Monday, August 03, 2020

McClinton Earns the Bland

The Sisters in Crime organization has announced that Columbia, South Carolina, resident Yasmin McClinton has won its 2020 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. This annual commendation, created in 2014 and named after African-American author Bland, is given to a novel-in-progress and includes a $2,000 grant, “intended to help the recipient complete a debut or early-career work of crime fiction.”

In addition to McClinton’s prize, five runners-up for the 2020 Bland Award will be honored with paid memberships in SinC, “so that more writers of color can benefit from the organization's community and offerings,” as a press release explains. Those five are Christina Dotson (Nashville, Tennessee), Tony Hernandez (Phoenix, Arizona), Robert Justice (Denver, Colorado), Raquel V. Reyes (Miami, Florida) and Manju Soni (Mystic, Connecticut).

Congratulations to all of this year’s contenders!

POSTSCRIPT: According to a post in the Mystery Scene blog, the winner of this year’s Bland Award was supposed to have been declared on July 15. Why the delay? Julia Borcherts, publicity manager for Kaye Publicity, explains that, “what with the Black Lives Matter priorities moving to the forefront of conversations around the time that the submissions period was to close, Sisters in Crime felt that it would be better to extend the submissions period by two weeks. (SinC did announce the extension on their social media but didn’t put out a press release about it because they didn’t want to take away from the BLM conversations.) In mid-July when I asked about the winner, they said that they’d extended the judging deadline by the same amount of time so that the judges wouldn’t have to race through the manuscripts. The winner was selected last Thursday night and then the announcement was made public yesterday. Apologies for the confusion!”

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