Thursday, August 01, 2019

Bland Award Endorses New Talent

The Sisters in Crime (SinC) organization announced this morning that Orcutt, California, writer Jessica Martinez has been named as the winner of the 2019 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, “which provides a [$2,000] grant to an emerging crime-fiction writer of color (female or male) who has not yet published a full-length work.” SinC’s press release goes on to explain that Martinez’s “novel-in-progress features Teia Santiago, a police detective whose father-in-law blackmails her into kidnapping a textile manufacturing heiress—who also happens to be her sister-in-law.”

Martinez is quoted as saying, in response to this news: “I was so excited to learn that I had received the 2019 Eleanor Taylor Bland Award from Sisters in Crime. It feels great for someone to recognize my work as having potential. This award is affirmation for me to continue writing and to finish fleshing out this specific story of mine.”

The prize was created in 2014 and named for “pioneering African-American crime fiction author” Eleanor Taylor Bland, a Chicago-area author of police procedurals. Bland died in 2010. Past winners have been Mia Manansala (2018), Jessica Ellis Laine (2017), Stephane Dunn (2016), Vera H-C Chan (2015), and Maria Kelson (2014).

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