I did a quick re-through of the latest issue of Crime Time, the newsletter from Crime Writers of Canada, that arrived in my email box within the last 24 hours. As usual, it was filled with clever articles by CWC members and news. What I found most interesting was that the membership of CWC has grown to 320 in the past 15 months.
That's a lot of writers across Canada with criminal thoughts running through their heads and onto the typed page.
Good for us! Crime writing is serious business (and I'm including mystery plus all the sub-genres or labels you can think of)and deserves an organization that will blast that news through the media and into the homes of all book readers. To that end, CWC has forged a partnership with the National Post, yet another rung in the climb to make crime writing more legitimate, not the poor country cousin of mainstream lit.
Great writing is great writing, no matter what the topic, what the format or where it's shelved in bookstores. To this end, the Crime Writers of Canada proudly proclaim the winners of the Arthur Ellis Awards each June.
The categories of Best Crime Novel, Best First Crime Novel, Best Crime Short Story, Best Juvenile/YA Crime Book, Best Crime Non-Fiction, and Best French Crime Book along with an award (the Unhanged Arthur) for Best First Unpublished Novel are jammed packed with submissions. We're out there, Canada ... and we're writing up a storm.
The process is starting once again. Publishers are being reminded to send in their submissions, authors are asked to make sure their stories make it into the judging process. And next June, we'll have another list of winners...and of course, the short-lists that also make for some criminally delicious reading.
If you're a Canadian mystery writer who is not a member of Crime Writers of Canada...what's taking you so long to join? This organization is out there, championing the cause of mystery and crime writers. It behooves you to add your support to their efforts.
If you're a reader, I hope you're reading your way through the Canadian lists. You'll find some chilling, funny, thoughtful, thrilling, fact-filled, and downright excellent writing on the Crime Writers of Canada book lists.
Am I right...or am I right?
Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime