Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jayne Barnard Shortlisted for the Unhanged Arthur

Jayne Barnard Shortlisted for the Unhanged Arthur - by Anne Jayne

Crime Writers of Canada celebrated mystery writers on Thursday, April 28, with events in cities across Canada. Local groups held very different events, but they all ended the same way, with the announcement of the shortlists for the 2011 CWC Awards.

In Calgary, CWC members Jayne Barnard, Susan Calder, Linda Kupecek and Garry Ryan took to the podium at the Calgary Public Library to read their work to an appreciative audience that included a number of Ink members.

For Inksters, the news was excellent: Jayne Barnard, a long-time member and current Secretary-Treasurer of Mystery Writers Ink, was chosen by Crime Writers of Canada for the shortlist for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel (popularly known as the Unhanged Arthur). The judges selected only three manuscripts this year from more than sixty that were submitted to the contest.

Jayne's novel, When the Bow Breaks, is set in France and the Lower Mainland, and features RCMP officer Lacey McCrae. While off duty, Lacey intervenes in a child abduction. She rescues the victim but soon realizes the little boy is still in danger. Her determination to uncover the source of the threat causes conflicts at home and at work. How much will she sacrifice to save a child she only met once?

The other two nominees are John Jeneroux for Better Off Dead and Kevin Thornton for Uncoiled.

The Unhanged Arthur was a brainchild of world-renowned mystery author Louise Penney, who launched her career as a novelist by winning the Debut Dagger Award in the U.K. She thought that Canadian writers deserved a similar contest, and the Crime Writers of Canada agreed.

The Unhanged Arthur contest is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have never had a novel of any kind published commercially. Participants first submit the 5,000 words and a synopsis. The judges then invite up to ten authors to submit the full manuscript. Of those, up to five will be selected for the shortlist.

McArthur & Co. presents the Award and a cash prize to the winner at the annual Crime Writers of Canada banquet, which takes place in Victoria on June 2, 2011. McArthur & Co. has the right of first refusal, and may offer a book contract to the author who wins the Unhanged Arthur. The author may choose to accept that offer or to pursue other publication options.

Winners of the Award include Gloria Ferris for The Corpse Flower; Douglas Moles for Louder; D.J. McIntosh for The Witch of Babylon (Penguin Canada); and Phyllis Smallman for Margarita Nights (McArthur & Co.).

Congratulations to Jayne Barnard on the selection of her manuscript for the shortlist, which is a testament to her dedication to the craft of writing. Good luck at the Crime Writers of Canada banquet in Victoria: we'll be rooting for Jayne to receive the Award!