The Crawford Award

Wow.

So, I’ve been sitting on a secret for almost a week now, and today it was officially announced:

Karen Lord has been named the winner of the 2011 William L. Crawford Award for her first novel Redemption in Indigo (Small Beer Press). The award, presented annually at The International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, is for a new fantasy writer whose first book appeared in the previous year. This year’s conference will be held March 16-20, 2010 in Orlando FL.

The award committee shortlisted Lauren Beukes’s Zoo City (Angry Robot), N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Orbit), and Anna Kendall’s Crossing Over (Gollancz/Viking Juvenile), and wanted to commend two other authors: Robert Jackson Bennett for Mr. Shivers(Orbit) and Amelia Beamer The Loving Dead (Night Shade), which was viewed by some nominators as centrally a science fiction work. Science fiction is excluded under the terms established by the award’s founding sponsor, Andre Norton.

Those participating, in varying degrees, in this year’s nomination and selection process included Niall Harrison, Cheryl Morgan, Graham Sleight, Paul Witcover, John Clute, Jonathan Strahan, Liza Trombi, Farah Mendlesohn, Ellen Klages, and Kelly Link (who, as publisher of Small Beer Press, recused herself from final voting).

(Locusmag)

I was speechless then and I’m not much more eloquent now, so bear with me.

First of all, thank you so much to the award committee. The qualifications and experience of the judges, the calibre of the other authors they shortlisted and recommended, and the absolutely stunning list of previous award winners … all of that makes me awed and very very grateful.

And I can’t help but thank my publishers Small Beer Press (not for the first time, and definitely not for the last time).  I think they might have one of the highest awards:titles ratio out of all publishers of speculative fiction – a small press that punches in the heavyweight division.

So … I’m going to Orlando!

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