Crime writers are a skewed bunch. We’re morbid and black-humoured. We envision myriad ways to maim and murder people. And we call it a living.
Every year, the Crime Writers of Canada highlights this well-known aspect of the crime writer’s psyche by holding an annual awards competition named after Canada’s last official executioner.
It’s called the Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing (@ArtEllisAward or #ArthurEllis on Twitter). Works are submitted in December (give or take) and a shortlist is announced for eight categories in late April. The big to-do happens in late May, when eight Canadian authors receive a statuette that illustrates quite literally what gallows humour is.
I was privileged to have my debut novel on the shortlist in 2014 and I’m honoured to have a short story make the finalists in 2016. Maybe I’ll get one of those macabre little statues; maybe I won’t this year. Either way, I’m happy to have my work acknowledged, and I’m proud to belong to the wonderfully dark little group known as “Canadian crime writers.”