Welcome to the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America, also known as the Kiss of Death (KOD) chapter. We hold one annual meeting of the general membership and the rest of the time function as an online specialty chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA).


Member Benefits

What’s unique about this chapter that you won’t find anywhere else? Expertise. This is the one place that combines the literary genres of suspense and mystery with romance. In addition, you’ll find considerable support for your journey as a professional romance writer from our many members following similar paths.

What We Offer

How To Join

You can join KOD at any time. First, you must already be a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and be signed up on their website, myRWA. Click on the graphic to the right to view your next steps.

How To Join


Board members serve one-year terms. A general election is held each fall. Board decisions are made through online meetings, which general members may elect to attend.


Members and What's New

Members come from all backgrounds and geographic locations. Some are multi-published, either in romantic suspense or other genres, while others are just beginning the writer’s journey. As a group, they bring a diversity of experience, knowledge and opinion to our midst, which we prize.

Members and What's New

Workshops (COFFIN)

Workshops in the College of Felony and Intrigue (COFFIN) are open to both members and non-members. Workshops occur throughout the year; one Murder One and one Killer Instinct class per month. Their COFFIN committee works a year or more in advance, seeking the most qualified, knowledgeable and interesting of presenters.




The Romance Writers of America Mystery/Romantic Suspense Chapter #144 is also known as Kiss of Death. The Official Website of the organization can be found here. It is organized to promote excellence in romantic-mystery suspense fiction and advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers within the genre of mystery/romantic suspense through networking and advocacy, dissemination of information, professional education, publications, and other appropriate activities, and to provide continuing support for writers within the romance publishing industry.

Their goal is to offer you, the romantic suspense writer, services and support to energize, enhance and showcase your writing experience.


Kiss of Death is operated by almost a hundred volunteers. They volunteer their time and their talents to provide KOD with everything a writer could ask for to assist in furthering their career. Thanks to these volunteers, we are the able to provide many benefits to all of their members.

How KOD Got Here

Imagine the unthinkable. You’ve joined Romance Writers of America® and there’s not a mystery suspense chapter in sight. This isn’t just a mystery lover’s worst nightmare, it really happened. Learn how the Kiss of Death Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter evolved to where it is today here.  

Benefits of Membership

Workshops (COFFIN)

The College of Felony and Intrigue (COFFIN) offers two tracks of monthly online workshops, Murder One and Killer Instinct, at an incredibly low price of $15 for members ($30 for non-members). Not only was this educational wing of the chapter one of the first of its kind in the country, it remains today one of the most respected. Their Murder One instructors are experts in such technical fields as law enforcement, criminology, toxicology, fingerprint identification and forensics. Their Killer Instinct instructors cover topics of the craft of writing, publishing and marketing.

Annual Conference

Once a year, KOD holds an in-person general meeting where members can meet each other, network and learn from each other’s numerous talents. The Annual Meeting is one of three events of the KOD Annual Conference, which also includes a day-long tour of some of the host city’s facilities and enterprises related to their writing. Past tours have included visits with firefighters, explosive experts, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard facilities. The Daphne Awards Ceremony/Death by Chocolate Party is the final event of the Conference. Though totally separate, the Conference takes place just prior to and during the RWA Annual Conference in the same host city and host hotel.

Crimson Quills Critique Group

Now changed from the "Lethal Ladies" (and gentlemen), this is a online writing group to help you in your own writing. Imagine having access to a group of supportive writers willing to critique your work no matter the sub-genre. The Crimson Quills can be that group. No money is involved. You choose three submissions to critique and, once those are posted, you submit your own work. All critiques are online. That means you can do them in your PJs at 3 a.m. or in your jeans at the coffee shop. You can access feedback on your own submissions at any time.

Invisible Words

This mailing list is used for brainstorming and discussion of any topic pertinent to romantic suspense or mystery as well as general writing. Members may join Invisible Words from myRWA.


How to Join

Go to: https://kod.rwa.org

New Members: Click on Join KOD

Returning Members: Click on Membership

Login in with your RWA credentials

For new members, annual dues are $30 with a $5 initialization fee for a total of $35. The annual renewal period is from December 1 through January 31st each year. Annual renewal dues for current members is $30, if paid during the annual renewal period. Current members who do not renew in time may renew for $35.

Workshops (COFFIN)

The College of Felony and Intrigue (COFFIN) offers two tracks, Murder One and Killer Instinct, of monthly online workshops at the low price of $15 for members, $20 for RWA members, and $30 for non-members.

Register for classes here


The way leadership works in KOD is that the Board members serve one-year terms and are selected in a general election held each fall. Board decisions are made through online meetings, which general members may elect to attend.

Find out here on the Official Kiss of Death Website who the board members of the current year are.