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Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award Winner 2017
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Sisters in Crime is pleased to announce the winner of the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award for 2017 -- Jessica Ellis Laine

"We received numerous exceptional submissions from a diverse group of emerging mystery writers,” said Naomi Hirahara, a member of the judging panel. “We had a difficult time deliberating, but in the end, it was Jessica Ellis Laine’s humor and authentic characterization of her Latina protagonist that won us over. We are excited to see mysteries written by Laine and other applicants fulfill our genre’s potential to reflect the wide range of human experiences.” 

"I am so incredibly honored to receive the 2017 Eleanor Taylor Bland award from Sisters in Crime,” said Laine. “I give thanks to the crime writers who have come before me including the amazingly talented Eleanor Taylor Bland. I have been fortunate to have many mentors in my life including Erin Hart, Ellen Hart, Kristi Belcamino, Pat Dennis, Michael Allan Mallory, and Rhonda Gilliland among others. I will try and repay this debt by writing to the best of my ability and by supporting future generations of crime writers. Mil gracias. Many thanks."

 Jessica Ellis Laine‘s work has been published in Literary Mama, Women’s Memoir and The Norwegian American. Her short story, “Safe Harbor,” is featured in the mystery anthology, Cooked to Death.  Jessica is also the winner of the he 2016 Mystery Writers of America-Midwest Hugh Holton award.

You can find more about her on her website - https://jessicaellislaine.com.

 

 

About Eleanor Taylor Bland

Eleanor Taylor Bland was a pioneer in crime fiction. Dead Time, published In 1992 and first in a 13-book series, introduced African American police detective Marti MacAlister, a widowed mother who lived and worked in a Chicago suburb that closely resembled Bland's adopted hometown of Waukegan. Each title in the series highlighted social problems of the time. Bland also published several works of short crime fiction and edited a collection titled Shades of Black: Crime and Mystery Stories by African-American Authors (2004). When she passed away in 2010, she was one of the most prolific African American authors in the genre. With Marti MacAlister, Bland created an enduring and much beloved heroine who went against the grain of perpetuated stereotypes related to African American women in much of U.S. popular culture.
 
Although Bland focused primarily in her work on stories about African American characters and their lives, bringing both complexities and comforts of familiarity to her readership, she also included in-depth interactions with other kinds of characters that reflect the broad spectrum of identities that is U.S. society. Bland saw crime fiction as an especially accessible literary vehicle for bringing into the genre characters that before her work had been peripheral to or simply missing from the genre. She understood that crime fiction could continue over time broadening its appeal to new reading audiences by opening its doors to the kinds of characters, societal situations and perspectives, and potential for creativity that authors of color would bring.

  

Additional details about the rules and selection process are described on the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color award announcement.

Press release announcing 2017 winner

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