The Arthur Ellis Awards are presented by the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC), a national organization established for Canadian crime writers. The group also includes associate professionals and anyone else who has a serious interest in Canadian crime writing.
The main mission of the CWC is to raise the profile of Canadian crime writers and promote their work throughout the nation. A number of regional chapters are located through the country and group members are encouraged to set up new chapters if they wish.
Several publications published by the CWC include Fingerprints, a quarterly newsletter, and In Cold Blood, a directory of books written by the group’s members. Fingerprints Online, sent twice a month via email, highlights activities of the organizations members and notes new books they have written.
Two other popular publications produced by the CWC are Dishes To Die For and Dishes To Die For...Again. The best-selling cookbook and its’ follow-up include recipes provided by some of Canada’s favorite authors, as well as interesting information and amusing stories about the popular writers. Order information can be obtained by clicking on the related link at the end of this article.
Membership in the Crime Writers of Canada includes three classes: professional authors; publishers, editors, agents, booksellers, and others in the publishing industry; and aspiring authors, fans, librarians, and others interested in crime writing. The third group is associate members and the first two are full members.
The Arthur Ellis Awards were created in 1983. According to the CWC website, the award is “named after the nom de travail of Canada’s official hangman.” The awards are presented to Canadian authors whether presently living in Canada or elsewhere, or to crime writers living in Canada regardless of their nationality.
There are six categories for works published for the first time in the previous year. A seventh award, the Unhanged Arthur Award is for best-unpublished first crime novel, created to promote the career of previously unpublished Canadian crime writers.
Past award winners include many of Canada's top crime writers. A full listing is found on the Crime Writers of Canada website. Click on the link below for further information about this important organization.