|Sam Wiebe in the Vancouver Sun|
The Unhanged Arthur is a part of the annual Arthur Ellis Awards presented by the Crime Writers of Canada.
The Unhanged Arthur has been awarded for almost 10 years:
The first Unhanged Arthur was awarded by the Crime Writers of Canada in 2007 as part of the CWC mandate to recognize and promote the careers of promising new crime writers.
Eligible for the Unhanged Arthur are:
The competition is open to (1) Canadian citizens, no matter where they are living, and to writers, regardless of nationality, who have Permanent Resident status in Canada, and (2) who have never had a novel of any kind published commercially.
Contestants need a completed manuscript of 50,000 to 110,000 words.
I have not personally tried to define crime fiction. The Unhanged Arthur uses the following:
“Crime novel” includes capers, detective, espionage, mystery, police procedural, suspense, thrillers and other crime-related sub-genres, and can be set in any time period.
The prize is significant:
The winner will receive the Unhanged Arthur statue along with a cash prize from Dundurn. In addition, the winner's completed manuscript will be read and critiqued by a Dundurn editor, who will have the right of first refusal to publish the novel. The winner is required to allow Dundurn three (3) months to make an offer if they so choose, before the winning manuscript may be submitted elsewhere
The above quotes are drawn from the CWC website on particulars of the Award.
The winners of the Award have been:
2007 - Phyllis Smallman, Margarita Nights
2008 - D.J. McIntosh, The Witch of Babylon
2009 - Douglas A. Moles, Louder
2010 - Gloria Ferris, The Corpse Flower
2011 - John Jeneroux, Better Off Dead
2012 - Sam Wiebe, Last of the Independents
2013 – Coleen Steele, Sins Revisited
2014 – Rachel Greenaway, Cold Girl
With regard to Last of the Independents the Awards Committee stated:
A thoroughly satisfying read. An opening that grabs you, fast-moving and at times very funny with snappy dialogue, nice writing and intriguing plot. Very professional, and almost ready for publication. Last of the Independents was our unanimous choice as winner of the Unhanged Arthur Award
Dundurn took up their right to make an offer and are the publishers of Last of the Independents.
I think the Unhanged Arthur is a great award and look forward to seeing who wins in 2015. The shortlists for this year’s Arthur Ellis Awards will be announced in late April.