All posts by Patti

Meet our 2017 Audrey short story contest judges!

It’s time to tap into your inner sleuth, and start crafting your short story crime fiction masterpiece for this year’s CCW Audrey short story contest.  This is your chance to put your story in front of our panel of award-winning professional writers. Meet our judges:

Brenda Chapman

Brenda Chapman

Ottawa crime writer Brenda Chapman began her writing career with the Jennifer Bannon mysteries for young adults with Running Scared, the first in the series, released in 2004. During this period, Brenda wrote short stories that were published in various magazines, including Canadian Living, Storyteller and the 2005 anthology When Boomers Go Bad. In 2010, her first standalone mystery for adults entitled In Winter’s Grip was released. She currently has two adult series in the works: the Anna Sweet mysteries for adult literacy (Grass Roots Press) and the Stonechild and Rouleau mysteries — Shallow End, the fourth in this police procedural series will be on the shelves in March 2017 (Dundurn).

Melissa Yi/Yuan-Innes

Melissa Yi/Yuan-Innes

Melissa Yi is an emergency physician who writes Derringer Award-nominated mysteries. CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter selected STOCKHOLM SYNDROME, the Hope Sze medical thriller about a Montreal hostage-taking, as one of the best crime novels of the season. Melissa’s work has been hailed as “impressive” and “moving” by Publishers Weekly. Her short fiction has graced Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Jewish Noir, Indian Country Noir, Sleuth Magazine, and will appear the upcoming Montreal Noir. In her spare time, Melissa chases after two small children and one large Rottweiler. She hangs out at Facebook, Twitter (@dr_sassy) and

Madona Skaff-Koren

Madona Skaff-Koren

Madona Skaff-Koren was a past president of both Capital Crime Writers and the Ottawa Chapter of Sisters in Crime.  With a degree in biology, she worked in mining research for many years.  In 2015 she published her mystery novel, “JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND STEPS” (Renaissance Press), about a marathon runner disabled by MS who turns sleuth to find her missing friend. She has also published several short stories, including the Arthur Ellis finalist “FIRST IMPRESSIONS”, which appeared in The Whole She-Bang 2 (2014). Find her on Facebook, at and

Festive dinner Dec. 14

When and where

When: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 6 p.m.
Where: Tony Capones Italian Grill, 2369 Carling Avenue, Ottawa

The festive dinner takes place at Capone’s Italian Grill.  Come for dinner, starting at 6 p.m.  Our after dinner speaker is R.J. Harlick, author of  the Meg Harris mystery series.

Space is limited.  Please email to reserve your place.  Please include the number of people in your party.

A Quick Killing: Writing the Mystery Short Story

When and where

When: Monday November 7, 2016 at 6:15-8:15 p.m.
WhereAlta Vista Branch, Ottawa Public Library, 2516 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa

Join us as Melanie Fogel, editor of Triptych Tales, presents an overview of the fundamentals of mystery short story writing. Register on the Ottawa Public Library website under the Programs and events tab.
Melanie Fogel has spent over thirty years in & around publishing.  She was a fiction editor for Storyteller, Canada’s Short Story Magazine for fifteen years.  Her work has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. 
Melanie was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award in 2006.  She is the author of two books, The Storyteller Fiction Writer’s Companion and The Storyteller Fiction Writers Workbook.

Forensic Identification – Crime Scene Analysis

Topic: Forensic Identification – Crime Scene Analysis
Date: Wednesday, October 12
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Colonel By Room, second floor, Ottawa City Hall

Kelly Menna of the Ottawa Police Service will be discussing the role of the Forensic Section of the police service in investigations.

Kelly joined the Ottawa Police Service in 2008 and was assigned to general patrol/911 response in the West End. In 2011, Kelly received training as a Scenes of Crime Officer (SOCO), authorized to forensically process scenes, such as break and enters, mischief to properties, assaults etc on top of general calls for service.

In January 2016, Kelly transferred to the Forensic Identification Section (FIS) and so returned to the Ontario Police College for approximately three months for further training, graduating at the top of the class for fingerprint submissions and second overall.

The Forensic Identification Section (FIS) provides 24/7 service for Ottawa. It is responsible for crime scene documentation, including the identification, collection, preservation, examination and continuity of crime scene exhibits.

A Forensic Identification Officer has a demanding and complex set of duties that is supported through diverse education and training as well as practical experience. They attend crime scenes ranging from break and enters to deaths and near death (including suicides and attempted suicides, homicides, fatal and near fatal motor vehicle accidents). Popular television shows like “CSI” have brought attention to the science of forensic analysis and although these shows are very entertaining, crimes are not always solved that quickly.

Book launch for latest offerings by Fradkin and Wiken

Barbara Fradkin, CCW author and two-time winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel, is set to launch, Fire in the Stars, the first book in a new series. The book introduces Amanda Doucette, a former foreign aid worker who has returned to Canada to recover from a traumatic experience in Africa and finds herself searching for a fellow survivor gone missing in Newfoundland.


Although it’s a different setting and cast of characters, Fradkin hopes that readers who enjoy Inspector Green will find Amanda’s commitment, determination, and compassion equally engaging.


The launch also features Ladies’ Killing Circle compatriot Linda Wiken, who is also launching a new series.


Enjoy the refreshments while listening to these authors read excerpts from their newest work.

When and where

  • September 28, 7 – 9 p.m.
  • Mother McGinty’s Stage of the Heart and Crown Pub, 67 Clarence St.
 The best parking is in the parking garage right across the street, but you can also try street parking.

Can-Con 2016: Canadian content conference in speculative arts and lit

The conference takes place from September 9-11, 2016 at the Novotel Hotel (33 Nicholas Street, Ottawa).

Specifically for writers, a literary agent from New York (from the JABberwocky Agency) will be flown in. There will be a chance to talk with him over coffee, see him on panels, and to mingle with him at the publisher receptions at night. There are many experienced authors and editors and some small press publishers as well. And an RCMP Sergeant will be giving a 50-minute presentation on Investigations and Forensics.

CCW president Michael Murphy has attended  the last two conferences and enjoyed them a great deal. While the conference is not specifically geared to mystery people, there are a number of workshops which are of benefit to the writing community.

Go to for the program.

CCW meeting dates for Fall 2016

The program committee is busy arranging an interesting lineup for the Fall 2016 period.  The lineup is below.

NOTE: Date and locale change for September meeting.

  • SEPTEMBER MEETING:  The first meeting is scheduled for Thursday September 22nd Wednesday, September 21 at 7 p.m.  Our guest speaker is Debra Komar, who was a forensic anthropologist.  She will speak on what a forensic anthropologist does.  Debra has also written a number of true crime books dealing with historical cases in Canada.  Her latest book is entitled “Black River Road: an Unthinkable Crime, an Unlikely Suspect, and the Question of Character.”   Copies will be available for sale.  PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MEETING IS IN CENTREPOINTE BRANCH OF THE OTTAWA PUBLIC LIBRARY (101 CENTREPOINTE DRIVE). THE MEETING IS IN ROOM 1B (go in building, meeting room beside entrance to Library) THE RICHMOND ROOM  (second floor, Ottawa City Hall).

This meeting is also your first chance to pay your dues for the 2016-17 period.  Most of the members renew at this time.  Please come.  Either Elizabeth (CCW treasurer) or I will be happy to take your money.  There will also be a brief discussion at the start of the meeting on a couple of business items.

  • OCTOBER MEETING:  Scheduled for Wednesday October 12, 7 pm.  THIS MEETING IS IN THE COLONEL BY ROOM (our regular room).  Speaker arrangements are in progress.
  • NOVEMBER MEETING:  Scheduled for Monday, November 7, 6:15-8:15.  Takes place at the Alta Vista Branch, Ottawa Public Library (2516 Alta  Vista Drive) The program is entitled “A Quick Killing: Writing the Mystery Short Story”.  Our Speaker is CCW friend Melanie Fogel, who edited STORYTELLER: CANADA’S SHORT STORY MAGAZINE.  Melanie is currently involved with
  • DECEMBER MEETING:  Scheduled for Wednesday December 14.  We meet at a restaurant, enjoy dinner and an after dinner speaker.  Our speaker is R.J. Harlick, long time CCW member and author of the Meg Harris mystery series.  More details to follow
  • AUTHOR READING OF INTEREST:  Mark Leslie, author of “Creepy Capital: Ghost Stories of Ottawa and the National Capital Region” comes to the Rideau branch of the Ottawa Public Library (377 Rideau St) onSaturday, September 10 at 1:00 pm.

CCW contest pub night and great writing news-RESCHEDULED

UPDATE: The pub night has been RESCHEDULED to June 22, 2016 and relocated to the Foolish Chicken due to the sinkhole situation on Rideau Street.

The winners of the 2016 CCW short story contest  will be announced on Wednesday June 22, 2016 .  Come and hear readings from the winners.  Anyone else who wishes to read their work is also welcome. Want to see who made the short list? See this post.

When and where

When: Wednesday June 22, 2016, 6:30 p.m. – last to leave.
Where: Foolish Chicken, 79 Holland Ave, Ottawa, ON

Publishing and awards news about members

CCW member Patricia Filteau to launch new book
Patricia Filteau is launching her new book, Vantage Point: A Kate Roarty, P.I. novel on Monday May 30, 2016, at 7:30. The launch is at 3 Sisters Bakeshop & Café, located at 2211 Arch Street. That pastries there are divine.

Peggy Blair short story
CCW friend Peggy Blair has released an eight-episode podcast of a Inspector Ramirez short story prequel (to Umbrella Man) narrated by Selma Farmer.  The launch of Umbrella Man, the fourth Inspector Ramirez mystery is on Thursday June 9, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. It takes place at Holland’s Cake and Shake, 229
Armstrong St, Ottawa.

CCW member Adrienne Stevenson clinches 3rd place
Adrienne Stevenson has won third place in the 2016 National Capital Writing Contest. The award is sponsored by the Canadian Authors Association: National Capital Region. Her story is entitled “Leveller.” Congratulations.

CCW ELECTIONS: 2016-2017
The elections for the CCW executive (2016-2017) were held on May 11th. I am pleased to announce the 2016-2017 executive:

PRESIDENT: Michael Murphy
PAST PRESIDENT: Katherine Hobbs
PROGRAM DIRECTOR: Joe Italiano & Mary Fernando

Thanks to the members of the 2015-2016 executive:
PRESIDENT: Katherine Hobbs
PAST PRESIDENT: Michael Murphy
PROGRAM DIRECTOR: Michael Murphy & Joe Italiano

CCW election, mystery exchange, and pizza!

It’s CCW election time, and much more: pizza, a mystery novel exchange, and an invitation to read your short-story submission.

After the election of the new CCW executive there will be a round table discussion of what you have enjoyed reading recently and why. Lastly, anyone who was not shortlisted for the 2016 Audrey Jessup short story contest can bring their writing to read to the group.

When and where

When: Wedesnday, May 11, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Ottawa City Hall (Honeywell Room, second floor)
RSVP: (IMPORTANT: We need to know how much pizza to order)

Executive positions

Note: A strong interest in the elections is needed, otherwise CCW is at risk of folding.

THe CCW Executive is composed of the following positions:
PRESIDENT: oversees the Executive; builds consensus at Executive meetings; oversees the implementation of Association plans & programs; ensures Association operates in accordance with its By- Laws; calls Executive meetings; organizes agenda & chairs Executive meetings.

VICE-PRESIDENT: carries out duties & responsibilities of the President when the President is unavailable; runs the Audrey Jessup short story contest.

PAST-PRESIDENT: serves in advisory capacity to Executive to facilitate the continuity of information from one Executive to the next

PROGRAM DIRECTOR: responsible for the content of the regular monthly meetings(speakers & workshops) & the December dinner.  Reserves the meeting rooms for the monthly meetings.

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: responsible for implementing & maintaining communications, including an Internet presence.

SECRETARY/MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR: maintains membership records; solicits membership renewals; drafts summary minutes of Executive meetings.

TREASURER: maintains a bank account in the name of ‘Capital Crime Writers’; receives  fees & reimburses expenses; prepares an annual financial summary
For the past year the SECRETARY-MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR & TREASURER positions have been filled by one person
The Program Director is normally assisted by  two members from the Association.  The Communications Director is normally assisted by one member from the Association.

Members who have served on the Executive have generally served for a number of terms.  This has given the Executive a degree of continuity.  However, few new members have joined in recent years.  The Organization’s  strength lies in its members.  An executive needs and benefits greatly from an infusion of new Executive members.  New members build on past strengths, bring new ideas and help the Association face new  challenges.  In short, the Executive remains relevant to its members and carries the organization forward.

Any member of CCW can put their name forward for any position on the Executive.  A number of current Executive members have agreed to stay on the Executive.  However,  the Program Director &  the Vice-President,  will become vacant and must be filled at the May  election.  In addition, the Presidency may become vacant.

The Executive meets about four times a year.  The meetings usually take place in a library or a pub.  Having vacant  Executive positions places more work on fewer members.  Our Executive needs new blood.

If you are interested in putting your name forward for any of the Executive positions outlined above, or if you have any questions, please contact the President Katherine Hobbs ( or Michael Murphy ( ).