Friday, June 20, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen...

I've been elected president of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, which essentially means more list moderating duty. I will strive for clarity and cooperation as I do in all areas of life. Vice President Jim Doherty and I start our two-year terms July 1. Derringer Coordinator Nikki Dolson begins her one-year term the same day.

Have a look at the new SMFS blog.

Below is my planned revamp of mission statement on the SMFS Web site. My goal is not to change the group's focus but to clarify it for prospective members and synchronize its presentation with the e-mail list FAQ.


The Short Mystery Fiction Society promotes the writing, publication, and appreciation of short mystery fiction through informative discussion and various publicity efforts.


The SMFS congregates via the Shortmystery Yahoo! Group. There is no fee to become an SMFS member. No dues are collected. Simply subscribe and:

- Introduce yourself.

- Spread word of your latest publication.

- Share expertise or market information.

- Consult the membership—writers, editors, publishers, readers—on any aspect of short mystery fiction, from police procedure to submission etiquette.

- Just lurk, receiving our messages by e-mail.


Every February, SMFS members nominate and vote on the best published stories of the previous year. Our annual Derringer Awards have recognized excellence in the field of short mystery fiction since 1997. The name "Derringer," inspired by the palm-sized handgun, was chosen as a metaphor for a mystery or crime short story. An awards coordinator is elected every year.


The SMFS elects a president and vice president every two years. The president ensures that discussion and other list business runs smoothly. The vice president assists the president and serves in his/her absence.

List FAQ:

What is the Short Mystery Fiction Society?

A group for anyone who writes, edits, publishes, or just enjoys short mystery/crime stories. Join us via the Shortmystery Yahoo! Group.

Boundaries of Discussion

We aim for a discussion open to any aspect of short mystery fiction, equally worthwhile to authors, editors, publishers, and fans.

Please keep personal disputes offlist. If you are unsure of a message's tone, contact the poster privately or e-mail me at the address in the left sidebar.

Reading, Posting, and Replying to Shortmystery

The list messages are publicly readable, but you must subscribe to post a message or reply.

When posting, avoid irrelevant quoting (e.g. entire messages or digests) and long signature files. These are wastes of network bandwidth, causing slower dowloads.

If you have articles or interviews to share—instead of reprinting them entirely by e-mail—please quote or comment only on relevant passages, paraphrase, or send URLs where members may read at their convenience.

BSP (Blatant Self-Promotion)

Though it has come to refer to almost any self-announcement, BSP's original connotation—tacky advertising—is still discouraged on most forums, including Shortmystery. The best way to avoid this tone in your posts is to become genuinely involved in the group.

ACCEPTABLE: "Read my story X in the latest issue of Y Magazine."


Congratulations and Thanks

As a community of writers, it's natural to want to congratulate each other's successes or send thanks in turn; however, doing so onlist can grow to disrupt or even overwhelm other topics. Consider sending congratulations and thanks offlist for that personal touch.

Service Advisories

I will post notices of Yahoo! Groups downtime to the list if possible. If I am unable to use the list to keep members informed, I will post advisories to


Todd Mason said...


John D. said...

Congratulations, Gerald.

pattinase (abbott) said...

A great choice. Congrats.

Gerald So said...

Thanks, all.

Dave White said...

Rule with an Iron Fist. Destroy the peons.

Graham Powell said...

Congrats, Gerald. I haven't followed that list for a few years but I think I'll start up again.

Kevin Burton Smith said...

Congrats, Gerald. I was pulling for you, but I thought any endorsement from me would probably do more harm than good for both you and the SMFS.

You're the logical choice after all the often-thankless hard work Michael and Stephen put into turning the Society around. I'm sure you'll do a bang-up job.

And like Graham, I think I'll be dropping by a bit more than I have recently.

I can hardly wait to be put on moderated status again!

Louise G said...

Congratulations. I like your SMFS guidelines as posted on the new SMFS Blog, May your term be smooth and consist of lively, stop and think, discussion.

MysterLynch said...

Good to hear. Congrats!

Ray said...

Wow, congratulations, Gerald. I may have to re-join if you're running the show.

Gerald So said...

Thanks again, everyone.

Good to hear from you, Ray. I just listened to your interview with In For Questioning yesterday. Great stuff.