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Myrtle Beach Sisters in Crime — a place for women writers | Strand Notebook

The new Myrtle Beach chapter of Sisters in Crime — women who write mysteries, crime fiction, suspense, thrillers and more — invites fellow writers, readers and any other interested people to join them on May 14 at the Cooper house in Socastee for an information meeting.

Sisters in Crime was formed in 1987 and now has about 3,600 members in 50 chapters worldwide offering networking, support and advice to mystery writers. Members are authors, readers, agents, booksellers, librarians “bound by our support of the mystery genre and our support of women who write mysteries.”

“There’s a glass ceiling for woman writers, especially women mystery writers, and that’s why it was formed,” said Terry Friedman, founder and president of the Myrtle Beach chapter.

Friedman was a member of the Delaware Valley Sisters in Crime chapter for over 20 years. “I had a solid network of friends and people I could go to if I needed to.”

The group brings in speakers in many real-life areas that can help a writer become better because of what they know and share.

The speaker on May 14 will be Betty Houbion of Murrells Inlet, a member of the Zonta Club of Myrtle Beach and a strong advocate for domestic violence and trafficking victims. She will bring trafficking in its ugly forms home to her audience by speaking about some of the real victims with whom she has been involved and breaking some of those cases down to victim, buyer, seller, networks connecting human trafficking to others, tips, leads, police investigations and more. Houbion also works to help create legislation to better protect those victims in South Carolina and to prosecute their traffickers.

At a future meeting, the Sisters in Crime hope to have Dana Ridenour as a speaker. Ridenour, a retired special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has recently released her first book, Behind the Mask, and is working on her second one, according to her profile on LinkedIn.

Friedman said they will meet some in libraries or go on field trips to places that may be in some way associated with the writing experience. They learn from police officers, firemen and many others who work in one of the numerous professions that can come into play while writing about crime.

Listening to those professionals and to others who know about some facet of crime and solving it, gives her a broad sense about what is going on out there, Friedman said.

Currently there are no dues, but around December, dues for the Myrtle Beach chapter will have to start and will be $20. If a member wants to join the national Sisters in Crime, that is $45. Friedman will help her group to understand the benefits of being a member of national.

She said she is planning a picnic in June, after which the meetings will end for the summer and start back in September. She is also planning a holiday party in December.

On May 14, the meeting starts at 10 a.m. The speaker will begin at 11 a.m. For more information, call Friedman at 610-331-2558. The historic Cooper House is located near the Socastee turn bridge.

Peggy Mishoe, pegmish@sccoast.net, 365-3885.

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