An Exciting Opportunity for Cozy Writers

I’m thrilled to welcome back Phyllis M. Betz as our guest today. I met Phyllis at the Popular Culture Association conference in Washington DC a few years ago when I was on a panel. Since then she’s written Reading the Cozy Mystery: Critical Essays on an Underappreciated Subgenre. She has an exciting new project in development.

Call for Submissions

I am Phyllis M. Betz, the editor of the anthology Reading the Cozy Mystery, and I am asking if any of you would be interested in submitting a short [2,000-3,500 word] essay that discusses your approach to your work for a companion anthology. The tentative title is Writing the Cozy: Cozy Authors on their Craft.

The anthology would be organized into major sections that focus on key aspects of the cozy:

Characters: how you develop a character, how do you keep the character fresh, how/when do you decide to incorporate new a character, how do you handle the romantic relationships between characters

Setting: how do you decide where to set you mysteries, how much research of the place do you do, are some settings less suitable to the cozy

Series: how do you decide to create a series, how do you determine when a series has run its course, how do you manage writing multiple series concurrently

Genre: how do you keep the basic genre conventions fresh, what do you think of the current focus on genre blending [cozy noir/cozy horror]

Racism, economic imbalance, violence, and other social issues: how do you consider whether the novel will include these into the narrative

Reception of the cozy

These are only suggestions; please feel free to discuss other concerns related to your writing.

The model for my approach is the 1992 anthology Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women, edited by Jayne Ann Krentz, which brought together 22 romance authors to discuss their work

I have approached McFarland & Company, the publisher of Reading the Cozy, and they have expressed interest in the project.

If you would be interested in participating in this project, please contact me at I would wish to know, at first, if you are interested and the topic you would like to engage with. Once I have a sense of interest and the range of topics, I will then be able to develop a timeline for the project.

Thank you for your interest; I look forward to your reactions.

Biography: Phyllis M. Betz teaches English literature and composition. She also words in the field of popular culture and literature and has written three books on lesbian popular fiction.

14 Thoughts

  1. Welcome to the blog, Phyllis! This sounds like a great project, and one that will be so useful for aspiring cozy authors. I’ve sent you my ideas for what I can contribute. Thanks for visiting us and asking for contributors.

  2. Thank you for posting this, Phyllis and Sherry! I agree this sounds like a really good project! (I’m working on my pitch now!)

  3. A welcome opportunity, Phyllis. I love the wide range of stories available in the cozy mystery subgenre. Because I take a project approach to writing, I look forward to submitting my ideas.

  4. What a fabulous idea, Phyllis! Thanks for making this call out. I have an idea I’ll have to send you. Cheers!

  5. What a fascinating project! Looking forward to pitching an idea and reading the final product.

  6. Many of us heard you, Phyllis, and two of your contributors at the More Than Malice panel last summer. So interesting — and refreshing to hear a respectful, analytical view of our beloved cozies. Thanks for your work!

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