Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It's party time!

Barbara here. This is tax month, which for a self-employed artist means days spent scouring the house for all those gas, meal, and conference receipts scattered in various piles, purses, bags, and drawers throughout the house. Unfolding them, squinting to read them, and sorting them into categories, etc. The dining room table, sofa, end tables, and even floor are forced into service, and the house is unfit for visitors for the duration.

Every year I swear an oath that next year I will be more organized and keep better records, but once that huge pile of papers is handed in to the accountant, I pour a drink, do a little dance, and forget the whole damn thing for another year.

This is not a blog about my failings as a records keeper, however, but rather an explanation for the brevity of today's post. I was so busy catching up on the things I'd put on hold to do my taxes– like raking my yard and cleaning up the debris from the winter– that I forgot it was blog day until just before bedtime.

So I want to take these few minutes to talk about the Arthur Ellis Awards, which are administered by Crime Writers of Canada and which honour excellence in Canadian crime writing. The awards are given annually in seven categories of published work– novel, first novel, short story, novella, French, non-fiction, and juvenile– as well as one category for unpublished manuscripts. To be eligible, the author must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, but the works need not be set in Canada. Both publishers and authors can submit works. At the end of each calendar year, all eligible works are sent out to the independent three-person jury for that category. Each jury chooses both a shortlist of (usually five) finalists and the eventual winner.


The shortlists are announced with great fanfare in media releases as well as shortlist parties across the country in late April, and the winners are announced at the Arthur Ellis Awards Banquet in June. The reason for this week's post is that the shortlists will be announced simultaneously across Canada tomorrow, April 21, at 8 pm. There will be shortlist parties held in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. Each party is organized by the local CWC members and usually features author readings, panels, and discussions.

The parties are free, open to the public, and everyone is welcome! So if you want to learn the latest and hottest in cool Canadian crime, as well as cheer on the authors nervously waiting to hear their name called, check out the party nearest you and come on down! If you can't make it, the results will be posted on the Crime Writers of Canada website shortly after the announcements.

Sandwiched between the huge markets of the US and UK, Canadian crime writers struggle to be heard and noticed. We compete with the international blockbusters for shelf space in the stores and for air time and review space in the media, so it takes a little more determination and ingenuity to find us. But we have a vibrant and active crime writing community in Canada, with books for every taste from nail-biting thrillers to historicals to gentle cozies, and once you find us, you won't be sorry. Crime Writers of Canada puts out a free monthly newsletter which contains all the new releases by members as well as the list of author events for that month. Check out the website to subscribe!

Good luck to all the authors on Thursday night!

1 comment:

Kristina Stanley said...

Have fun Thursday night. Good luck to all.