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Sisters In Crime opens submissions for 2019 Award

Emerging Writer of Color will receive $2,000 grant to support career development

Sisters in Crime is accepting applications for its sixth annual Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, a $2,000 grant awarded to an emerging female or male writer of color. The award honors the late, pioneering African-American crime fiction author Eleanor Taylor Bland. Candidates must apply by June 9, 2019, and the winner will be announced by July 1, 2019.

“Throughout her career, Eleanor Taylor Bland served as both advocate and inspiration to countless women and authors of color. Her legacy is still felt today,” said Sisters in Crime President Sherry Harris. “We’ve been thrilled with the response to the grant in her honor and are excited to expand it this year to help another writer of color follow Bland’s lead and take the next steps in their publishing journey.”

The Eleanor Taylor Bland Award was created in 2014 with a bequest from Bland’s estate to support Sisters in Crime’s vision statement that the organization should serve as the voice for excellence and diversity in crime writing. The grant is intended for a writer beginning their crime writing career and will support activities related to career development, including workshops, seminars, conferences, and retreats; online courses; and research activities required for completion of his or her work. This year, Sisters in Crime raised the grant amount from $1,500 to $2,000.

The 2019 winner will join past recipients Mia Manansala (2018), Jessica Ellis Laine (2017), Stephane Dunn (2016), Vera H-C Chan (2015), and Maria Kelon (2014).

Eleanor Taylor Bland was the author of 14 crime fiction novels published between 1992 and 2007, which featured Marti MacAlister, an African-American female police detective and an enduring and beloved heroine who went against the grain of stereotypes related to African-American women in much of U.S. popular culture. Bland also published several works of short crime fiction and edited a collection titled Shades of Black: Crime and Mystery Stories by African-American Authors (2004).

Sisters in Crime (SinC) was founded in 1986 to promote the ongoing advancement, rec-ognition and professional development of women crime writers. Today, the organization boasts 4,200 members and 51 chapters worldwide and its initiatives also include other scholarships; grants for academic research into the roles of women and underserved voices in crime fiction; cash awards to libraries and bookstores; and surveys and monitoring projects which determine visibility and representation of women and diverse voices in the genre and across the marketplace. For more information on its programs and author members, visit the organization’s website at

Complete guidelines and the application can be found at

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