CWC First Novel Awards

The Crime Writers of Canada Crime Novel Awards

If you are looking for a new author to read, the short list for the 2013 Arthur Ellis Awards is out. Sometimes I find it hard to find a new author to read, so each year I check out the CWC list. There are other categories for Canadian crime writers if you are looking for an author you already are familiar with.

The five novels short listed for the BEST FIRST NOVEL  are:

Confined Spaces by Deryn Collier

The Dead of Winter by Peter Kirby

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

A Private Man by Chris Lang

The Beggar’s Opera by Blair Peggy.

Enjoy.

Thanks for reading . . .

Early Drafts: Having Your Novel Reviewed

Last year at this time I was working with Garry Ryan (2011 CWC President) through the CWC mentorship program on my 3rd novel Burnt. Burnt is now with my literary agent, Margaret Hart, awaiting comment.

I sent Garry about 10 pages at a time, he commented, I updated and sent the next 10 pages. I learned something new with each section. If you get the chance to be part of this program, it’s certainly worth it.

Many of you know my brother, Michael Conn, is also an author. I’ve convinced him that the process I went through with Garry improved my novel and that he, Michael, should do this with me for my next novel.

I’ve finished the first draft of my fourth novel, Look the Other Way, and Michael is reviewing it chapter by chapter. I send him one chapter, he comments, I update and on it goes.

At this early stage, Michael gives me his thoughts on story line, whether he likes a character or not, whether he thinks a sentence is foreshadowing something, and if the writing is good enough.

This helps me see the novel through his eyes and understand what impression I’m giving a reader.

It takes time and effort, but if you can find someone willing to do this for you, I recommend it. My only caution is that you must find someone you trust. It’s hard to put writing out there when it’s not in its most polished state.

Thanks for reading . . .