Monday, 30 October 2017

Unhanged, Debut Dagger, and Canadian mystery writing

At a recent crime writing workshop with Vancouver mystery author Merrilee Robson, she told us about some mystery writing places you might like to look at if you're a Canadian writing in that genre.

1)  Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award: for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel
("You have not had a novel, or novel-length work of fiction (50,000+ words), of any kind published commercially, whether: in print or electronically (i.e., e-book or published on the Internet) or selfpublished in any genre, including literary fiction under your given name or a pseudonym, and/or written alone or jointly with another author"). 

Info about it is here. Note: there are various Arthur Ellis competitions and the deadlines are different. Be sure to read the several pages of submission guidelines.

2) The Debut Dagger Award (UK) here.

3) Organizations Canadian crime writers should know about:
  • Crime Writers of Canada - here. They have a free newsletter you can subscribe to. 
  • Sisters in Crime (SINC) - Canada West - here.

Merrilee Robson is the author of 
Murder Uncooperative, (North Star Press 2016), set in co-operative housing in Vancouver, BC.

She's currently working on a historical mystery. This work in progress--Summer Smoke--was a finalist in the Freddie Award for Writing Excellence, sponsored by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.

I asked Merrilee which mystery writers she reads:    
There are so many good mysteries around these days; it's hard to choose.
  • For Canadian authors,  I love what Louise Penny has done with her series set in Three Pines. I bought Deadly Appearances, Gail Bowen's first novel, on the recommendation of staff at People's Co-op Bookstore on Commercial Drive and I thought her description of political events was dead on (so to speak.)  I've read every one of her books.
  • Iona Whishaw is a local writer who writes a series set in BC in the period following WWII. 
  • Among British mysteries, I've enjoyed Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway series, set in Norfolk, Jacqueline Winspear's Misie Dobbs historical series, and Anne Cleeves' books set in the Shetland Isles.
  • Of course there are the classics, Dame Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, and a number of Golden Age Mysteries are being re-released in print and e-books. I just found out that Mary Stewart's romantic suspense novels are now available as e-books, many for only 99 cents.”

Margo Lamont

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