Mystery Writers of America Announces the 2010 Grand Master, Raven and Ellery Queen Award Recipients

Dec 09, 2009, 09:05 ET from Mystery Writers of America

NEW YORK, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dorothy Gilman, celebrated author of the Mrs. Pollifax series of spy novels, has been chosen as this year's Grand Master by Mystery Writers of America (MWA). MWA's Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as significant output of consistently high-quality material. Gilman, a New Jersey native, has written and contributed to over 30 books that feature uncommon and unique characters. Her writing has continually kept readers coming back for 60 years.

"What a lovely surprise!" Gilman said. "The list of past Grand Masters is like a Who's Who of the great mystery writers of the last century. To be chosen for this award by my professional peers has to be the greatest honor of my 60 years as an author. Thank you, Mystery Writers of America! And thank you, too, for your important work on behalf of our profession."

"During her long writing career, Dorothy Gilman has helped to shape the mystery genre," Frankie Y. Bailey, Executive Vice President of MWA, said. "MWA is delighted to have this opportunity to honor Ms. Gilman for her work, including the 'unexpected Mrs. Pollifax,' a widow past her youth, whose curiosity, humor, and humanity make her a protagonist that readers of all ages have enjoyed accompanying on her exotic adventures."

Two extraordinary members of the mystery community with a collective respect for the genre will also be honored by MWA with the Raven Award at this year's Edgar Banquet. Zev Buffman, distinguished Broadway Producer, and the Mystery Lovers Bookshop, one of the largest specialty mystery bookstores in the U.S., will each be presented with Raven Awards. Established in 1953, the award is bestowed by MWA's Board of Directors for outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing.

Mr. Buffman's experiences incorporate a vast variety of entertainment ranging from Hollywood acting experiences to producing more than 40 Broadway shows and 100 national tours. He has served as President and CEO for many "first class" performing arts centers, including the Jackie Gleason Center in Miami Beach, the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale, and the historic Saenger Theatre in New Orleans. Zev Buffman's vision and drive make him the ideal candidate for the Raven Award.

Zev Buffman said, "I have just learned something that exceeded my wildest expectations! Mystery Writers of America have selected me as one of two recipients of the 2010 Raven Award. I will accept the award with the kind of reverence and appreciation that only comes to a person after years, nay - decades of reaching for the moon and the stars. Thanks for getting me up there..."

Mystery Lovers Bookshop (MLB) of Oakmont, Pennsylvania is receiving the Raven Award in recognition of the constant support and dedication they have shown to the mystery community. MLB in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, opened its doors on Halloween 1990. In the 19 years following, it has grown to be one of the largest and most recognized mystery bookstores in the country. The store was founded by Mary Alice Gorman, formerly director of a victim services agency, and her husband Richard Goldman, a former software executive.

Mystery Lovers Bookshop is perhaps best known for its annual Festival of Mystery, an event held each spring which regularly attracts over 400 mystery readers to a one-evening extravaganza involving fifty or more authors. Monday, May 3, 2010 will be the date for the fifteenth Festival.

"Wow, that's terrific" was the initial reaction of co-owner Richard Goldman to the news about the Raven. Said his partner, Mary Alice Gorman, "We're honored at this recognition but the credit for our success really goes to our staff, our customers and, most importantly, to the authors who make our Festival such a success."

Previous Raven winners include Kate's Mystery Books in Cambridge, MA, The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and The Poe House in Baltimore, MD.

The 2010 Ellery Queen award is being awarded to Barbara Peters and Robert Rosenwald of Poisoned Pen Press (PPP). The Ellery Queen award is given to editors or publishers who have distinguished themselves by their generous and wide-ranging support of the genre. Barbara Peters and Robert Rosenwald founded Poisoned Pen Press in 1996. Its original mission was to publish reference and out of print books but it quickly shifted gears to original work and today averages 36 new novels a year with a backlist fully in print. The press' authors have earned numerous award nominations and wins and a basket of starred reviews.

Barbara said, "Robert and I are surprised and delighted to receive the 2010 Ellery Queen Award. What wonderful company we are in. I remember introducing my dear friend Susanne Kirk, formerly with Scribner, the night the Ellery Queen award was given to her and thinking how awed I was, and am, with her achievements. And Rob and I will be thinking of Sara Ann Freed, another booster of our fledgling press and recipient of the award. Nothing could be more meaningful to us professionally and personally. MWA has been key to our pursuing publishing with Poisoned Pen Press since the very first book we published was nominated for an Edgar for Best Critical/Biographical Work. It energized and inspired us to stick with an otherwise insane adventure."

Over the years, James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Bill Pronzini, Stephen King, Marcia Muller, Dick Francis, Mary Higgins Clark, Donald Westlake, Lawrence Block, P.D. James, Ellery Queen, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Graham Greene, and Agatha Christie have been honored as MWA Grand Masters.

The Edgar Awards, or "Edgars," as they are commonly known, are named after MWA's patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are presented to authors of distinguished work in various categories. The Edgar Awards Banquet will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Thursday, April 29, 2010.

Celebrating their 65th anniversary in 2010, MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses almost 3,000 members in three categories of membership that include authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well publishers, editors, and literary agents. For more information on Mystery Writers of America, please visit the website:

SOURCE Mystery Writers of America