Barb Goffman
Mystery Writer


Short Version

Barb Goffman has been a finalist for national short-story crime awards 41 times, including 18 Agatha Award nominations (a category record), multiple nominations for the Anthony, Macavity, and Derringer awards, and one nomination for the Thriller Award. She’s gone on to win the Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and Silver Falchion awards. Her story “Dear Emily Etiquette” won the 2020 Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Readers Award, and her collection, Don’t Get Mad, Get Even, won the Silver Falchion for the best short-story collection of 2013.  She works as a freelance editor, often focusing on cozy and traditional mysteries. Learn more at

Long version

Barb Goffman is a short story author who has won the Agatha Award three times, the Macavity Award twice, and the Anthony and Silver Falchion awards once. Additionally, in 2020 she won the Readers Award given out by Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Her award-winning stories are “The Lord is My Shamus” (Macavity Award), “A Year Without Santa Claus” (Agatha Award), “Dear Emily Etiquette” (Agatha Award and EQMM Readers Award), and "Beauty and the Beyotch" (Agatha Award, Anthony Award, and Macavity Award). Her sole published collection, Don’t Get Mad, Get Even, won the Silver Falchion Award for Best Collection of 2013. Two of her stories, "A Tale of Two Sisters" and "The Gift," have been included on the Other Distinguished Mystery and Suspense list in volumes of The Best American Mystery and Suspense.

Barb has been nominated for major crime-writing short story awards 41 times, including 18 Agatha Award nominations (a category record). She’s also been nominated for the Macavity Award 9 times, the Anthony Award 8 times, the Derringer Award 4 times, the Thriller Award once, and the Silver Falchion Award once, all for her short stories. EQMM Editor Janet Hutchings called one of those stories, "Bug Appétit," "one of the best holiday stories I ever read." In addition to EQMM, Barb's stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Weekly, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, and many anthologies. In 2023, she was the toastmaster at the Malice Domestic mystery convention.

When not writing, Barb makes her living as an independent (freelance) editor. She edits across the crime genre, but especially enjoys working on traditional and cozy mysteries. She offers developmental, line, and copy editing services. One of the books she edited took home the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Short stories she edited have won the Ellery Queen Readers Award and the Derringer Award. Two stories she edited have been reprinted in The Best American Mystery and Suspense and one was reprinted in The Best Mystery Stories of the Year. She gave editorial assistance to a book that won the Agatha Award for Best Non-Fiction. Another novel Barb edited was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel.

Barb also is an associate editor of Black Cat Weekly magazine, collecting and editing a line of stories (mostly reprints) called Barb Goffman Presents. She has edited or co-edited twelve published anthologies with three additional anthologies in the works. Starting in 2009 until its conclusion in 2022, she co-edited the Chesapeake Crimes anthology series, every book of which has had at least one story that won or was nominated for a major award or was republished in the annual Best American Mystery and Suspense anthology. She edited the 2016 Malice Domestic anthology, Murder Most Conventional, which had one Agatha Award-nominated story. In 2020 the anthology Crime Travel, which she organized and edited, was nominated for the Anthony Award, and stories in the book were nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, Derringer, Macavity, and Shamus Awards. Most recently, she edited the 2023 anthology Reckless in Texas, published by the North Dallas Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Barb blogs every third Tuesday at, often about writing. She lives with her dog in Winchester, Virginia. Learn more at