Mar 17, 2011

That Anthony Award Time of Year

It’s here! That most frustrating of mail. That glorious letter comes complete with return envelope. The Anthony ballot has arrived in my mail box. I will now spend the next three weeks circling around the damn thing. Pad of paper close at hand to jot down my nominees and second guess myself.  Have I read enough critical works to come up with five nominees?  Have I written down this title because it’s been on all the short lists? Am I writing down that name because the book didn’t get enough attention? Will my nominees even make a difference?

The Bouchercon community is broad. People who love very different aspects of the community become one. The range of nominees can be vast. This is the award with the broadest sense of excellence amongst all the awards. When the final nominees are declared the people on that list know that they are loved by readers, well read readers. Think about this. Do people who don’t read give up their time and their money to attend a book convention?

It’s an honor, this preparation I go through to submit my final fives. I’m thrilled to have a chance to participate in the awarding of one of mystery’s most important awards. Some years the end result is very different than my list and some years quite alike. I am always thrilled for the authors.  The Anthony Award short list is first and foremost, Mystery 101. Any reader who wants to dabble within crime fiction and hasn’t can always go to this list, read these books and get a true sense of the best of the best from that year. It will formulate their opinion of our beloved genre; dictate whether or not they choose to return. It’s an awesome responsibility.

I am asking everyone who receives a ballot to participate this year.  100% response has been a goal of the committee for a long, long time. I’m looking forward to seeing whose names will appear. Are you? Make it happen for your favorite books. Fill in the ballot.

Repeating and expounding… in a brand new world… Please continue reading this blog…

The Anthony Award ballots have been mailed out to all the people eligible to nominate the final contenders. Who nominates the nominees? Everyone who attended either Bouchercon San Francisco or is already registered for Bouchercon St. Louis. If you fall into either one of those categories, you are a voice. What if you fall into both categories? You have one voice.

A ballot is available through the internet. Did you forget to update Bouchercon when you moved? It’s there for you convenience. Do you prefer to do paperwork at a key board? We’ve hooked you up. However, if you have an active home address you will receive a ballot in the mail. Yeah, that stuff that used to come in envelopes. Most folks have received theirs. If you don’t have it within 10 days let us know.

So there are two voting options. That doesn’t suggest that you should vote twice. We are not Chicago. 

Okay, that’s housekeeping sorted.  Well mostly.

A glorious thing has happened in the last five years. The internet Mystery/Crime Fiction community has become vast. We are all hooked into one another and chances are if you don’t know someone you are a friend of a friend on facebook, you follow someone who follows someone else and retweets on Twitter.  We are now all able to remind one another of: favorite reads, our books, our clients books and our house’s books. This is great. What would be even better? Make sure your suggestions are eligible. Make sure that folks realize that only Bouchercon members can vote. Make sure that people don’t waste their opportunity to take part in Mystery’s biggest populist award by using their ballot for just that one nominee in just that one category.  Because that, that breaks our heart a little.

Ruth Jordan

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