2022 Darrell Awards Winners Announced

On Saturday March 26, 2022, at the Banquet at MidSouthCon 38, the following 2022 Darrell Awards were presented.

Coger Memorial Hall of Fame Award: Sheree Renée Thomas for her extraordinary contributions to literacy in the Midsouth and the world.

Sheree Renée Thomas –
Hall of Fame Award

Best Midsouth Novel:

  • Winner: Serpent’s Mark by Beth Alvarez
  • First Runner-up: The Girl Who Had No Shadows by John and Victoria Babb
  • Additional Finalists: The Ferryman by John E. Siers and The Dragons of Styx by John E. Siers
Beth Alvarez –
Best Midsouth Novel Award

Best Midsouth Novella

  • Winner: Madam and The Map: A Journey in Five Movements by Sheree Renée Thomas (in Nine Bar Blues collection)
  • First Runner-up: Shadows Before Sunrise by Melissa Olthoff (in It Takes All Kinds anthology)
Sheree Renée Thomas –
Best Midsouth Novella

Best Midsouth Short Story

  • Winner: Five-Six-Seven-Eight by James Paavola (in Lies Along the Mississippi anthology)
  • First Runner-up: Well Being by Elden Lee
  • Additional Finalists:
  • Dead Man’s Hand by Phyllis Appleby (in Lies Along the Mississippi)
  • The Orisha’s Handmaiden by Angelyn Sherrod (in Lies Along the Mississippi)
  • Never Alone by Angelyn Sherrod (in Lies Along the Mississippi)
  • Shanequa’s Blues — Or Another Shotgun Lullaby by Sheree Renée Thomas (in Nine Bar Blues)
James Paavola –
Best Midsouth Short Story

Congratulations to all the Winners, First Runners-up, and additional Finalists.

All of the honorees were present at the Awards ceremony except the Babbs and Ms Olthoff. The certificates for those 2 will be mailed to them in protective sleeves.

Please check back here shortly for a major update on the Darrell Awards. (If you were present at the Banquet, you already know what this news is. )

2022 Darrell Awards Finalist Works

We previously announced the names of the authors whose works made them Finalists for a 2022 Darrell Award in one or more category.

Now, it’s time to announce the works that have been chosen for recognition.

Best Midsouth Novel

  • The Dragons of Styx by John E. Siers
  • The Ferryman by John E. Siers
  • The Girl Who Had No Shadow by John and Victoria Babb
  • Serpent’s Mark by Beth Alvarez

Best Midsouth Novella

  • Madam & The Map: A Journey in Five Movements by Sheree Renée Thomas (in Nine Bar Blues collection)
  • Shadows Before Sunrise by Melissa Olthoff (in It Takes All Kinds anthology)

Best Midsouth Short Story

  • Dead Man’s Hand by Phyllis Appleby (in Lies Along the Mississippi anthology)
  • Five-Six-Seven-Eight by Jim Paavola (in Lies Along the Mississippi anthology)
  • The Orisha’s Handmaiden by Angelyn Sherrod (in Lies Along the Mississippi anthology)
  • Never Alone by Angelyn Sherrod (in Lies Along the Mississippi anthology)
  • Shanequa’s Blues — Or Another Shotgun Lullaby by Sheree Renée Thomas (in Nine Bar Blues collection)
  • Well Being by Elden Lee

There were no nominations received for Young Adult or Other Media works.

As previously announced, Sheree Renee Thomas is the 2022 winner of our Dal Coger Memorial Hall of Fame. See that annoucement here.


Thanks to the generosity of the MidSouthCon Board, the Darrell Awards Jury is pleased to invite each of the named authors to be our guests at the Awards Banquet at MidSouthCon on Saturday, March 26, 2022.

Each of the Finalists will have a one day (Saturday only) pass and a Banquet ticket waiting for them at Convention Registration on Saturday March 26.

For details on MidSouthCon, please see their website at midsouthcon.org

The winners will each receive a plaque. The First Runners Up and other Finalists will each receive a framed certificate if they are present at the Awards Banquet.

For any winners who do not attend the Banquet, their plaque will be shipped to them.

For Finalists who do not attend, their certificate will be mailed to them. (Those mailed will be unframed due to the expenses involved with shipping.)

Congratulations to all the Finalists. Please join us at the Banquet to see who won — or check back here after the Convention is over for that announcement.

Sheree Renée Thomas Wins Hall of Fame Award

The 2022 Darrell Awards Jury is pleased to announce that the 2022 inductee into the Dal Coger Memorial Hall of Fame is Sheree Renée Thomas for her truly extraordinary contributions to literacy in both the Midsouth and the world.

The Hall of Fame Award has been received by Kathleen Ann Goonan, Justin Cronin, Eric Flint, Frank Tuttle, Seanan McGuire, Troy L Wiggins, and over a dozen other worthy authors. Please see our Hall of Fame page for details.

Sheree Renée Thomas

Sheree Renée Thomas is an award-winning fiction writer, poet, and editor.

Her work is inspired by myth and folklore, natural science,  music, and the genius of the Mississippi Delta.

Her fiction collection, Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future (Third Man Books) was a Finalist for the 2021 Ignyte Award, Locus Award, and World Fantasy Award for Year’s Best Collection.

She is also the author of the multigenre / hybrid collections, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life and Shotgun Lullabies (Aqueduct Press).

Thomas’s work is widely anthologized, appearing most recently in The Big Book of Modern Fantasy (1945-2010), The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy vol 2, Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction, and Marvel’s Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda.

She collaborated with Janelle Monáe to contribute “Timebox Altar(ed)” in her short story collection, The Memory Librarian and Other Stories from Dirty Computer (Harper Voyager, April 2022).

She is a co-editor of Trouble the Waters: Tales of the Deep Blue (Third Man Books) with Pan Morigan and Troy L. Wiggins and of Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction (Tordotcom) with Zelda Knight and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, forthcoming Fall 2022. 

She is the editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, founded in 1949, and is the associate editor of Obsidian, founded in 1975.

In 2000 and 2004 she edited the two-time World Fantasy Award-winning groundbreaking anthologies, Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (Grand Central/Hachette). In the Dark Matter anthologies, Thomas first introduced W.E.B. Du Bois’s works as science fiction, and she became the first Black author to be honored with a World Fantasy Award since the award’s inception in 1975.

In 2018, Thomas hosted Black to the Future, Memphis’s first Afrofuturism Festival and she later served on Carnegie Hall’s Curatorial Council for the citywide Afrofuturism Festival to be held in NYC February 3-April 3, 2022. 

In 2021 Thomas was honored as a Special Guest of DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, and co-hosted the Hugo Awards with Andrea Hairston.

In 2022 she is a Guest of Honor at Stokercon, WisCon, and Multiverse.

A former New Yorker, she lives in her hometown, Memphis, Tennessee, near a mighty river and a pyramid.

Follow her @blackpotmojo on Twitter and @shereereneethomas on IG & FB. Visit her website at www.shereereneethomas.com .