The Agatha

Wow. To be so influential, so spectacular that a whole set of awards are named after you, and you don’t even have to use your last name. (Beat that Madonna/Prince/etc.!)  Agatha Christie is synonymous with the traditional mystery. So, it is fitting that one of the better known awards for that genre is named for her. This award is given yearly to authors of traditional mysteries. For those of you who don’t read mysteries, there are an abundance of kinds of mysteries, and an award for each one it seems like. If you like a who-done-it with twists, some class/society based drama, or the classic locked room puzzler, this is a great award to see on the dust jacket. These books by definition cannot be gory, profane, or have sex scenes. (Good to know if you’re recommending books to someone who might be offended, or to a child/young adult who has gotten bored in the juvie section). That is not to say that this category of mystery is boring at all, in fact these authors might be the best out there for creating suspense without any distractions or filler. Just the mystery m’am.

This award is given by Malice Domestic, Ltd.: “a fun-fan convention held annually”  for fans of this genre. Which, IMHO is AWESOME.  Every year, nominations are submitted by the good folks who go to the conference, a committee figures out the top 5 for each category, and then a vote is taken. That means that publishers by in large aren’t slapping an award on the book to sell more, and that the fans who love & know the genre are saying:”This is totally worth reading.”  For a list of past winners, click HERE.

Categories include: Best Novel, Best Children’s/YA, Best Short-Story, Best Non-Fiction,  and  Best First Novel.

In addition to the love given to new authors with the Best First Novel, the group also gives emerging authors grants to attend writing workshops/develop their craft. coolness.

The format of the winning publication can be either a Hardback, Paperback, OR  an e-book published by a e-publishing firm. No do-it yourselfers.

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One Comment on “The Agatha”

  1. MaryC says:

    Didn’t know the Agatha award was for “clean” mysteries, interesting! I know about the Edgar award, but only because one of my fave authors (Dana Stabenow) won one for her first mystery.


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