It is our pleasure to announce the winners of the 2017 Hugh Holton Awards.
The winner of the prize for member submissions, selected by agent and MWA Midwest member Alice Speilburg, is Susan Hammerman (Illinois), for an excerpt from her historical mystery novel-in-progress Chicago Flimflam! Speilburg noted Hammerman’s story for “its great level of mysterious atmosphere, curious detail, and character charm.” Hammerman receives a $250 cash prize.
Susan Hammerman, a former rare book librarian, got the idea to write a mystery novel while working at the Newberry Library – a fabulous and mysterious place. She lives in Chicago with her husband. Susan is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Caxton Club, a club for book collectors. She loves learning about the history of Chicago, and when she isn’t writing, she’s fretting about it.
The winner of the prize for non-member submissions, selected by MWA Midwest member guest judges Jessie Chandler and Bryon Quertermous, is Cari Dubiel (Ohio), for an excerpt of her speculative fiction mystery novel-in-progress, How to Remember! The judges noted Dubiel’s story for being “fresh and intriguing right out of the gate.” Dubiel receives a year’s membership in Mystery Writers of America and the Midwest Chapter as her prize.
Cari Dubiel is a librarian and writer in Northeast Ohio. She recently finished a five-year term as the library liaison to the National Board of Sisters in Crime. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies, most recently Day of the Dark: Stories of Eclipse.
The Hugh Holton Award is named for a former member and president of MWA Midwest. Hugh Holton was a Chicago mystery writer and a pioneer African American writer of crime fiction. He wrote eight books about Chicago Police Detective Larry Cole, all of which drew on his experiences as a Chicago police officer. When Holton died in 2001, MWA Midwest launched a critique program within the chapter to remember Holton’s contribution to the writing community and to MWA Midwest.
We wish to thank our judges of the contest, all the member authors who served as critique readers in the Holton Critique Program this past spring, and especially Susanna Calkins, the MWA Midwest board member who administered both programs for the past two years.