Crime Writers of Canada

Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) is a national, non-profit organization, founded in 1982 by Derrick Murdock and other professional crime writers. Its mandate is to promote crime writing in Canada and to raise the profile of the genre's established and aspiring authors.

Crime writing, as defined by the CWC, is any fictional or factual book-length work, novella or short-story that features crime as a major or principal element, and is written for any print or electronic medium. The genre includes any written account of criminal activity, crime detection and/or crime solving, set in any historical or geographical context, and usually involves a strong element of suspense. Crime Fiction may include detective stories, mysteries, thrillers, tales of espionage and suspense, as well courtroom, police or forensic procedural dramas. Other genres such as romance or speculative fiction may also involve a strong criminal or crime-detection theme.

Among the CWC members are professional and emerging authors, publicists and literary critics, author representatives, librarians, book sellers, and fans of crime fiction.

The CWC offers several author promotion services for its members, including exposure on the national website for recent book releases, in quarterly catalogues, in newsletters, in municipal, regional and national events, and with annual award presentations.

Annual Awards

The Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing, first established in 1984, are presented at an annual banquet. The awards are named for Arthur B. English, a British expatriate who, under the pseudonym Arthur Ellis, became Canada's official hangman in 1913. His professional successors adopted the same pseudonym.

The Arthur Ellis Award itself is an articulated wooden model of a man hanging from gallows. It is presented to the winner of each of six categories, including Best Crime Novel, Best First Crime Novel, Best Crime Book in French, Best Crime Nonfiction, Best Juvenile/Young Adult Crime Book, and Best Crime Short Story. A similar award is given to the winner in the Best Unpublished First Crime Novel ("The Unhanged Arthur"). The Derrick Murdoch Award is a special achievement award and is given, at the discretion of the CWC President, to a CWC Member who has contributed greatly to the advancement of the CWC and/or to crime writing in Canada.

External links


A. B. McKillop

A. B. (Brian) McKillop (born 1946) is Distinguished Research Professor and former Chancellor's Professor and Chair of the history department (2005–2009) of Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

McKillop was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and educated at the University of Manitoba (BA 1968, MA 1970) and Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario (PhD 1977). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2001.

A specialist in intellectual and cultural history, his books include:

A Critical Spirit: The Thought of William Dawson LeSueur (1977)

A Disciplined Intelligence: Critical Inquiry and Canadian Thought in the Victorian Era (1979)

Contexts of Canada's Past: Selected Essays of W.L. Morton (1980)

Contours of Canadian Thought (1987)

Matters of Mind: The University in Ontario, 1791-1951 (1994)

The Spinster and the Prophet; Florence Deeks, H.G. Wells, and the Mystery of the Purloined Past (2000).

Pierre Berton: A Biography (2008)The Spinster and the Prophet describes the court proceedings that resulted from accusations of plagiarism brought by Florence Deeks against H. G. Wells for his book The Outline of History. It won the Toronto Book Awards, the University of British Columbia's President's Medal for Biography, and the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for "Best True Crime".

"The Spinster and the Prophet" marked a change in McKillop's writings for publication. His previous books had been written as academic monographs, but this was his first attempt at writing in a popular narrative style, and he refers to its composition in an essay on Canadian historiography that he later wrote for a volume published by the University of Toronto in celebration of the Canadian historian Carl Berger. From his initial position of emotional detachment from his subject, he came to empathise strongly with Florence Deeks, and only later did he recognise that the death of his mother from lung cancer while he drafted the book had been an important factor in this. As McKillop puts it, "I wrote my book, I now understand, less as a practised historian or as a neophyte biographer, than as a grieving son..."In the fall of 2008 McKillop released Pierre Berton: A Biography, a comprehensive examination of the life of the late historian and media celebrity, Pierre Berton. The book won the Donald Grant Creighton Award of the Ontario Historical Society for best biography or memoir. It appeared as a trade paperback in September 2010.

Anthony Bidulka

Anthony Bidulka (born July 24, 1962) is a Canadian writer of mystery, thriller and suspense novels. Bidulka's books have been nominated for Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Awards, Saskatchewan Book Awards, a ReLit award, and Lambda Literary Awards.

His novel Flight of Aquavit won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Men's Mystery, making Bidulka the first Canadian to win in that category. Bidulka received Lambda Literary Award nominations again in 2008 for Stain of the Berry, in 2009 for Sundowner Ubuntu, and in 2013 for Dos Equis.Born and raised on a farm near Prud'homme, Saskatchewan, Bidulka studied psychology at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, and worked as a teacher and CPA before devoting himself to full-time writing in 1999.

Arthur Ellis Awards

The Arthur Ellis Awards are a group of Canadian literary awards, presented annually by the Crime Writers of Canada for the best Canadian crime and mystery writing published in the previous year. The award is presented at a gala dinner in the year following publication.

The awards are named for Arthur Ellis, the pseudonym of Canada's official hangman. The award statue itself is wooden model of a hanging man. The arms and legs move when the statue's string is pulled.

The year cited below is the year in which the work was published.

Caroline Roe

Caroline Medora Sale Roe (born 1943) is a Canadian novelist who has written detective novels as Medora Sale and historical mystery novels as Caroline Roe.Caroline Medora Sale was born in Windsor, Ontario. She received a BA from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in Medieval Studies from the same university. Her PhD research involved religious diversity in the Medieval Era. Before becoming a full-time writer, she taught at Branksome Hall and also worked in advertising and as a typist, translator, and caseworker. She married the medievalist Harry Roe in 1970; they had one daughter, Anne.Her books as Medora Sale are The Spider Bites (2010), Murder on the Run (1985), Murder in Focus (1989), Murder in a Good Cause (1990), Sleep of the Innocent (1991), Pursued by Shadows (1992), and A Short Cut to Santa Fe (1994). They are police procedural novels set around Toronto and featuring the characters of John Sanders, a homicide detective, and Harriet Jeffries, an architectural photographer.Her books as Caroline Roe are Remedy for Treason (1998), Cure for a Charlatan (1999), An Antidote for Avarice (1999), Solace for a Sinner (2000), A Potion for a Widow (2001), A Draught for a Dead Man (2002), A Poultice for a Healer (2003), and Consolation for an Exile (2004). These historical mystery novels draw upon Roe's PhD research, and feature a 14th-century Jewish doctor who is physician to the Bishop of Girona.Roe has been a president of Crime Writers of Canada and of the international board of Sisters in Crime. Roe won the Arthur Ellis Award for best first novel in 1985 (for Murder on the Run), and a Barry Award in 1999 (for An Antidote for Avarice).

Eric Wilson (author)

Eric Hamilton Wilson (born November 24, 1940) is a Canadian author of young adult fiction. His detective novels follow the adventures of Tom and Liz Austen, young sleuths in Canada. Wilson has taught elementary and secondary school in White Rock, British Columbia, and has a B.A. from the University of British Columbia.In 1990, he won the Arthur Ellis Award for Lifetime Achievement from The Crime Writers of Canada.

Howard Engel

Howard Engel CM (born April 2, 1931) is a Canadian mystery writer and CBC producer who resides in Toronto, Ontario. He is well known to Canadian readers for his series of Benny Cooperman detective novels, set in the Niagara Region in and around the city of Grantham, Ontario (which strongly resembles the real city of St. Catharines, Ontario, where Engel was born). Engel is a founder of Crime Writers of Canada.

James Dubro

James "Jim" Dubro (born July 12, 1946 in Boston) is an award-winning crime writer of many books, articles and investigative television shows.Dubro earned an undergraduate degree (Phi Beta Kappa) from Boston University, received his master's degree from Columbia University, and did graduate work at Harvard University. He moved to Toronto from his native Boston to teach English literature at Victoria College at the University of Toronto.In 1973- January 9, 1974 when it aired, he researched a news-breaking hour-long documentary on espionage in Canada for CBC Television's entitled The Fifth Estate:The Espionage Establishment. The title of "the fifth estate" was used 19 months later by CBC TV for its now long-running investigative TV magazine show. He then became one of the producers of Connections, a series on organized crime broadcast on CBC Television in 1977 and 1979. It won the Anik and ACTRA awards for best documentary and the Michener Award. Dubro then became a researcher and associate producer for the fifth estate.After leaving the CBC to work as a freelancer, Dubro wrote five books on organized crime in Canada and its international connections. He has also researched, written, or produced documentaries on organized crime, Cuba, the KGB and the CIA that have appeared on CBC, PBS, A&E, Citytv and CTV. He co-authored the definition of "organized crime" for all editions of The Canadian Encyclopedia.He was president of the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) for two years and has been awarded its 2002 "Derrick Murdoch" award for his non-fiction crime writing and his many years of CWC work. In more recent years, Dubro, a longtime activist on policing issues in the LGBT community, has written on crime and policing matters for Xtra!. In 2016 he was awarded the "lifetime Achievement" award by Inspire Awards in Toronto. [ see Inspire Awards webpage]. He has also acted as consultant and interview subject on the History Channel TV series Mob Stories. He is now a freelance crime journalist based in Toronto.

James Powell (author)

James Powell (born 1932) is a Canadian author of mystery and humorous short stories. Many of his 130 stories have been published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. He has been nominated twice for the Crime Writers of Canada Award for the Best Short Story and, in 1989, won the Ellery Queen Readers' Award for the story "A Dirge for Clowntown" featuring Inspector Bozo of the Clowntown Police. Powell's occasionally dark sense of humor and developed irony has led to him being noted by Marvin Lachman as "The S.J. Perelman of the mystery story...outrageous, hilarious satires, international crime and surprise endings."Powell's most loved characters include Acting Sergeant Maynard Bullock of the RCMP and the four generation family of San Sebastiano detectives, The Ganelons. The author was born in Toronto, attended the University of Toronto and taught and studied in France for three years. He has worked on publications in New York City as well as in Rock Island, Illinois. A collection of his stories has recently been published in Japan. He has resided in Marietta, Pennsylvania for many years with his wife, Mary Lou and their poodles Daphne and Daffodil.

John Ballem

John Bishop Ballem (1925–2010) was a Canadian murder mystery/thriller novelist. While best known for his novels about the oil industry and private law, Ballem was also a naval air force pilot, assistant professor, specialist in the oil industry and private law lawyer. He was an acknowledged legal authority on oil and gas and winner of the Petroleum Law Foundation Prize in 1973. He was a member of the Crime Writers of Canada, the Probus Club of Calgary and the Air Crew Association of Alberta: Southern Alberta Branch. In 2009, the Law Society of Alberta and the Canadian Bar Association of Alberta awarded John the Distinguished Service Award for Legal Scholarship. He was also a Calgary Herald world travels reporter and visited many exotic locations such as both poles. Ballem's most important and well known work is the internationally recognized authoritative text,The Oil and Gas Lease in Canada, a standard legal reference that went to four editions, the final being 2008.

Karen Irving

Karen Irving is a Canadian writer. Irving is the author of the Katy Klein mystery novel series.

Born in Victoria, British Columbia, Irving was educated at Dalhousie University, the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, where she received her master's degree in Social Work in 1988.

Irving is known for her Katy Klein series of mystery novels. Set in Ottawa, Ontario, it revolves around the central themes of Jewish culture and astrology. The series follows the adventures of Katy Klein, former staff psychologist turned astrologer, Jewish single mother of a militant teen vegetarian, and reluctant amateur detective.

Pluto Rising (1999), the first in the series, was nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel by the Crime Writers of Canada. The film rights to the series have been optioned by a Canadian production company, and the books have been translated into Italian and Chinese.

Following Raincoast Books' 2005 decision, the Katy Klein series has been put on hold indefinitely.

Irving currently resides in Ottawa.

Max Haines

Max Haines (1931 — September 30, 2017) was a widely syndicated true crime columnist and author.Haines was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and attended Morrison High School there. He began researching murders from around the world, past and present, as a hobby. His "Crime Flashback" column made its debut in the Toronto Sun in 1972 with a column about Lizzie Borden. Over the next 35 years, he researched over 2,000 crimes and his "Crime Flashback" column was syndicated across Canada and in several Latin and South American countries. He also wrote 27 true crime books and a memoir, The Spitting Champion of the World, about growing up in Nova Scotia. Readership of his syndicated column was over 3 million per week. He lived in Toronto, Ontario with his wife Marilyn. He retired in 2006.

In 2005, he was awarded the Derrick Murdoch Award, one of the Arthur Ellis awards, by the Crime Writers of Canada.Haines died from progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) on September 30, 2017, aged 86.

Michael J. McCann

Michael J. McCann is a Canadian author of crime fiction and supernatural fiction. His crime novel Sorrow Lake, the first March and Walker Crime Novel, is a finalist for the 2015 Hammett Prize. He is also the author of the Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel series and The Ghost Man, a supernatural thriller. He is a member of the Crime Writers of Canada.

Norah McClintock

Norah McClintock (March 11, 1952 – February 6, 2017) was a Canadian writer of young adult fiction.

Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, McClintock received a degree in history from McGill University. She later lived in Toronto. She was a member of the Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and Performers and Crime Writers of Canada.McClintock lived with her husband, Herman Rosenfeld and leaves two daughters, a son-in-law and a grandson.

R.J. Harlick

R.J. Harlick is a Canadian mystery writer. Her Meg Harris mystery series is set in the Canadian wilderness.

With the Meg Harris mystery series Harlick introduces protagonist Meg Harris who has fled the urban frenzy of Toronto and her failed marriage to a remote wilderness property in West Quebec. The only neighbour to her 1,500-acre (6.1 km2) property is the 35-square-mile (91 km2) reserve of the Fishhook Algonquins, or Migiskan Anishinabeg. Her sought after peace is interrupted by injustice and murder. Unable to ignore it, Meg invariably becomes enmeshed in a quagmire of murderous intrigue.""

Harlick is a member of, and former president of Capital Crime Writers. She is also a member of, and former Regional Vice President of Crime Writers of Canada. She is a member of Sisters in Crime. She has participated as a panellist at various mystery conferences such as Bouchercon, Left Coast Crime, Bloody Words and Malice Domestic.

Reviewing the Evidence called her "the queen of Canadian wilderness fiction."

Rick Mofina

Rick Mofina is a Canadian author of crime fiction and thriller novels. He grew up in Belleville, Ontario, and began writing short stories in school, selling his first short story at the age of fifteen. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, the International Crime Writers Association, the Crime Writers' Association and Crime Writers of Canada, Rick continues to be a featured panelist at mystery conferences across the United States and Canada.

Mofina began writing at age 18, inspired by a hitchhiking trip down to California from his home town of Belleville. He wrote a novel about his experiences, but it was never published.

Sparkle Hayter

Sparkle Hayter is a Canadian journalist and author.

Hayter was born in Pouce Coupe, British Columbia, Canada and grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. In 1982, she graduated in film and television production from New York University. Among other things, she worked for CNN in Atlanta, New York, and Washington, for WABC in New York City and Global Television in Toronto. At the time of the Afghan civil war, she moved to Pakistan and then went along with the Mujahedin to Afghanistan, reporting for the Toronto Star. After this, she decided to give up journalism as a career. After her return to the U.S. she married and began her career as a comic and a writer. She moved briefly to Tokyo, then on her return to New York divorced and went to live in the famous Chelsea Hotel.

In 1993, she published her first novel, What's a Girl Gotta Do?, the first in the Robin Hudson series, which proved her breakthrough. In a starred review, Publisher's Weekly called it "flat-out funny, audacious, and a little bit weird, Hayter stakes out territory all her own." She wrote for the New York Times Op-Ed Page, the Nation and The Globe and Mail, was a regular participant on CNN's talk show "CNN & Company" and was also seen on Good Day New York, NPR, CBC, BBC and Paris Premiere. In late 2001 she moved to Paris, where she joined the Kilometer Zero arts cooperative and lived in the famous In fact art squat. In 2007-2008, she fulfilled a long dream of working in Bollywood, where she bought Indian films for a Canadian movie network and produced video promos and interviews to support the programming for "Bollywood Saturday Night."

In 1995 she received the Arthur Ellis Award (Best First Crime Novel) of the Crime Writers of Canada for her novel What's A Girl Gotta Do?. In 1998, she became the first winner of the UK's Sherlock award for "Best Comic Detective."

Hayter has also performed as a stand-up. She went on publish two more novels and numerous stories and essays. In 1999-2000, she spearheaded the Tart Noir website, with author Katy Munger. Hayter currently lives in Canada with her Nepali rescue dog Alice and is working on another book.

Tymo Lin

Tymo Lin (Chinese: 提子墨; pinyin: Tí Zimò), novelist, columnist and book critic, Lin is an author member of the Crime Writers' Association (UK), P. A. member of the Crime Writers of Canada, and director of the Mystery Writers of Taiwan. He was a finalist in The 4th Soji Shimada Mystery Awards for 2015, a mystery critic for, columnist for ETtoday (Taiwan), Distinctive Taste magazine (San Francisco), World Journal Weekly (New York) and The Mess-Age (Taiwan).

Lin was born in Taipei, currently living in Canada, and graduated from The Vancouver Film School - 3D Animation & Visual Effects. He was a columnist for nine years in North America and has frequently been giving lectures about mystery writing to readers in Taiwan and the USA.

Vicki Delany

Vicki Delany (born Victoria Ann Cargo; 1951 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a Canadian mystery novelist. She is the author of two mystery series, and a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Capital Crime Writers. Delany is a frequent panelist at mystery conferences such as Bouchercon and Malice Domestic in the United States and Bloody Words National Mystery Conference in Canada.

William Deverell

William Herbert Deverell (born March 4, 1937) is a Canadian novelist, activist, and criminal lawyer. He is one of Canada's best-known novelists, whose first book, Needles, which drew on his experiences as a criminal lawyer, won the McClelland & Stewart $50,000 Seal Award. In 1997 he won the Dashiell Hammett Prize for literary excellence in crime writing in North America for Trail of Passion. That book also won the 1998 Arthur Ellis Award for best Canadian crime novel, as did April Fool in 2003. Trial of Passion launched his first crime series, featuring the classically trained, self-doubting Arthur Beauchamp, QC, a series that continued with April Fool, Kill All the Judges, Snow Job, and I'll See You in My Dreams.

Deverell's sixteen published novels also include High Crimes, Mecca, The Dance of Shiva, Platinum Blue, Mindfield, Kill All the Lawyers, Street Legal, Slander, The Laughing Falcon, and Mind Games. He is the author of the true crime book A Life on Trial – the Case of Robert Frisbee, based on a notorious murder trial which he defended.

He has achieved recognition for suffusing his novels with satire. Both Kill All the Judges and Snow Job were shortlisted for Canada's Stephen Leacock Award. His most recent novel, Snow Job, a political satire, was named in The Globe and Mail as one of the top crime books worldwide in 2009. He has twice been invited as guest of honour at Canada's main crime writer's venue, Bloody Words, and received the Best Canadian Crime Writer award at the Scene of the Crime Festival in Ontario.

Deverell's film work includes the screenplay for the feature film of Mindfield, released in 1990. He also wrote the screenplay Shellgame for CBC Television, which served as the pilot for CBC's Street Legal. He has authored several one-hour radio plays performed by the CBC Radio in the Scales of Justice series and numerous film and television scripts.

Early in his career, Deverell worked as a journalist with the Canadian Press in Montreal and the Vancouver Sun, and while working his way through law school at the University of Saskatchewan as night editor of the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. He hold a D. Juris from that university, where he has been an invited lecturer in the Shumiatcher series on Law and Literature and was honored at its College of Arts and Science's centenary in 2009 as one of its 100 alumni of influence. Among his learned lectures have been Obscenity, Hate, and Artistic Freedom at the Vancouver Institute, and A Writer's Life in the Writers' Trust of Canada Margaret Laurence series.

Over twenty years as a Vancouver lawyer, he was counsel in more than a thousand trials, including civil rights, labour, and criminal cases and thirty murder trials, either as defender or prosecutor. He is a founder and honorary director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. In 1991-92, he served as visiting professor in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Victoria. In 1994, he served as chair of the Writers' Union of Canada, and again in 1999, and has been named a Life Member of that Union. He is also a life member of the Writers Guild of Canada, and a member of PEN International and Crime Writers of Canada. An environmental activist, he is also a member of Greenpeace, Ecojustice Canada, and the Green Party of Canada.

He lives on Pender Island, British Columbia, and in Quepos, Costa Rica.

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