passes at the door, but this is not guaranteed.

You can change your registration by following the specified link on your registration confirmation email or by emailing [email protected].

Registration for Bouchercon 2020 is open now. Visit our Registration page to register online or for instructions on paying by check.

For cancellation on or before May 31, 2020, the cancellation fee is $25.

For cancellation from June 1, 2020 through September 15, 2020, the fee is $100.

After September 15, 2020, there is no refund.

The net refund includes all fees paid minus the cancellation fee and will be made based on the original form of payment (i.e., credit card or check).

Note: if you registered before July 12, 2019, your refund will be issued in the form of a check, regardless of the original form of payment.

There is never a charge for switching your reservation to another person. If you need to cancel or switch reservations, please email [email protected].

Day passes are not available at this time.


Yes. Each room reservation at either hotel will require a Bouchercon 2020 registration.

Already registered? You should’ve received a confirmation email that includes your registration number (please check your spam folder). If you haven’t received the email, contact [email protected].

The Opening Ceremonies and the Anthony Awards Banquet will take place at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, which is about three quick blocks from the convention hotels.

A shuttle will operate in a continuous loop before, during, and after both Auditorium events.

Both the Sheraton and the Hyatt hotels have great bars. It’s likely both bars will be populated with attendees so plan on visiting both!

The Book Store, where books will be available for sale and book signings will happen, will be in the Hyatt.

The Book Bazaar, where books are free with attendee tickets (see inside your tote), will be located in the Sheraton Grand.


The Hyatt Regency and Sheraton Grand will be the site of all Bouchercon 2020 programming except for the Opening Ceremonies and Saturday Banquet/Anthony Award Ceremony which will be held at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. The Auditorium is a short walk from the hotels, and transportation will be available for those who desire it.

There is no “headquarter” hotel. Programming (panels) and events will be held in BOTH hotels. Registration and the Book Bazaar (where you get your free books) will be at the Sheraton. The Book Store (where you buy books and where authors will be signing after their panels) will be at the Hyatt.

The Hyatt Regency and Sheraton Grand will be the site of all Bouchercon 2020 programming except for the Opening Ceremonies and Saturday Banquet/Anthony Award Ceremony which will be held at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. The Auditorium is a short walk from the hotels, and transportation will be available for those who desire it.

Special Bouchercon rates:

Hyatt Regency: $174
Sheraton Grand: $169

Note: You must be registered for Bouchercon 2020 to book a room at the Hyatt Regency or the Sheraton Grand to receive the convention rate. There is only one room per registration.

For more information, visit our Hotels page.

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