Tuesday, February 22, 2022

MWA Confers First Neely Grants

Last summer, Mystery Writers of America announced it was creating a new scholarship fund for Black writers, named in honor of the late Barbara Neely, who wrote the Blanche White mystery series. It explained that one grant of $2,000 would be presented to an already published author, while the other one would go to a writer who was just getting started in publishing. These grants were intended “to assist each recipient with any aspect of their career as they see fit.”

MWA now follows up with news about the first pair of Barbara Neely Grant recipients: Jonathan Brown, author of the Lou Crasher mysteries, including Drums, Guns ’n’ Money, due from Down & Out Books in mid-2022; and Necole Ryse, who is said to have “authored several books that are light on love and heavy on murder,” among them Pushing Thirty (2018) and The Birthright (2015).

When asked about the process of choosing these inaugural grant winners, MWA executive vice president Greg Herren said, “We received some absolutely stunning applications. I was glad I wasn’t asked to be one of the judges, because it would have been incredibly difficult to choose just two.”

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