Saturday, May 01, 2021

Taking in the Shorts

The Short Mystery Fiction Society (SMFS) today announced the winners of its 2021 Derringer Awards, which recognize excellence in short crime fiction. There were four categories of contenders.

Best Flash Story (up to 1,000 words): TIE—“Memories of Fire,” by C.W. Blackwell (Pulp Modern, August 2020); and “War Words,” by Travis Richardson (Punk Noir, December 2020)

Also nominated: “Outsourcing,” by James Blakey (Shotgun Honey, December 2020); “Over Before It Started,” by Robert Mangeot (Akashic: Mondays Are Murder, June 2020); and “Quitman County Ambush,” by Bobby Mathews (Bristol Noir, December 2020)

Best Short Story (1,001 to 4,000 words): TIE—“The Great Bedbug Incident and the Invitation of Doom,” by Eleanor Cawood Jones (from Chesapeake Crimes: Invitation to Murder, edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman, and Marcia Talley; Wildside Press); and “River,” by Stacy Woodson (from The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell, edited by Josh Pachter; Untreed Reads)

Also nominated: “The Homicidal Understudy,” by Elizabeth Elwood (from Mystery Most Theatrical, edited by Verena Rose, Rita Owen, and Shawn Reilly Simmons; Wildside Press); “That Which Is True,” by Jacqueline Freimor (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine [EQMM], July/August; and “The Crossing,” by Kim Keeline (from Crossing Borders, edited by Lisa Brackmann and Matt Coyle; Down & Out)

Best Long Story (4,001 to 8,000 words): “Hotelin’,” by Sarah M. Chen (from Shotgun Honey Presents, Volume 4: Recoil, edited by Ron Earl Phillips; Shotgun Honey)

Also nominated: “Lord, Spare the Bottom Feeders,” by Robert Mangeot (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine [AHMM], March/April); “Chasing Diamonds,” by Joseph S. Walker (EQMM, September/October); “Etta at the End of the World,” by Joseph S. Walker (AHMM, May/June); and “Mary Poppins Didn't Have Tattoos,” by Stacy Woodson (EQMM, July/August)

Best Novelette (8,001 to 20,000 words): “The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74,” by Art Taylor (AHMM, January/February)

Also nominated: “The Question of the Befuddled Judge,” by Jeff Cohen (AHMM, May/June); “A Murder at Morehead Mews,” by G.M. Malliet (EQMM, July/August); “Suicide Blonde,” by Brian Thornton (from Suicide Blonde: Three Novellas, by Brian Thornton; Down & Out); and “The Wretched Strangers,” by Matthew Wilson (EQMM, January/February)

Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees!

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