2016 Darrell Awards Jury is Now Meeting

The 2016 Darrell Awards Jury started meeting in June and we had our 2nd meeting earlier tonight. From what I have seen so far, it looks like another good year of friendly banter and passionate discussions about the books and short stories that are nominated — and we already have several novels, short stories, Young Adult and Hall of Fame nominees in either ebook or printed forms to read.

In particular, within the past week or so, we received two large packages of printed books from different authors — multiple books from each. So, every member of the Jury went home tonight with goodies to enjoy.

We are now settling into our schedule of meetings and will be reading right up to the deadline.

Speaking of deadlines, here are the three that matter:

October 31, 2015 — if your work is not published by Halloween of this year, it can not be considered for the 2016 Darrell Awards or the 2016 Coger Hall of Fame. This is the publication deadline. Anything published after that will have to be held for 2017 consideration if it qualifies.

January 1, 2016 — if your work is not nominated by 1-1-16, it can not be considered for the 2016 Darrell Awards or the 2016 Coger Hall of Fame. This is the nomination deadline. If your work is not nominated by this deadline, please see the Hall of Fame rules to see whether it qualifies for future consideration as such.

March 1, 2016 — the Jury’s deadline to turn in a list of Finalist to MidSouthCon. We will not release a list of those who have been merely nominated. We WILL release a list of Finalists and that list will appear here on this site as soon as possible after March 1st.

Please see the 2016 Nomination Form here in order to nominate your work.


2016 Darrell Awards Nominations Are Now Open

The 2016 Darrell Awards Nominations are now open.

We held the first meeting of the 2016 Darrell Awards Jury earlier today and took care of the initial business, including adopting the 2016 Rules and electing the Jury Chairman and Vice Chairperson. Also, we welcomed Kittie Jungkind to the Jury as a new member.

Please see the 2016 Darrell Awards Nomination Form on our website at http://darrellawards.org.

As in years past, we will accept nominations for Best Midsouth SF/F/H in novel, novella, short story, and Hall of Fame categories. This year, we are considering 2 years of Young Adult works. Please see the Rules page on our website for details.


2015 Darrell Award for Best Other Media Won by Comic Book

The 2015 Darrell Award for Best Midsouth SF/F/H Other Media Work was won by Dream Thief # 4, a comic book by Jai Nitz. As Mr. Nitz mentioned in his acceptance speech, this was the first time a Darrell Award has been given for a comic book.

Jai Nitz was unable to attend MidSouthCon 33, at which the 2015 Darrell Awards were presented. He sent in remarks, which were read out by Cullen Johnson. Everyone enjoyed his remarks so much that we asked for his permission to share them here on the blog. He graciously agreed to allow us to do so.

The shortest Oscar acceptance speech in history was Alfred Hitchcock for his lifetime achievement award.He picked up the statue and simply said, “Thank you.”  Then he left the stage.  That’s it.  I have always fantasized about winning an Oscar and only saying, “Thanks,” so I could be in the record books (suck it, Hitchcock!).  But then some joker would win one, smile and nod, then walk off without a word and I’d be back to being a footnote.  Ah well. 

I think the lesson here is that we all fantasize about winning awards and what we’d say when we won.  The experts all tout the same advice: be short and sweet, don’t read a list, and don’t ramble.  I am neither short, nor sweet.  I like lists.  And I tend to ramble. 

With all that said, I wouldn’t have won this award if it wasn’t for Memphis.  Memphis is Beale Street.  Memphis is Elvis.  Memphis is barbeque.  Memphis is Shelby Foote.  Memphis is Stax Records.  Memphis is the Lorraine Motel.  Memphis was a place I’d been before and a place I wanted to talk about in my fiction. 

When I sat down to write Dream Thief in 2012 I set the book in my childhood home of Atlanta, but I wanted John Lincoln’s adventures to take him all over the South.  I wanted to shine a light on the people I knew and the different cultures I loved.  I wanted my readers to be as excited as I was about the South.  I wanted them to feel the music, the food, the crime, and the history.  I wanted to write about the secrets we keep and the faces we show the world.  And I hope the irony of a character with the last name Lincoln touring the South is not lost on you. 

I also wouldn’t have won this award without Greg Smallwood.  Greg is the artist on, and co-creator of, Dream Thief.  His powerful visuals and deft storytelling made this comic the best it could be.  He used his own family photos of their trip to Graceland as reference for the story.  He was fully invested, and it shows.  I’d also like to thank our editor Patrick Thorpe and our publisher Dark Horse Comics.  They saw fit to let us do our thing and never meddle.  They gave us the freest of reins, so part of this award belongs to them. 

Finally, I’d like to thank my two sons.  They haven’t gotten to see the world the way I have, but one place I know I’ll take them is Memphis for a Lot-A-Burger. 

Thanks to the Darrell Awards, the voters, and the readers.  To my knowledge, a comic book has never won the award, so it’s nice to be first, but it’s nicer to know that my chosen medium is taken seriously by the fine folks of a town I love.  Thank you all.