Even though I’m still what we call a “pre-published author” in the crime fiction business, right now my life seems to be all about awards.
A year ago I offered to create the program for Malice Domestic, an annual conference where fans and writers of mysteries gather for several days to talk, drink tea, and vote on the Agatha Awards. Yes, they are named in memory of the Dame herself, Agatha Christie.
I’ve put in about a day and half already this week on photos, email, and page designs. Others on the committee are also hard a work writing stories, setting up the sessions, designing ads, and doing countless other tasks that happen behind the scenes to make sure people who attend have fun while they’re there.
The Agatha Awards are hand-lettered tea pots, some black, some white. They suffered a few supply chain problems during the height of COVID, but it looks like the supply is back to normal now.
:Last week, I got my invitation to the Edgar Awards. Everyone who is a member of Mystery Writers of America is eligible to attend the ceremony — black tie, it is — in New York in April. I won’t be going, in part because it happens days before Malice begins, and I’ll be busy in Maryland. The award is a colorful bust of the man considered by many to be the father of mystery fiction in the U.S.
And today, amidst all the Malice email that’s been landing in my box, I also received my invitation to nominate stand-out books from 2022 for the Anthony Awards. I’ve only been to Bouchercon, where the Anthony’s are presented, twice. I tried to go more since my first trip to Toronto a few years ago, but, well, COVID.
I managed to join thousands of others in Minneapolis for what is the biggest mystery conference in North America. That’s where they awarded the clear plaque for the first time. The conference and the award are named for Anthony Boucher, who was both a critic and a writer of mysteries. Boucher was actually a pen name of William Anthony Parker White.
And I need to take a look at my 2022 reading list on Goodreads to pick out things I might want to nominate for the Anthony’s. I’m already reading the nominees for the Agatha Awards, since I get to vote on those, too.
So, contests. They’re taking a lot of my time lately. And maybe someday, I might even have a book that’s eligible