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In Memoriam - Gwen Logan Martin

October 31, 1951 - June 6, 2024

June 18, 2024
In Memoriam - Gwen Logan Martin

It is with profound sadness that we let you know our former board member and good friend to CWC, Gwen Martin, has passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.

Gwen was born in Bristol, England and moved to Ontario as a young child. She began her career as a geologist, and then made a living as a writer and editor. She taught writing and editing workshops, authored Our Forest Heritage, a publication for the Province of NB, plus four geology books: Once Upon a Mine, For the Love of Stone (Vols 1 and 2), and Gesner’s Dream – The Trials and Triumphs of Early Mining in New Brunswick.

Gwen joined CWC in February 2020 and was a devoted supporter of crime writing and an active board member. She became ill in 2023. As her strength permitted, Gwen volunteered to complete tasks for CWC. Her most notable recent project was cleaning up that Mega List of 2000 names.

We will remember Gwen for her intelligence, generosity, incredible kindness and sharp sense of humour. She will be missed very much.

In September, CWC will announce the naming of an Awards of Excellence prize in Gwen’s honour.

Please see below for more comments and memories of Gwen, shared by those who knew and loved her well; and you may login below to add your own messages.

Gwen’s obituary can be found here: https://mcadamsfh.com/tribute/details/1761/Gwen-Martin/obituary.html#tribute-start


In Memoriam - Don Graves

March 28, 1946 - June 4, 2024

June 14, 2024
In Memoriam - Don Graves

Don Graves, aged 78, passed away peacefully on June 4, 2024, due to complications following a stroke.

Among other things, Don was a mystery book reviewer who almost exclusively reviewed Canadian books. He was published in the Hamilton Spectator until it was bought out, then he published his reviews online.

Don was a CWC supporting member for many years. In 2012, CWC presented Don with the Derrick Murdoch Award for his contribution to promoting Canadian crime writing.

If you wish to share your memories of Don, please login and use the form below.

Don’s obituary can be found here:

https://www.arbormemorial.ca/en/dbburlington/obituaries/donald-havelock-graves/124837.html


AGM 2024

Supporting Documents & Registration

June 03, 2024
AGM 2024

The supporting materials related to the AGM are now available for download on the CWC website, including the following documents:

  • 2024 AGM Agenda
  • 2023 AGM Minutes
  • 2024 Annual Report
  • Proxy Voting Form

To view or download the documents, please use the following link:

View AGM Supporting Documents

Registration

CWCs Annual General Meeting is scheduled for June 20th @ 7:00 pm ET and will be held using Zoom. The deadline for registration is June 19th. Once registration is closed, members who have registered will receive an email with a link to the Zoom meeting. All CWC members in good-standing are permitted to attend to the AGM; to register, please use the link below (registration closes June 19th at 12:00 pm ET):

Register for CWC 2024 AGM

Volunteering

We are still looking for members to volunteer for vacancies on the Board of Directors. Won't you consider being part of the CWC Board? Please use the following link to volunteer:

AGM Nomination & Volunteering Form


We look forward to seeing you at the AGM!



CRIME WRITERS OF CANADA ANNOUNCES THE 2024 AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS

For immediate release

May 29, 2024
CRIME WRITERS OF CANADA ANNOUNCES  THE 2024 AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS

Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) is pleased to announce the Winners of the 2024 Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing. Since 1984, Crime Writers of Canada has recognized the best in mystery, crime, suspense fiction, and crime nonfiction by Canadian authors, including citizens abroad and new residents.

On behalf of CWC, Hyacinthe Miller, Board Chair, congratulates all the Winners.

THE 2024 AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS

The Peter Robinson Award for Best Crime Novel sponsored by Rakuten Kobo, with a $1000 prize

Loreth Anne White, The Maid's Diary, Montlake

Loreth Anne White is an accomplished writer and The Maid’s Diary deserves this year’s Award of Excellence for a deceptively simple story that is, in the end, anything but simple. It is a dark, fast-moving, unsettling thriller that builds suspense as it hurtles towards its unexpected ending.

The twists are all anchored in the story and even the outlandishly nasty characters are believable. There are multiple perspectives, with each character adding to the others’ narratives, often contradicting what has already been told.

Nothing is as it appears except for Vancouver – the finely honed setting of The Maid’s Diary. White shows her deep knowledge of police procedures with intriguing crime scene details.

A unanimous choice of the judges, The Maid’s Diary is beautifully written, gritty and guaranteed to keep the reader turning the pages late into the night.

Best Crime First Novel, sponsored by Melodie Campbell, with a $1000 prize

Amanda Peters, The Berry Pickers, Harper Perennial / HarperCollins

The Berry Pickers is a beautifully written, immersive book with a unique, propulsive structure. Its enduring resonance inspired us to think deeply about the issue of kidnapping and family separation. The three-dimensional characters are well-drawn, revealing flaws that inspire empathy, strong family bonds, and the search for the truth that ties this story together in a deeply satisfying way. And, the novel's sense of place and time added nuanced depth to the page. The Berry Pickers is a deeply poignant read that we'd recommend to anyone. It's a wonderful achievement in crime fiction, marking the marvellous debut of an exciting Canadian writer. Bravo!

The Howard Engel Award for Best Crime Novel Set in Canada, sponsored by Charlotte Engel and Crime Writers of Canada, with a $500 prize

Joan Thomas, Wild Hope, Harper Perennial/HarperCollins

Wild Hope is a captivating contemporary crime novel set against the backdrop of a bucolic small town increasingly dependent on urban visitors. Joan Thomas skillfully weaves a tale of love, betrayal, and redemption, exploring the complexities of personal commitment amidst environmental concerns.

At the heart of the story are Jake Challis, a troubled artist grappling with the ghosts of his past, and Isla Coltrane, a talented chef navigating the challenges of running a farm-to-table restaurant. Their relationship is tested when Jake's childhood friend, Reg Bevaqua, a wealthy businessman with a dubious environmental record, reemerges in their lives.

As the narrative unfolds, Thomas delves into the intricacies of friendship, love, and moral responsibility. Through richly drawn characters and evocative prose, she explores the tensions between economic progress and environmental conservation, leaving readers questioning the true cost of success.

The brilliance of the narrative means that even though the reader understands what the outcome must be, both Isla and the reader maintain a 'Wild Hope' that all will end well.

The Whodunit Award for Best Traditional Mystery sponsored by Jane Doe, with a $500 prize

Nita Prose, The Mystery Guest, Viking

The judges for the Whodunit Award for Best Traditional Mystery had fun reading the many worthwhile entries submitted, but all three judges were unanimous in selecting The Mystery Guest among their top picks. The protagonist is a clever departure from the usual sleuth. The description of Molly’s neurodivergence is excellent and insightful, and we are carried along with her as she faces her dilemmas and demons. Molly is someone you want to root for. Almost everything about this book is perfect - language, characters, and descriptions of the setting. As Molly tries to solve the mystery of a famous novelist’s murder, the author builds the puzzle with inventive skill. Just when we are sure we have the answer, the plot turns another corner and we’re off again. Along with Molly, we learn that nothing is as it seems at first glance. The judges described The Mystery Guest as “delightful” and “hands down my favourite.”

Best Crime Short Story

Marcelle Dubé, Reversion, Mystery Magazine

Crisp dialogue and a rough prairie setting nicely complement the well-executed plot in this little gem. The crime is high stakes, and the narrative evokes tension to the very (neat) end. Dubé is especially deft with character development (no mean feat within the confines of a short story): the complex psychological backstory of protagonist Luke adds depth to themes about unreconciled pasts, the regenerative power of love, and our complicated relationships with those we think we know best.

The Best French Language Crime Book (Fiction and Nonfiction)

André Marois, La sainte paix, Héliotrope

Set in rural Québec, La sainte paix asks the question – How far will an elderly woman go to maintain her peaceful existence on the Mastigouche river? We, the readers, are drawn into Jacqueline’s machinations as she goes to great lengths to protect her “holy peace” from the possibility of bothersome intruders. The main character is drawn with humour and a certain vulnerable tenderness, despite her moral failings. We understand what drives her and, while we sympathise with the well-meaning officers trying to get to the bottom of her crimes, by the end, we too are in cahoots with Jacqueline! La sainte paix is a real page-turner. The novel is well-structured; the dialogue is effective throughout, and the story has flow and a purposeful drive. This is focused storytelling at its best.

Best Juvenile/YA Crime Book, sponsored by Shaftesbury Films with a $500 prize (Fiction and Nonfiction)

Cherie Dimaline, Funeral Songs for Dying Girls, Tundra Books

In Funeral Songs For Dying Girls, Cherie Dimaline has crafted a complex novel peopled with characters who live and breathe on the page. Indigenous/white teen Winifred is a loner, dubbed Wednesday Addams and ostracized by her classmates because she lives above the small-town cemetery where her mother is buried, and the crematorium where her father works. After she unwittingly gives rise to rumours that the graveyard is haunted because of her habit of wandering the grounds at all hours, and after she befriends Phil, an actual ghost girl, Win realizes that she can play this to her father’s benefit. He is in danger of losing his job to outsourcing but the ghost tours might be enough to save them. Dimaline’s prose and language are exquisite, beautiful and yet somehow gritty, and the judges found Win’s voice to be authentic and true. This raw look at grief, self-evolution, and big life change fully embraces all the contradictions, the formative moments—those both poignant and humiliating--that make up the young adult experience, and these were all present in Dimaline’s skillful portrayal of her main character. A meticulously-crafted page-turner that includes themes of indigeneity, sexuality, first love, and identity, this novel is a bittersweet coming of age story with a paranormal twist.

The Brass Knuckles Award for Best Nonfiction Crime Book sponsored by David Reid Simpson Law Firm (Hamilton), with a $300 prize

Michael Lista, The Human Scale, Véhicule Press

Hard to put down, Michael Lista’s The Human Scale is an intriguing compilation of ten crime reports of “murder, mischief and other selected mayhems”, each with the author’s own postscript which describes the development of the narrative as well as the ramifications of publication. The collection emphasises the author’s prowess in journalistic research resulting in engaging and believable stories.

Lista’s satisfaction in unveiling the truth is clear in his concise attention to detail which not only puts the reader at the scene of the crime, but elicits emotions of surprise, empathy, and horror. Further, his examination of how he became a true crime writer and his thoughts on writing about real life crimes were fascinating. A unanimous decision to win Crime Writers Canada Award of Excellence in the non-fiction category, this compelling collection of short stories is a must read for all true crime fans.

Best Unpublished Crime Novel manuscript written by an unpublished author

Craig H. Bowlsby, Requiem for a Lotus

CWC is grateful for the support of Our Award Sponsors

  • Toronto-based Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s fastest-growing e-Reading services, offering more than 5 million eBooks and magazines to millions of users around the world. It also offers a variety of e-Readers and top-ranking apps, enabling people to read more—on any device they choose.
  • Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital. Building on a library of award-winning children’s programs, Shaftesbury has an extensive slate of new child and family programming.
  • David Simpson, a lawyer in Hamilton and the Districts of Brant, Halton, Haldimand and Niagara, has a tradition of over fifty years of legal services. He sponsors “The Brass Knuckle” Award for Best Nonfiction Crime Book in memory of true-crime author Robert Gordon Knuckle (1935-2019).
  • Melodie Campbell is the author of 17 books, 60 short stories, and is the recipient of ten awards, including the Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence. She has taught fiction writing since 1992 and maintains a special interest in encouraging new writers.
  • Jane Doe chooses to remain anonymous.

About Crime Writers of Canada

Crime Writers of Canada was founded in 1982 as a professional organization designed to raise the profile of Canadian crime and mystery fiction and non-fiction writers. Our members include authors, publishers, editors, booksellers, librarians, reviewers, and literary agents as well as many developing writers. Past winners of the Awards have included well-recognized names in Canadian crime writing such as Mario Bolduc, Gail Bowen, Stevie Cameron, Howard Engel, Barbara Fradkin, Louise Penny, Peter Robinson and Eric Wright. We would like to thank our sponsors and volunteers, and the many participating publishers, authors and contest judges for their continued support.

Full details about the competition can be found on the Crime Writers of Canada’s website: www.crimewriterscanada.com

For more information about the Awards of Excellence, contact Ludvica Boota at awards@crimewriterscanada.com

To enquire about becoming an Award sponsor, contact the CWC Chair, Hyacinthe Miller, at board-chair@crimewriterscanada.com

-end-


Upcoming Webinar: The Ins & Outs of the New CWC Website

May 28, 2024
Upcoming Webinar: The Ins & Outs of the New CWC Website

Join us On June 4th when our new web designer, Stephen Butters, will discuss the new and improved features of the CWC website.

Topics discussed will include:

- member account access -- where/how to login, resetting your password, etc
- an overview of the account profile section/function, what's available & how to access, etc
- the public member directory profile function -- how to edit your profile, modify privacy settings for controlling visibility of the profile & individual profile fields, etc
- membership renewal process, how & where to renew, automated recurring payments function
- the book catalogue -- how to post new books, how members can find their own books in the catalogue, and via the members-only section for editing/removing, how to edit or remove existing books, etc

Q&A to follow.

All members will receive an email invitation on May 30th. If you don’t receive the invitation, please email webinar@crimewriterscanada.com.


Bony Blithe is back…at least for 2024.

Register now to join in the fun!

May 21, 2024
Bony Blithe is back…at least for 2024.

The 2024 Bony Blithe Mini-Con will be held on Saturday, June 15, at the High Park Club (100 Indian Road, Toronto), the home of our last 3 mini-cons, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As always, we’ll have panels and other programming, along with lots of free books for you to take, so bring your biggest book bag. There’ll be breakfast treats, a lunch, and afternoon nibblies.

Book Sales: We will have tables set up so authors can sell and sign their books. If you want a spot, please email us at info@bonyblithe.ca so we can (1) make sure you have a place, and (2) let attendees know your books will be available.

Panels: If you are a published author and want to be on a panel (no guarantees, though, sorry), please tell us in an email to info@bloodywords.ca what your books or stories are about and what you’d be comfortable discussing.

Visit http://bonyblithe.ca for details and to register.


Literacy Central Vancouver Island and Crime Writers of Canada present: I Wrote a Book. Now What?

Saturday, June 15, 2024
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Literacy Vancouver Island
19 Commercial Street, Nanaimo, BC

May 19, 2024

This 3-hour workshop is aimed at authors who are in the beginning stages of their writing careers, who have written a book and now need some guidance regarding the editing and publishing options available to them.

Attendance is free. Light refreshments will be served.
Please register in advance at
winonakent@shaw.ca
Seating is limited to 20.

EDITING, FROM THE “BIG PICTURE” TO THE PERSNICKITY
Facilitator: Allyson Foster
This session will demystify the different types and stages of editing, from the “big picture” to the persnickety. We’ll discuss how to identify your editing needs, choose the right editor for your project, and make the most of your editing budget.

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PUBLICITY AND MARKETING
Facilitator: Joanna Vander Vlugt
Multi-published Vancouver Island thriller author Joanna Vander Vlugt will provide an engaging discussion distinguishing the differences between publicity and marketing and how that equates to book sales. She’ll discuss fuelling the promotion wheel while avoiding burn out, drawing upon her own experiences with book signings, approaching bookstores and markets, as well as the importance of book reviews.

SELF-PROMOTION
Facilitator: Paulette McCarthy
Paulette will discuss one-to-one self-promotion and what tools she’s found which are helpful and have led to success. The session will inlude a brief discussion on what the authors envision for themselves in their writing careers.

WRITER ORGANIZATIONS: WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR YOU DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
Facilitator: Winona Kent
National Vice-Chair of the Crime Writers of Canada, Winona Kent, will provide a quick overview of the main writer organizations in Canada and BC, along with what membership in each of the organizations provides, and the cost.

View Full Press Release (PDF)


Wayne Ng in Riverbed Reading Series

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 7:30pm | Ottawa

May 14, 2024
Wayne Ng in Riverbed Reading Series

Wayne Ng is excited to be in the lineup along with writers ViNa Nguyễn, Jean Van Loon and filmmaker Desmond Simon for the next Riverbed Reading Series S5:i1 – Familial Roots.

The theme of Familial Roots will be brought to life as Wayne reads from his latest novel, THE FAMILY CODE, and gives a sneak preview of his upcoming work, JOHNNY DELIVERS, the standalone sequel to the 2022 Crime Writers of Canada award-winning novella, LETTERS FROM JOHNNY.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 | 7:30pm | in Ottawa

Location: Club SAW 67 Nicholas Street, and via Zoom

Learn More


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Memorial Messages

crimewriterscanada.com June 14, 2024 - 12:58 PM

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Stephen Butters (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia) June 14, 2024 - 1:03 PM

Testing again as a regular member

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Maureen Jennings June 15, 2024 - 7:14 PM

Bless you Don and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. You were always a kind and generous friend. We in this odd field of mystery owe you a lot.

Cathy Fynn (CWC ED) June 18, 2024 - 2:52 PM

Gwen’s passion and fearlessness transformed the people and causes she loved. She saw through flaws and walls to the purity inside and held it up for us to see and believe in. The world will not be the same without her; she left it a better place.

Alison Bruce (Ontario) June 18, 2024 - 9:08 PM

It was a joy to work with Gwen while she served on the Board. I was sad when she had to leave for health reasons and sadder now that those reasons have come to their closure.

I know she will be missed by friends and family. She is also missed by an all too temporary co-worker.

Alison Bruce, past Executive Director

Alison Bruce June 18, 2024 - 9:23 PM

For me, Don is unforgettable. He reviewed my first mystery novels. His paintings are on my walls. And he always asked after my son, every time we met, because Sam was interested in pursuing a career in theatre.

Your don’t forget someone like Don Graves.

Iona Whishaw (Vancouver) June 18, 2024 - 9:29 PM

I shall always remember and thank Don in my heart for the kindness he showed to me when I was starting out.  He gave me hope and a sense of truly belonging to the family of Canadian writers.  I know that there are many more writers out there who have also been helped by Don’s interest and desire to promote Canadian mystery writing, and of course, his great reviews.  That is quite tremendous legacy and a debt that will be hard to repay.  We will miss him. Canadian mysteries will miss him.  Thank you, Don.

Judy Penz Sheluk, Past Chair June 18, 2024 - 10:17 PM

I am heartsick to read this. Gwen was absolutely amazing to work with when I was Chair and took on so much as a volunteer. There would be no separate Atlantic Provinces Region without Gwen’s tireless efforts to cajole, recruit, and create the region. Gwen always made time, too, to come to webinars and meet-and-greets, and to share her wealth of knowledge. She was a true treasure and she will be missed.

Melodie Campbell (Burlington) June 18, 2024 - 11:00 PM

Don was my dear friend, mentor, and muse.  He was my first Dean at Sheridan, when I started teaching in 1991.  For so many years, he was the older brother I never had.  He and his wife Ruth (also my dear friend) kept me going after my beloved husband David died in 2019.  Don encouraged me to start a new project in 2020, and to write about Gina Gallo’s grandmother (Gina Gallo of the Goddaughter series.)  It was his idea.  I owe The Merry Widow Murder series to Don, and so much more.  The world is a sadder place for me and so many others now.  Thank you, dear Bear.

Zana Gordon June 19, 2024 - 12:55 AM

A truly remarkable woman.