Friday, April 5, 2024

Mystery Writers of America BARBARA NEELY GRANTS

Mystery Writers of America
 announced the 2024 recipients of the Barbara Neely Grants: Ashley-Ruth M. Bernier and Audrea Sallis. The grant comes with a $2000 award to assist each recipient with any aspect of their career as they see fit. 

Barbara Neely was the author of the “Blanche” series, one of the first crime fiction series to feature a Black woman as the protagonist. In just four books, Ms. Neely became both a role model and a major influence for an entire new generation of Black women. Mystery Writers of America named her a Grand Master in November of 2019 to recognize her enormous contributions to the genre as well as her impact on the crime fiction community. Sadly, Ms. Neely passed away before she could accept the honor in person in April 2020 at the Edgars presentation and in 2021, MWA created a scholarship program for Black crime fiction writers in her name; one for an already published author, and another for one just getting started in publishing.

Ashley-Ruth Bernier’s short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Ellery Queen Mystery MagazineBlack Cat WeeklyStone’s ThrowThe Best American Mystery and Suspense 2023, and other places. She was the 2022 winner of the Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and has been a finalist for the Derringer Award, the Claymore Award, and the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Readers Award. She received a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Originally from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, she is a writer of Caribbean mysteries. Bernier lives with her husband and four children in North Carolina, where she teaches first grade and finds few things more valuable than uninterrupted writing time.

Audrea Sallis is an accomplished technical professional transitioning to creative writing. She’s passionate about mysteries, writing, and promoting books—a creative writer with an eye for detail and passion for crafting stories. A graduate of Western Kentucky University, Sallis now lives in South Dakota, and is currently working on an amateur sleuth mystery series featuring a woman relocating from Chicago to a small fictional town in South Dakota.

No comments: