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Monday, March 16, 2020  
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Emerging Writer of Color Will Receive $2,000 Grant to Support Career Development

March 16, 2020 – Sisters in Crime is accepting applications for its seventh annual Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, a $2,000 grant awarded to an emerging writer of color. The award honors the late, pioneering African-American crime fiction author Eleanor Taylor Bland. Candidates must apply by June 8, 2020 and the winner will be announced by July 15, 2020.

"As one of the most prolific writers of color in crime fiction, Eleanor Taylor Bland was an inspiration to many,” said Sisters in Crime President Lori Rader-Day. “With this grant, we hope to continue her legacy, supporting new and inclusive voices in our genre and launching many long-term publishing careers.” The Eleanor Taylor Bland Award was created in 2014 with a bequest from Bland’s estate to support Sisters in Crime’s vision statement that the organization should serve as the voice for excellence and diversity in crime writing. Sisters in Crime’s longtime mission is to expand inclusiveness in crime fiction publishing and actively support the development of work by authors whose voices are underrepresented. The grant is intended for a writer beginning their crime writing career and will support activities related to career development including workshops, seminars, conferences, and retreats as well as online courses and research activities required for completion of their work.

The 2020 winner will join past recipients Jessica Martinez (2019), Mia Manansala (2018), Jessica Ellis Laine (2017), Stephane Dunn (2016), Vera H-C Chan (2015), and Maria Kelson (2014). Martinez, along with authors Rachel Howzell Hall and Alex Segura, comprise this year’s judging panel.

Eleanor Taylor Bland was the author of fourteen crime fiction novels published between 1992 and 2007, which featured Marti MacAlister, an African-American female police detective and an enduring and beloved heroine who went against the grain of stereotypes related to African-American women in much of U.S. popular culture. 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).

Sisters in Crime was founded in 1986 to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers. Today, the organization boasts 4,200 members and more than 60 chapters worldwide and its initiatives also include other scholarships; grants for academic research into the roles of women and underserved voices in crime fiction; cash awards to libraries and bookstores; and surveys and monitoring projects which determine visibility and representation of women and diverse voices in the genre and across the marketplace. For more information on its programs and author members, visit the organization’s website at

Complete guidelines and the application can be found at

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