(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 room, and special events such as award ceremonies, movie nights, 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.

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 come from people who attended Bouchercon last year (2019) and/or are registered for Bouchercon 2020. Author book submissions for the Anthony Award are not required.

The convention bookstore only sells books by presenters and panelists. Consignment sales can be arranged. Tables will be available if you would like to bring promotional items for your book (bookmarks, postcards, etc.).

We will post additional information on the book vendors with their contact details soon.


Yes! Bouchercon is entirely planned and run by volunteers. We can’t do it without you!

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.

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 from [email protected] 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).

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.

At Bouchercon

The Opening Ceremonies and the Anthony Awards Banquet will take place at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, which is about a quarter-mile from the convention hotels.

You will receive your convention badge, a neck wallet for your convention name badge, any paid event tickets you selected, your Anthony Ballot, and a book bag. Every registered attendee receives a complimentary program book, which includes the convention program, panels and information on the participating authors. You will receive coupons/tickets for free books, which you will redeem at the Book Bazaar located in the Sheraton. Author swag and other mystery-related information on tables in the Bazaar. CHECK-IN EARLY TO GET FIRST PICK AT THE BOOK BAZAAR. In addition to the Book Bazaar, publishers will be offering free books throughout the convention.

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 coupons/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 Room
The Book Room (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 room) will be located at the Sheraton. More detailed directions will be added as the conference date gets closer.

Both conference hotels have bars, with the Hyatt’s being a bit larger. It’s likely both bars will be populated with attendees so plan on visiting both!

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

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