what we do
Our activities have two main goals: author promotion and professional development.
Author promotion (click here to read more)
Professional development for members (click here to read more)
Annual Arthur Ellis Awards
These awards have acknowledged distinction in Canadian crime writing since 1984. They draw readers’ and critics’ attention to excellent work in the field. Judges are drawn from award-winning writers, reviewers, booksellers, librarians, and academics across Canada. Finalists as well as winners recognize their exceptional promotional value.
Best Novel winners include CWC members Peter Robinson, Maureen Jennings, William Deverell, Gail Bowen, Giles Blunt, Linwood Barclay, and Louise Penny. Check out our Catalogue for more of our member winners.
Arthur Ellis Award Shortlist Events held across Canada
Since 2007, public events have been held across Canada to announce the Arthur Ellis Awards nominees. In Montreal, this event is part of The Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival. All events include a cell of our notorious authors.
Arthur Ellis Awards Banquet
This prestigious banquet is held in honour of Canada’s national mystery awards. It is a grand evening of food and entertainment culminating in the announcements of the year’s winners. Canadian publishers and media representatives from publications such as Quill and Quire, the National Post, and the Globe and Mail are invited to attend the awards banquet. Famous authors, the Board of Directors, sponsors and other nefarious characters mingle and chat with those who attend. The list of winners is widely publicized.
Best Unpublished Crime Novel — The Unhanged Arthur
The purpose of this award is to facilitate the careers of unpublished Canadian mystery writers. CWC member Louise Penny, winner of the British Debut Dagger, and her husband Michael Whitehead worked in collaboration with McArthur & Company Publishing and Crime Writers of Canada to launch the award in 2007. It has been a great success. An average of seventy unpublished manuscripts are submitted each year. Winners have garnered contracts with Canadian publishers.
National Crime Writing Month (NCWM)
NCWM is a special time for promoting local authors. Each May or June, in pubs, bookstores, and libraries across the country, fans and aspiring writers meet their celebrated local authors. Through the regional vice-presidents, CWC also encourages locally-based author events throughout the year.
Cool Canadian Crime - Catalogue and Quarterly
In 2003, Cool Canadian Crime (CCC), a free subscriber-based e-newsletter, was launched to promote members’ new and forthcoming books as well as to announce and promote the Arthur Ellis nominees and winners. CWC’s annual catalogue of members' books was a print edition for eight years. As of 2010, CCC has gone online and includes short stories and e-books. New releases continue to be featured in a newsletter sent out free to thousands of subscribers, but the on-line catalogue now promotes authors' backlists as well as publications released in the calendar year.
Crime Beat - Public e-Newsletter
This monthly public newsletter is sent with website updates of member news, mysterious author events and, of course, notification of our latest editions of CCC. This publication has been a tremendous success with over 3000 subscribers and it continues to attract numerous subscription requests from the general public.
Author Events Notification
A roster of our members’ literary activities is created monthly so that fans can know the “who”, “what”, “when” and “where” of their activities. This listing is published on our website and distributed via the public newsletter.
Participation in other Regional and National Events
CWC provides promotion opportunities for authors across the country through national events such as
Word on the Street (Halifax, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver)
Canadian Library Association Conferences;
and regional events such as the
Casa Loma Reading Series (Toronto);
Ontario Library Association conference (Toronto);
Pacific Festival of the Book (Victoria);
Simon Fraser University Symposium of the Book (Vancouver).
CWC also encourages its members’ participation in crime conferences held in Canada, the US, and elsewhere.
In 2010, plans for a new 21st century website were put into action. The website that you are now accessing is designed to allow fans, booksellers, librarians and anyone interested in the genre to get to know Canadian crime, mystery and thriller authors. To facilitate a variety of interests, visitors can search the site by sub-genre, region, author, title or year published. This August, we introduced a Speakers Bureau..
Other Promotional Works
CWC has published eight anthologies of members’ short fiction, a directory of Canadian crime writing (five editions), and two popular cookbooks, Dishes to Die For and Dishes to Die For…Again. These publications are used to highlight and promote Canadian authors — the recipes are good too.
Crime Time Newsletter
Crime Time is our monthly members' only newsletter with the latest industry news, resources, contests, awards and other useful information.
In 2008 CWC conducted an on-line pilot Mentorship Program to provide feedback and support for its pre-published members. The program was a tremendous success. It has become an annual online program.
CWC Workshops are provided free to members prior to the annual national crime-writing conference, Bloody Words. We encourage members to arrive early to the Bloody Words Conference in order to attend them. There is a fee for non-members.
Copyright 2013 Crime Writers of Canada