Frequently Asked Questions


General Information

Bouchercon is an annual international mystery convention sponsored by devoted mystery volunteers. Our purpose is to host an event where readers, authors, critics, editors, reviewers, bloggers, booksellers, librarians, and publishers can gather in an informal, diverse, inclusive, and welcoming setting to celebrate the love of mystery. Bouchercon is for people who read an occasional mystery novel as well as for die-hard fanatics.

The convention provides venues for networking, mentoring, promotion of author work, development of aspiring authors, and education opportunities. Every year attendees reconnect with some fabulous reader friends, as well as make new ones. Whether you come alone or with someone else, by the end of the weekend you’ll have new friends and be more connected to the mystery family.

The Bouchercon annual convention occurs for four days in September through November. Bouchercon is held in different cities according to the Bouchercon bid process described in the its bylaws and rules. The dates vary depending on local events, hotel rates, weather, and other convention concerns. Attendees gather to renew friendships, conduct business, attend panels and conduct the organization’s business. Each convention features Guests of Honor. The convention events are designed to provide information and social events where attendees can meet and interact to celebrate and enjoy the mystery genre.

The books written by attending authors are for sale in the Book Room. Book signing sessions are provided for fans to meet the authors, purchase books, and acquire author signatures.

Innovative traditional program panels are carefully crafted with content and experiences for all convention attendees. The mystery genre includes a wide variety of literature from traditional mystery fiction to historical analysis. From the past to the present, from romantic suspense to short stories, from screen writing to documentary writing, from nonfiction to true crime, our members seek to uncover new facts, deal with new issues, seek more understanding, and offer more for readers to enjoy.

Multiple panels and programs are offered during numerous time slots throughout the day. The tone and style of the panel range from serious to light-hearted, educational or entertaining and are designed to develop writers as well as increase awareness of industry developments and trends. Various venues throughout the convention are provided for fans to interact with other convention attendees.

Each Bouchercon convention raises money through silent and live auctions to support a local charity, which often includes reading or literacy. The Dallas charity is Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT).

Pre-convention area trips are conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday. Convention hotel rates have been negotiated for three days prior and after the convention. Registration begins on Wednesday and continues throughout the convention. Convention programming begins on Thursday and runs to mid-day Sunday.

Membership and dues are not required to attend a Bouchercon convention. All you must do is register and pay the registration fee. Each year the convention local operating committee recruits volunteers to help with the convention. We can find a place for you now if you are available and would like to be involved. (contact us)

Volunteer opportunities are available at the convention to organize, setup, and run the convention. Setup for the convention begins on Tuesday of the convention week. Volunteering is a great way to have fun, meet fellow mystery lovers, and contribute to the Bouchercon experience. You must be registered for the convention to volunteer. (Specific volunteer opportunities at the convention will be announced closer to the convention time.)


This is the registration link:

Until December 31, 2018, the registration fee is $150. After that date, the price is $175.

Registrations can be cancelled during the timeframe established by the Local Operating Committee. You can add or drop options on your registration, subject to availability. If you have added to your total price, you will need to make additional payment at that time.

An administration fee will be applied to cancellations. Until April 1, 2019, there is no administration fee. April 2 through September 15, 2019, the fee is $50. NOTE: No refunds will be issued after September 16, 2019.

The cancellation fee will be deducted from the actual registration fee paid; the net balance will then be refunded.
To cancel your registration, contact us.

If you desire, you can donate your registration to an attendee who needs scholarship help to attend. A program book will be mailed to you should you need to cancel and choose to donate your registration.

Yes. You will receive an email notification.

No, there are no physical tickets. Your online registration is all that is required.

Yes. Day passes are not available.

You can sign into your account and print a copy of your registration.

Each convention organizer is responsible for evaluating and granting limited scholarship requests. Please contact Carol Puckett, Bouchercon 2019 convention chair,


Dallas has two commercial airports: DFW International Airport and Dallas Love Field Regional Airport.

Visit our Dallas Tours page for information about local attractions and modes of travel.

At the Convention

When you arrive at the convention, proceed to the registration desk and provide your name. The registration booth is down the hall from hotel registration on your right — Trinity A. Convention registration begins on Wednesday, October 30 at noon. Volunteers will be available to assist if you have difficulty locating various areas in the hotel.

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 for free books, which you will redeem at the Book Bazaar located down the lobby escalator in the Cumberland ballroom. Author swag and other mystery-related information on tables in the Bazaar. REGISTER EARLY TO GET FIRST PICK AT THE BOOK BAZAAR. In addition to the Book Bazaar, publishers will be offering free books throughout the convention.

Hotel floor plans will be included in your program book. Trinity A is the site of registration. Trinity B, on the Lobby level of the hotel, is a dedicated registration booth. If you have any questions, visit Trinity B. This booth will be staffed with helpful volunteers to answer your questions. They’ll have contact information to reach Bouchercon board members and the convention committee chairs. They’ll also have contact with hotel personnel assigned to our event. Please reach out if you have any concern whatsoever.

The Bouchercon board members will have a badge ribbon. Please feel free to talk to them if you have any questions.

There is no official dress code. We recommend you bring comfortable clothes and shoes. We also suggest layers, as temperatures vary in the meeting space venues.

Hotel convention pricing has been negotiated at the Hyatt Regency Dallas in Downtown Dallas, Texas. We have 800 rooms in our hotel block and have another 300 available if we need them. Currently, there are no plans to arrange overflow venues. To ensure that rooms are reserved only by individuals registered for Bouchercon, the discount booking codes are sent to attendees when the registration is complete. Hotel registrations will be checked against the convention registrations to ensure only registered attendees have hotel bookings. Rooms reserved by individuals not registered at Bouchercon will be cancelled.

The Hyatt Regency Dallas has self and valet parking. The Discounted self-parking rate is $12 per night.

If you are interested in sharing a room, please contact us.

Guests or visitors of a Hyatt hotel who lawfully are permitted to possess a firearm, may bring such firearm onto hotel premises for storage purposes only. Any guest or visitor who is in possession of a firearm on hotel premises is personally responsible for abiding by all applicable federal, state, and local laws with respect to firearms, in the jurisdiction where the hotel is located and ensuring that the firearm is:
  • Unloaded;
  • Secured in a locked, hard-sided firearm container provided by the guest;
  • and Securely safeguarded at all times in a guest room (or personal vehicle), except when transporting the firearm into or out of the hotel.

Guests who fail to abide by this policy may be asked to leave the hotel premises. A blanket exception to the restrictions described in this policy statement applies only to law enforcement officers and designated military personnel, who are on-duty and required to carry firearms in the performance of their duties. No exemption to this policy is allowed for private persons, even those licensed and permitted to carry a firearm, and/or where applicable, to conceal-carry a firearm.

For more details, visit the Hotel Policies page.

The Hyatt Regency is a nonsmoking venue. No smoking is allowed in any public buildings in the City of Dallas.

We Texans love our food. Dallas is an international city, and boasts a wide-range of restaurant varieties. There are a number of eateries within walking distance of the convention. However, keep in mind this is Texas — and even in October — it can be very warm outside. Cabs, Uber and Lyft are easy and inexpensive alternatives to walking and provide quick access countless restaurants.

Yes. Vegan and gluten-free options will be provided. There will be no-fish alternatives included in our banquet catering. Please contact us if you want to make special mention of your dietary restriction.

All full weekend registrants are welcome to attend receptions and the hospitality room sponsored by Bouchercon. Break snacks and light food offerings will be provided. Full meals are not a part of Bouchercon. Events not included will be clearly outlined in the program.

The Bouchercon itinerary is presented in a program book. Pictures and biographies of attending authors are included. All registrants will receive a complimentary program. Panel information will be released in the fall of 2019. Please return to the website and review the Schedule page.

Everything listed on the schedule is open to all attendees. Any events that are not open to attendees (such as private publisher parties) will not be listed.


The hotel is huge, and basically all ours. As Convention space requirements are finalized, we will be establishing a "Quiet Zone" for those who’d like to check emails, chillout, or read.

At this time, we do not plan to live-stream any events. However, Bouchercon will have official photographers and videographers working to create a record of our 50th year convention. The panels are recorded. CDs will be available for purchase at the convention and by mail later from the vendor.

Yes. There will be an on-site bookroom with several booksellers and vendors. The bookroom is located in Landmark A-B. Author signings will take place immediately after each traditional panel session. In some cases, guest of honor and spotlight authors will sign in special places at different times. The program will outline these variations. Any problem or question can be answered by volunteers.

Books can be brought from home or purchased at the convention.

There is no set limit regarding the number of books you can ask an author to sign. Please be courteous and limit the number of items to be signed to five at one time; you can exit the line and re-enter the line with additional items. Your consideration for other attendees is appreciated.


Yes. Motorized scooters and wheelchairs are available for rent from our preferred vendor, AABCO-Ready Rental. If equipment is ordered in advance, it will be delivered to the Hyatt. Detailed information can be found on our Mobility Rentals page.

The first row(s) in the panel rooms will be reserved for those who might need additional hearing assistance. If you encounter difficulties during the convention, please notify one of our volunteers.

Bouchercon organizers schedule a full slate of programming. Also, impromptu board game sessions, poker games, parties, and Noir at the Bar are being organized. Complete details of these events will be released in the newsletter, and through convention communications. Please sign up for our newsletter and follow us Facebook and Twitter.

No, everything is for registrants only. Those accompanying you may register for pre-convention trips. The name badge you receive at registration is your entry to Bouchercon events.

No. This is for attendees only.

Surveys are e-mailed to registrants shortly after the convention. The committee reviews all feedback submitted to make the next convention even better than the most recent one. The Convention Chair and the Bouchercon Board will be happy to discuss feedback.

For Authors

Bouchercon offers writing instruction through traditional panel content. You will receive technical knowledge during the panels. You’ll be able to visit with other authors, hear their writing experiences, and network with industry professionals. Bouchercon is open to anyone who has a love for mystery. Most authors are receptive to mentor and provide advice to emerging authors. Fan bloggers, editors, publishers, and other industry professionals will attend.

Bouchercon is a fan conference. Although some skill and craft programming is offered, intensive interaction with agents and editors isn’t part of the programing. However, networking opportunities are available throughout the convention. So, have your elevator pitch polished and ready–just in case.

Only those registered for Bouchercon 2019 and who ask to be on a panel during registration will be considered. The registration deadline for consideration is July 1, 2019. However, registration is not a guarantee of a panel assignment.

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!

That being said, Bouchercon offers wonderful opportunities for all authors, whether or not you receive a panel assignment. Whether it be in the bar, at social events, or at other Bouchercon sponsored events like speed dating and roundtable discussions, you'll have the chance to mingle with authors you have always wanted to meet and hundreds of uber-fans of crime fiction.

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

The Anthony Award nominations come from people who attended Bouchercon last year (2018) and/or are registered for Bouchercon 2019. Author book submissions for the Anthony Award are not required.


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

Contact us. We'll be in touch!

No. Bouchercon is a totally unpaid volunteer effort. Everyone at Bouchercon — including all the volunteer chair and vice chair — register, which ensures that we can provide all attendees the best possible experience.

If you have any question not answered here, please contact us!