Wednesday, June 21, 2023

2023 Eleanor Taylor Bland Award Winners

Sisters in Crime (SinC), an inclusive international community for all who write and love crime fiction, has announced the winner of the annual Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color.

The winner of the 2023 Award is Nicole Prewitt of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her winning submission, Harts Divided, follows Neema Hart, a black, bisexual thief-turned-P.I., who owns a detective agency and therapy office with her estranged wife, Genie Hart. When what should be a bread-and-butter infidelity case results in unsuspecting women getting burned, in more ways than one. The Harts are pushed to prove their commitment to their clients, their community, and each other.

“I’m honestly so excited that opportunities like this exist and feel incredibly honored to have received the 2023 Eleanor Taylor Bland Award,” says Prewitt. “Writing a novel can be such a long process, and this has provided me with encouragement to see it through to the end.”

Established in 2014, The Eleanor Taylor Bland Award is strongly aligned with SinC’s mission to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of current and prospective members and intends to support a recipient at the beginning of their crime writing career. The grantee may choose to apply the grant toward workshops, seminars, conferences, retreats, online courses, and research activities to assist in completion of their work. Prewitt’s story was selected from over 60 submissions by 2023 judges Shizuka Otake — winner of the award in 2022 — plus novelists R. Franklin James and Andrea J. Johnson

“We couldn’t have asked for a more talented group of participants,” says Johnson. “It was an absolute pleasure to experience the captivating ways these writers have chosen to broaden and reinvent the crime genre.

Judge Shizuka Otake agrees. “Reading the entries reminded me that there are so many different voices and stories. And they can all be compelling.”

In addition to Prewitt’s 2023 achievement, SinC has also awarded five runners-up a year-long membership to the organization. Recipients were Josette Covington (Wilmington, Delaware), Ann Harris (Atlanta, Georgia), Kathryn Harrison (Bingham Farms, Michigan), Karabi Mitra (Toronto, Ontario), and Deena Short (Stonecrest, Georgia).

About Eleanor Taylor Bland:
Eleanor Taylor Bland (1944-2010) paved the way for fresh voices in crime fiction by showcasing complex characters that had previously been peripheral to or simply missing from the genre. Dead Time (1992), the first in her series of novels, introduced African-American police detective Marti MacAlister, an enduring and beloved heroine who overturned stereotypes that had been perpetuated in much of American popular culture. Bland also published more than 50 works of short crime fiction and edited the 2004 collection, Shades of Black: Crime and Mystery Stories by African-American Authors.

About Sisters in Crime:
Sisters in Crime (SinC) was founded in 1986 to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers. Today, the organization boasts 4,000 members and 59 chapters worldwide and its initiatives also include other scholarships, grants for academic research into the roles of women and underserved voices in crime fiction; cash awards to libraries and bookstores; and surveys and monitoring projects which determine visibility and representation of women and diverse voices in the genre and across the marketplace.

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