2021 Readers Award Winners
We are proud to announce the winners of the
2021 EQMM Readers Award!
As this issue goes to press, we don’t yet know whether COVID will permit our meeting in person this year to present the awards that you, our discerning readers, have determined. After two years of virtual presentations, we’re anxious to resume the conviviality of a live event. However that plays out, we’ll have some new faces at the podium . . . or in the video frame. We have four winners this year, due to a tie for third place, and all are newcomers to the winners’ circle; two are first-time EQMM contributors!
First place for 2021 goes to “Boo Radley College Prep” (January/February), a crime story about redemption and bias by Karen Harrington. The Texas author has written one adult novel and three award-winning titles for young adults. She has described her books as “coming-of-age survival stories,” and the description is equally apt for her moving Readers Award-winning story. Several other short stories by this relatively new star on the mystery scene have appeared in other publications. Her latest story is in this issue!
Six of Bill McCormick’s short stories have appeared in EQMM and another is coming up soon. His second-place story “Demon in the Depths” (September/ October), is a sweeping novella that combines heart-stopping adventure with a crime/mystery plot. It belongs to a Derringer- and Shamus-Award-nominated series consisting of both novels and short stories. Its central character, Latvian reporter Santa Ezerina (also featured in the new novel KGB Banker) is made believable by the author himself having lived for many years in Eastern Europe.
John Wimer won first-place awards for short fiction in the 2014 and 2018 West Virginia Writers annual contests. He had been published in AHMM and Dark Matter before submitting his story “Bad Chemisty” (July/August) to EQMM. The third-place-winning tale weaves into a twisty, surprising storyline a remarkable portrayal of the impact on actions of preconceptions and bias. An engineer employed in energy research by day, this writer’s one to watch.
A professor emerita at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, Hollis Seamon is able to turn a sharp eye on academic and research institutions. She writes about one with delightful sardonic insight in “Black Swallowtail” (March/April), her story tied for third place. The author of two novels, one of which, Somebody Up There Hates You, was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, she’s also been acclaimed for her short fiction; her story collection Corporeality won a 2014 gold medal in the Independent Publishers Awards.
4. “Kiss of Life” by Doug Allyn, “A Season of Night” by David Dean, and “Julius Katz and the Two Cousins” by Dave Zeltserman (tie)
5. “No Legacy So Rich” by Anna Scotti
6. “Leap of Faith” by Marilyn Todd and “The Last Man in Lafarge” by Joseph Walker (tie)
7. “The Fraud of Dionysus” by Smita Harish Jain
8. “The Lemonade Stand” by Scott Loring Sanders
9. “Curious Incidents” by Steve Hockensmith
10. “The White Star” by G.M. Malliet