2020 James & Jeanne Arneson Scholarship Winner

I’m thrilled to announce this year’s winner of the James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship is Maci Kasuske, a senior at Wilmot (South Dakota) High School.

Maci won the $250 scholarship for her excellent short story “The Product.”

Our guest judge this year was James Grady, author of Six Days of the Condor and many other novels. He called Maci’s story “masterful” and said, “My hope is this is the start of many more stories and eventually novels.”

Congratulations, Maci!

How to Host a Game Night – New Book in October

My next book — HOW TO HOST A GAME NIGHT — is available for pre-order!

It’s no secret that I love board games, and writing HOW TO HOST A GAME NIGHT was an absolute blast. It’s packed with practical advice, incredible and funny stories about gaming, and reviews of some of the games I love best.

I wrote a piece for The Opinionated Gamers that talks a bit more about why I love this project so much.

Published by Tiller Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, HOW TO HOST A GAME NIGHT is scheduled to release on Oct. 27, 2020. Go ahead and order a copy from your favorite bookstore today!

Continue reading “How to Host a Game Night – New Book in October”

Noir at the Bar – Virtual – May 21 at 7 p.m.

This Thursday – May 21 – a great group of writers is getting together for a Virtual Noir at the Bar. You can join us by watching on Crowdcast! The fun gets started at 7 p.m. eastern U.S. time.

Host Dennis Tafoya will be joined by me and eight amazing authors (and perhaps a few special guests):

Join us! I hope to see you there.

Noir at the Bar – NYC on Sunday, Dec. 8!

Shade Bar in New York City is one of the best-known locations for great Noir at the Bar events, and I’m thrilled to be part of the lineup this Sunday, Dec. 8.

Hosts Jen Conley (Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry) and Scott Adlerberg (Jack Waters) have assembled an incredible group of readers:

That lineup includes two Edgar Award winners (Gaylin and Rozan), an author whose debut novel is on the short list for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and was included on Barack Obama’s 2019 Recommended Reading List (Wilkinson), an author with four books all rated 4.5 stars or better on Amazon (Lang), two editors at a hot new crime fiction magazine (Butkowski and Nokes)… and me.

Great authors reading great stories! Book giveaways! The greatest bartender in all of New York City!

Join us! I hope to see you there.

The Throes of Crime Ebook – FREE

I’m at Bouchercon 2019 in Dallas, Texas, having a great time listening to tons of fantastic authors talk about their books and writing processes.

Earlier today, I was on the Writing Compelling Short Stories panel and in honor of that appearance, the ebook edition of my collection of short stories (THE THROES OF CRIME) is available FREE all weekend long. Get it here:

The Throes of Crime Ebook

BONUS: If you’re at Bouchercon and you see me or my wife Beth, say something nice to us and we’re likely to give you a free copy of the print edition…

Betrayal Legacy is the Greatest Game Ever Published (No Spoilers)

Betrayal Legacy is the greatest game ever published. You’re free to disagree, of course, but you would be wrong. And please note that I’m not limiting the discussion to board games. Card games, video games, lawn games, whatever games – Betrayal Legacy is the greatest of them all.

I recognize the fact that (though on some deep level I do not understand why) not everyone will enjoy Betrayal Legacy. Not everyone enjoys Citizen Kane, Don Quixote and Daredevil, either. That doesn’t mean they’re not the greatest film, novel and comic book series of all time.

No other game has so perfectly combined luck and strategy, theme and mechanics, agency and narrative. From the first time the components are spread out on the table, players take themselves on a wild ride through the history of one very haunted house. Generations of families will return to this place decade after decade, century after century, and they will discover mostly terrible things.

Read my complete review of Betrayal Legacy at The Opinionated Gamers.

Noir at the Bar – Hillsborough, NC – July 25

Noir at the Bar makes its debut at Yonder Bar in Hillsborough, North Carolina, on July 25, 2019, and I’m thrilled to be one of the authors reading.

Hillsborough is about 3.5 hours east of Barnardsville, NC, where my mom grew up, and less than an hour east of Greensboro, NC, where we lived for a year or two around the time I was in kindergarten (we were in Greensboro between South Carolina and Pennsylvania, where I’ve lived since first grade).

The lineup of readers is amazing:

Angel Colón
Jen Conley
S.A. Cosby
J.G. Hetherton
Judy Marie
Suzanne Crain Miller
Eryk Pruitt (creator of the fantastic true crime podcast The Long Dance and, with his wife Lana Pierce, owner of Yonder Bar)

And, to top off that amazing list of talent, the whole event will be hosted by actress Tracey Reynolds.

Books, booze, and broken promises. What more could you hope for? Join us!

Letter to Amtrak’s CEO

AmtrakEarlier this week I mailed this letter to Richard H. Anderson, the CEO of Amtrak. More background on the issue I wrote about is available here.

December 17, 2018

Richard H. Anderson
Chief Executive Officer, Amtrak
60 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002-4285

Dear Mr. Anderson,

Thank you for your service to the United States as Amtrak’s CEO. My father worked for Amtrak for many years, and I’m a loyal customer. I ride Amtrak whenever possible. I very much appreciate what you do.

Dad worked as an accountant in Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. There is no building I love more than 30th Street Station. The building has a soul, and its soul is the split-flap timetable that has served more than 100 million travelers since it was installed in the 1970s.

In January, according to media reports, the existing split-flap board will be replaced it with video monitors. That breaks my heart, but it also sounds like there might be hope for a reprieve.

Anyone who has seen 30th Street’s split-flap timetable in person knows that it’s far more than a message board. It’s magic and beauty and hope and wonder and everything that’s good in the world. I vividly remember the feeling of awe I had when I first saw the Solari board as a young boy. Now, as a 47-year-old man, my eyes get more than a little dusty every time I think about the possibility that it will be replaced by video monitors.

Please do everything you can to keep a split-flap timetable in 30th Street Station.

We all need more magic.

Erik Arneson

Noir at the Bar in Philadelphia – This Sunday! (Oct. 28)

Noir at the Bar Chilled to the MarrowI’ll be joining a crew of great writers in Philadelphia this Sunday night (Oct. 28) for another Noir at the Bar!

The show begins at 6:30 p.m. at Misconduct Tavern, 1511 Locust St, Philadelphia. Admission is free, and the restaurant serves great food and drinks, so join us!

This is part of a series of Noir at the Bar events called CHILLED TO THE MARROW. Authors around the world are participating in Noir at the Bar events to help raise funds to cover medical expenses for Evie Swierczynski, who was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Evie is awesome, and she’s the daughter of Duane Swierczynski, author of a lot of amazing novels and comic books.

For more information about supporting #TeamEvie, visit this GoFundMe page.

Hosted by the inimitable Jon McGoran, the Philadelphia lineup includes these amazing authors:

There will be a raffle to help raise funds, and probably a few surprises…

Hope to see you there!

Noir at the Bar – A Great Night in Baltimore!

Noir at the Bar - Baltimore, Oct. 21, 2018Last night’s Noir at the Bar in Baltimore, part of the CHILLED TO THE MARROW N@B series, was fantastic.

Host Nik Korpon put together a great lineup of authors to to help raise funds to cover medical expenses for Evie Swierczynski, who was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Evie is awesome, and she’s the daughter of Duane Swierczynski, author of a lot of amazing novels and comic books.

For more information about supporting #TeamEvie, visit this GoFundMe page.

The lineup of authors included:

The show was held at Zella’s Pizzeria, and I can personally (and heartily) recommend the calzone.