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Showing posts by: Stephane Dunn click to see Stephane Dunn's profile
May 18 2017 12:00pm

Discovering a Sister in Crime: Eleanor T. Bland

Summer 2015. A writer I’d just met hears about the novel I’ve been working on about some young black characters who want to solve a murder. He immediately tells me I should apply for the Eleanor T. Bland Award. I was excited. I was also befuddled. It wasn’t just my total unfamiliarity with the award or the organization facilitating the award. A hard question really bothered me the most: How could I not know about a sister who had written mystery novels so successfully when I was an avid reader of black women’s fiction and a mystery genre lover way back to my old Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys childhood reading days? 

I looked up the organization hosting the $1,500 award offered through the writer’s estate, Sisters in Crime, then went in search of Eleanor Bland. I discovered the Marti MacAlister Mysteries and another writing shero in Bland, who was not only a great pioneering mystery writer but, by all accounts, a mentor for other women writers in the genre. I also learned more about Sisters in Crime–a whole network of women mystery writers supporting each other’s work—and one other thing: a fast-approaching deadline for that year’s applications for the award. 

[Learn more about the Sisters of Crime and the Eleanor T. Bland Award!]