Tag: awards

awards

Prize-Worthy

  Literary award season is in full swing. We’ve had the Leftys, the Agathas, the Edgars, the Ippys. The Anthonys, the Barrys, and many others will be awarded between now and September to honor excellence in crime writing. But is excellence in crime writing the only thing that’s prize-worthy? This week’s question for my fellow Missdemeanors is, if you could invent your own literary, or any other, award, what would it be and to whom would you award it?      I’m awarding Agatha “Best Adaptive Use of an Ironing Board”   RobinSome mornings lately I feel like there should be a Meerkat Award for successfully coming out of my hidey hole and standing on two feet without collapsing and tumbling over my pack mates. MeCan I nominate myself for the Meerkat Award? TraceeI want to win the Meerkat Award and my focus on qualifying has made it difficult to come up with another suggestion. However…. Wouldn’t it be fun to have awards for best jacket copy? Or author photo (I would definitely keep a young version of myself for decades…..)? Or most deceptive jacket copy? I’m sure there are a few people out there who would like to see an award for book that was panned by reviewers but made multiple best seller lists! Not that these aren’t serious things, but at the same time a bit of potential levity during the presentation ceremonies. MeI like the best jacket copy and most deceptive jacket copy awards. How about an award for most outdated cover photo or photo that looks the least like the author? SusanI love stories about writers who have overcome all sorts of obstacles and rejections and then achieve success. Maybe an award for the most dogged, single-minded, persistent, relentless, determined writer out there. MicheleAt the New England Crime Bake banquet, we now invite anyone attending who has been nominated for, awarded, or received an honor of any nature to join us in a circle of celebration. This is a difficult business and we need to recognize and support one another whenever and wherever we can. I was a finalist in the  Malice Domestic first novel contest three times! I kept remembering one of my grandmother’s sayings. “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” TraceeI think that’s a lovely idea! RobinI agree with Tracy, Susan, that’s a great idea. And I like that celebration at the Crime Bake. I also think every one of us – and most people but especially writers & artists – should pass around the Meerkat Award. Wrote some words that weren’t on the page before you got there? You win. Smiled and said “hello” to a stranger? You win. Made yourself a cup of coffee without spilling? You win. Thanked someone else for handing you a cup of coffee? You win. AlisonRobin set the bar too high for me with her Meerkat Award. Best. Award. Idea. Ever.  I’m awarding it to myself today because I made coffee *and* didn’t spill (plus no pack mates were harmed in the process)! TraceeI totally agree with the Meerkat Award. For me it was all over after that.  I may try to find that meerkat show on TV…. we all probably need a little more meerkat in our lives! MeHow about made it until noon before ticking anybody off? Does that win a Meerkat? RobinThat totally wins. Great job! [clumping sounds of meerkat paws applauding]  “Clumping” = combination of clapping and thumpingI think meerkats have become my new spirit animal. PaulaI am in the middle of moving us and my parents into a new big old house (1760) and I think there should be an award for all of us for not killing each other yet. TraceePaula, There’s still time 🙂  But with a house that old there is surely a ghost…. blame it on him/her. MePaula– Gold Meerkat What award would you give? Who deserves it? Comment here or post your prize idea on our Facebook page. And May the Fourth be with you. 

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What a Bunch of Characters

 Meet the nominees for the 2018 Best First Novel Agatha Award.  Ever wonder which character they most enjoy writing? Join the conversation to find out! Who is your favorite character to write and why? Micki Browning:This is a bit like asking a parent to choose a favorite child. I certainly like spending time with my protagonist, Mer Cavallo. She’s wicked smart, which means I have to stretch to keep up with her. She’s someone I’d like to have as a friend—and dive buddy. But sometimes I want a little more levity than Mer provides, and that means it’s time for Captain Leroy Penninichols. I love his Southernisms. If he had to describe someone as small, he’d bust out with “Well, she ain’t bigger than a bar of soap after a hard day’s washing.”  His gruff exterior hides a tender heart and he dotes on his wife. He always cheers for the underdog, and took Mer under his wing when she first arrived in the Keys. They constantly banter, and one day Mer asked how his wife put up with him. In typical Leroy fashion, he responded, “There’s a lid to fit every skillet.”  Leroy reminds Mer (and me) that there’s always another way to look at life. V.M. Burns:I love writing about my protagonist’s grandmother, Nana Jo and the sleuthing seniors. Nana Jo and ‘the girls’ are older and less inhibited than Samantha. They take martial arts classes, hang out at the bar, and enjoy spending time at the casino. They are honest, funny, and courageous. Each one has a zest for life which I find refreshing. Samantha is cautious and reserved, but Nana Jo and the girls are helping her see that life can be exciting and unpredictable, which is something I often have to remind myself. Kellye Garrett:I love writing all my characters for different reasons. One because she talks only using acronyms. Another because he never uses apostrophes. My main character, Dayna, because she has the exact same sense of humor as I have. However, my favorite character to write is Dayna’s best friend/roomie Sienna. Sienna is determined to set a Guinness World Record for only wearing red and says whatever she wants, whenever she wants. My fave exchange is from when Dayna and Sienna are trying to tail a suspect:“We should take turns following her so she’s not suspicious. Whatever we do, we don’t want to get burned,” Sienna said.“What the fudge does that mean?” I asked.“No idea, but it can’t be good. STDs. Forest fires. Freshly baked cookies. Burning is never a good thing.” Laura Oles:While my protagonist, Jamie Rush, has been wonderful to write, I have to say that her partner, Cookie Hinojosa, has been the most fun.  His charisma and sense of humor play so well off her deadpan demeanor. His love for Hawaiian shirts is second only to his loyalty to Jamie and their crew. I tend to hear his voice first in my head, and his words come easily.  Cookie seems to be a reader favorite, and if I’m being honest, he’s at the top of my list with Jamie.  Kathleen Valenti:I have a feeling that the answer to “Who is your favorite character to write” is supposed to be my protagonist. After all, Maggie O’Malley is the hero of not only my debut novel, Protocol, but the entire series from Henery Press. But if I’m honest, the answer has to be Constantine, Maggie’s best friend.A goofy cutup with a fondness for Lucky Charms and Star Trek memorabilia, Constantine does more than act as a sidekick or play comic relief to Maggie’s straight-man routine. He’s a complex character who brings his own story and his own personality, with all of its attendant strengths and foibles, to the page. Like Maggie, Constantine is smart, loyal, and funny. However, Constantine’s funniness, his predilection for gallows humor, and his knee-jerk reaction to cover discomfort with wit, is at the very core of his personality. He’s fun to write, and because he’s handsome and sweet, he’s fun to imagine as the perfect BFF or life partner. I’ll always love Maggie, but when it comes to writing dialogue, Constantine has my heart. And my pen.  Surprised? Which of their characters do you most love to read? Let us know in the comments or over on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/missdemeanorsbooks  Bios:  A retired police captain, Micki Browning writes the Mer Cavallo Mystery series set in the Florida Keys. In addition to the Agatha nomination for Best First Novel, Adrift has won both the Daphne du Maurier and the Royal Palm Literary Awards. Beached, her second novel, launched January 2018. Micki’s work has appeared in dive magazines, anthologies, mystery magazines, and textbooks. She lives in South Florida with her partner in crime and a vast array of scuba equipment she uses for “research.” Learn more about Micki at MickiBrowning.com.  V.M. (Valerie) Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Receiving the Agatha nomination for Best First Novel has been a dream come true. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com.  Kellye Garrett writes the Detective by Day mysteries about a semi-famous, mega-broke black actress who takes on the deadliest role of her life: Homicide Detective. The first, Hollywood Homicide, was recently nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Barry awards. The second, Hollywood Ending, will be released on August 8, 2018 from Midnight Ink. Prior to writing novels, Kellye spent eight years working in Hollywood, including a stint writing for the TV drama Cold Case. The New Jersey native now works for a leading media company in New York City and serves on the national Board of Directors for Sisters in Crime. You can learn more about her at KellyeGarrett.com and ChicksontheCase.com.  Laura Oles is a photo industry journalist who spent twenty years covering tech and trends before turning to crime fiction. She served as a columnist for numerous photography magazines and publications. Laura’s short stories have appeared in several anthologies, including Murder on Wheels, which won the Silver Falchion Award in 2016. Her debut mystery, Daughters of Bad Men, is a Claymore Award Finalist and an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. She is also a Writers’ League of Texas Award Finalist. Laura is a member of Austin Mystery Writers, Sisters in Crime and Writers’ League of Texas. Laura lives on the edge of the Texas Hill Country with her husband, daughter and twin sons. Visit her online at lauraoles.com.  Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley mystery series. The series’ first book, Agatha- and Lefty-nominated Protocol, introduces us to Maggie, a pharmaceutical researcher with a new job, a used phone, and a deadly problem. The series’ second book, 39 Winks, releases May 22. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running. Learn more at www.kathleenvalenti.com.  

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And the Winner is…

 Welcome to awards season! The Golden Globes, the NAACP Image Awards, the BAFTA Awards, the SAG Awards, The Academy Awards… Rotten Tomatoes lists about forty-one awards shows between September 2017 and March 2018. All focused on film and TV. Books win awards, too. Everyone’s heard of the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize, the Man Booker Prize, the National Book Award. These well-known literary prizes represent only a few of the accolades awarded to outstanding examples of writing. Many less well-known (although no less impressive) awards focus on particular genres. The Nebulas and Hugos honor achievements in science fiction in fantasy, The Edgars do the same for mysteries, and the RITA honors romance. As a mystery author, I pay the most attention to awards given to crime fiction: The Agatha, the Thriller, the Barry, the Lefty, the Dagger, the Anthony, the Nero, the Macavity…I’d be here until next award season if I listed them all. Crime fiction prizes are generally awarded at banquets, often in conjunction with conferences. The Agatha is presented as part of Malice Domestic, The Lefty is awarded at Left Coast Crime, the Anthony at Bouchercon, the Thriller at Thrillerfest. The conferences give readers a chance to meet authors, authors a chance to meet readers, authors and others in the publishing industry a chance to network (usually at a cocktail party or the hotel bar), and everyone a chance to attend panels, lectures, and workshops. Awards/conference season is a mixture of excited anticipation and crime (fiction)-filled fun. It presents a few challenges, however. Who to nominate for an award and who to vote for (for those awards where the nominees and winners are chosen by readers and/or conference attendees) and which conferences and banquets to go to. Which to attend is especially challenging. If you had the time to do nothing but travel and unlimited funds, you could be on the road constantly from March through July. You have to pick and choose. Do you plan your travel based on who’s up for an award, who’s speaking, location, timing, or a combination of factors? What conferences do you attend? How do you choose?

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Honoring Excellence in the Field

 Award season is upon us. The Golden Globes have been handed out, honoring Hollywood achievements, and the Oscar nominations have been announced. The nominees wait, breaths held and fingers crossed, hoping to hear their names called when the presenters open the envelope and read, “And the Oscar goes to…” The literary world awards its share of prizes, including the Pulitzer and Nobel. Some honor excellence in writing in general, some awards are genre specific. The Lefty, the Agatha, and the Edgar, three that honor excellence in crime writing, just released their nominee lists. The Lefty Awards are presented annually at the Left Coast Crime convention for the best humorous, historical, and debut mystery novels, as well as a prize for a mystery not in the above categories. Winners are selected by votes of registered convention attendees. This year’s nominees are:Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery NovelDonna Andrews, Die Like an Eagle (Minotaur Books)Ellen Byron, Body on the Bayou (Crooked Lane Books)Timothy Hallinan, Fields Where They Lay (Soho Crime)Heather Haven, The CEO Came DOA (Wives of Bath Press)Johnny Shaw, Floodgate (Thomas & Mercer)Diane Vallere, A Disguise To Die For (Berkley Prime Crime) Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel (Bruce Alexander Memorial) for books covering events before 1960Rhys Bowen, Crowned and Dangerous (Berkley Prime Crime)Susanna Calkins, A Death Along the River Fleet (Minotaur Books)Laurie R. King, The Murder of Mary Russell (Bantam Books)Catriona McPherson, The Reek of Red Herrings (Minotaur Books)Ann Parker, What Gold Buys (Poisoned Pen Press) Lefty for Best Debut Mystery NovelSarah M. Chen, Cleaning Up Finn (All Due Respect Books)Marla Cooper, Terror in Taffeta (Minotaur Books)Alexia Gordon, Murder in G Major (Henery Press)Nadine Nettmann, Decanting a Murder (Midnight Ink)Renee Patrick, Design for Dying (Forge) Lefty for Best Mystery Novel (not in other categories)Matt Coyle, Dark Fissures (Oceanview Publishing)Gigi Pandian, Michelangelo’s Ghost (Henery Press)Louise Penny, A Great Reckoning (Minotaur Books)Terry Shames, The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake (Seventh Street Books)James W. Ziskin, Heart of Stone (Seventh Street Books) The Agatha Awards honor works in the traditional (a.k.a. cozy or classic) mystery subgenre and are named for Agatha Christie. They’re presented at the annual Malice Domestic convention. Winners are determined by conventioneers’ ballots. This year’s nominees are:Best Contemporary NovelBody on the Bayou by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)Quiet Neighbors by Catriona McPherson (Midnight Ink)A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)Fogged Inn by Barbara Ross (Kensington)Say No More by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books) Best Historical NovelWhispers Beyond the Veil by Jessica Estevao (Berkley)Get Me to the Grave on Time by D.E. Ireland (Grainger Press)Delivering the Truth by Edith Maxwell (Midnight Ink)The Reek of Red Herrings by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books)Murder in Morningside Heights by Victoria Thompson (Berkley) Best First NovelTerror in Taffeta by Marla Cooper (Minotaur)Murder in G Major by Alexia Gordon (Henery Press)The Semester of Our Discontent by Cynthia Kuhn (Henery Press)Decanting a Murder by Nadine Nettmann (Midnight Ink)Design for Dying by Renee Patrick (Forge Books) Best NonfictionMastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot: How to Write Gripping Stories that Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats by Jane K. Cleland (Writer’s Digest Books)A Good Man with a Dog: A Game Warden’s 25 Years in the Maine Woods by Roger Guay with Kate Clark Flora (Skyhorse Publishing)Sara Paretsky: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction by Margaret Kinsman (McFarland Books) Best Short Story”Double Jinx: A Bellissimo Casino Crime Caper Short Story” by Gretchen Archer (Henery Press)”The Best-Laid Plans” by Barb Goffman in Malice Domestic 11: Murder Most Conventional (Wildside Press)”The Mayor and the Midwife” by Edith Maxwell in Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016 (Down & Out Books)”The Last Blue Glass” by B.K. Stevens in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine”Parallel Play” by Art Taylor in Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning (Wildside Press) Best Children/Young AdultTrapped: A Mei-hua Adventure by P.A. DeVoe (Drum Tower Press)Spy Ski School by Stuart Gibbs (Simon & Schuster)Tag, You’re Dead by J C Lane (Poisoned Pen Press)The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos (Balzer & Bray)The Secret of the Puzzle Box: The Code Busters Club by Penny Warner (Darby Creek) The Edgar Awards, named for Edgar Allan Poe, are given by the Mystery Writers of America to honor the best in crime writing and television. An MWA volunteer committee selects the winners in numerous categories as well as a Grand Master. Awards are also given to honor someone outside of creative writing who has worked to promote the mystery field and for excellence in mystery publishing. This year’s nominees are:BEST NOVELThe Ex by Alafair Burke (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (Hachette Book Group – Grand Central Publishing) BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHORUnder the Harrow by Flynn Berry (Penguin Random House – Penguin Books)Dodgers by Bill Beverly (Crown Publishing Group)IQ by Joe Ide (Little, Brown & Company – Mulholland Books)The Drifter by Nicholas Petrie (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)Dancing with the Tiger by Lili Wright (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)The Lost Girls by Heather Young (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow) BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINALShot in Detroit by Patricia Abbott (Polis Books)Come Twilight by Tyler Dilts (Amazon Publishing – Thomas & Mercer)The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni (Amazon Publishing – Thomas & Mercer)Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)A Brilliant Death by Robin Yocum (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)Heart of Stone by James W. Ziskin (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books) BEST FACT CRIMEMorgue: A Life in Death by Dr. Vincent DiMaio & Ron Franscell (St. Martin’s Press)The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle that Brought Down the Klan by Laurence Leamer (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder: The Unsolved Murder That Shocked Victorian England by Paul Thomas Murphy (Pegasus Books)                      While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent into Madness by Eli Sanders (Penguin Random House – Viking Books)The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale (Penguin Random House – Penguin Press) BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICALAlfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd (Penguin Random House – Nan A. Talese)Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime: Works and Authors of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden Since 1967 by Mitzi M. Brunsdale (McFarland & Company)Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin (W.W. Norton – Liveright)Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula by David J. Skal (W.W. Norton – Liveright) BEST SHORT STORY”Oxford Girl” – Mississippi Noir by Megan Abbott (Akashic Books)”A Paler Shade of Death” – St. Louis Noir by Laura Benedict (Akashic Books)”Autumn at the Automat” – In Sunlight or in Shadow by Lawrence Block (Pegasus Books)”The Music Room” – In Sunlight or in Shadow by Stephen King (Pegasus Books)”The Crawl Space” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Joyce Carol Oates (Dell Magazines) BEST JUVENILESummerlost by Ally Condie (Penguin Young Readers Group – Dutton BFYR)OCDaniel by Wesley King (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)The Bad Kid by Sarah Lariviere by  (Simon & Schuster – Simon & Schuster BFYR)Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand  (Simon & Schuster – Simon & Schuster BFYR)Framed! by James Ponti (Simon & Schuster – Aladdin)Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books) BEST YOUNG ADULTThree Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger (Simon & Schuster – Simon Pulse)The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group – Henry Holt BFYR)Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown BFYR)My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier (Soho Press – Soho Teen)Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor (Penguin Random House – Penguin Young Readers – Dial Books) BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY”Episode 1 – From the Ashes of Tragedy” – The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Teleplay by Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski (FX Network)”The Abominable Bride” – Sherlock, Teleplay by Mark Gatiss & Steven Moffat (Hartswood Films/Masterpiece)”Episode 1 – Dark Road” – Vera, Teleplay by Martha Hillier (Acorn TV)”A Blade of Grass” – Penny Dreadful, Teleplay by John Logan (Showtime) “Return 0″ – Person of Interest, Teleplay by Jonathan Nolan & Denise The (CBS/Warner Brothers)“The Bicameral Mind” – Westworld, Teleplay by Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy (HBO/Warner Bros. Television) ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD”The Truth of the Moment” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by E. Gabriel Flores (Dell Magazines) GRAND MASTERMax Allan CollinsEllen Hart RAVEN AWARDDru Ann Love ELLERY QUEEN AWARDNeil Nyren THE SIMON & SCHUSTER – MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARDThe Other Sister by Dianne Dixon (Sourcebooks – Sourcebooks Landmark)Quiet Neighbors by Catriona McPherson (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)Say No More by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Tor/Forge Books – Forge Books)Blue Moon by Wendy Corsi Staub (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow) Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees. 

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