Mystery Writers of America

Last updated
Edgar Allan Poe, MWA logo Mystery Writers of America logo.png
Edgar Allan Poe, MWA logo

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) is an organization of mystery and crime writers, based in New York City. [1]


The organization was founded in 1945 by Clayton Rawson, Anthony Boucher, Lawrence Treat, and Brett Halliday.

It presents the Edgar Award, a small bust of Edgar Allan Poe, to mystery or crime writers every year. It presents the Raven Award to non-writers, who contribute to the mystery genre. The category of Best Juvenile Mystery is also part of the Edgar Award, with such notable recipients as Barbara Brooks Wallace having won the honor twice, for The Twin in the Tavern in 1994 and Sparrows in the Scullery in 1998, and Tony Abbott for his novel The Postcard, which received critical accolades in 2009.

Grand Master Award

The Grand Master Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Mystery Writers of America. It recognizes lifetime achievement and consistent quality. (The award was presented irregularly up to 1978; from 1979 to 2008, it was given to one writer each year. Since 2009, as many as three authors have been honored annually.)

In 2018, the Mystery Writers of America announced that it would honor best-selling author and former prosecutor Linda Fairstein with one of its Grand Master Awards for literary achievement. But two days after controversy erupted in connection with her alleged role in the Central Park jogger case, the organization withdrew the honor. [2]

1955 Agatha Christie 1978 Daphne du Maurier
Dorothy B. Hughes
Ngaio Marsh
1994 Lawrence Block 2011 Sara Paretsky
1958 Vincent Starrett 1995 Mickey Spillane 2012 Martha Grimes
1959 Rex Stout 1996 Dick Francis 2013 Ken Follett
Margaret Maron
1961 Ellery Queen 1979 Aaron Marc Stein 1997 Ruth Rendell
1962 Erle Stanley Gardner 1980 W. R. Burnett 1998 Elizabeth Peters 2014 [3] Carolyn Hart
Robert Crais
1963 John Dickson Carr 1981 Stanley Ellin 1999 P. D. James
1964 George Harmon Coxe 1982 Julian Symons 2000 Mary Higgins Clark 2015 Lois Duncan
James Ellroy
1966 Georges Simenon 1983 Margaret Millar 2001 Edward D. Hoch
1967 Baynard Kendrick 1984 John le Carré 2002 Robert B. Parker 2016 Walter Mosley
1969 John Creasey 1985 Dorothy Salisbury Davis 2003 Ira Levin 2017 Max Allan Collins
Ellen Hart
1970 James M. Cain 1986 Ed McBain 2004 Joseph Wambaugh
1971 Mignon G. Eberhart 1987 Michael Gilbert 2005 Marcia Muller 2018 Jane Langton
William Link
Peter Lovesey
1972 John D. MacDonald 1988 Phyllis A. Whitney 2006 Stuart M. Kaminsky
1973 Judson Philips
Alfred Hitchcock
1989 Hillary Waugh 2007 Stephen King
1990 Helen McCloy 2008 Bill Pronzini 2019 Martin Cruz Smith
1974 Ross Macdonald 1991 Tony Hillerman 2009 James Lee Burke
Sue Grafton
1975 Eric Ambler 1992 Elmore Leonard
1976 Graham Greene 1993 Donald E. Westlake 2010 Dorothy Gilman

Raven Award

The Raven Awards are recorded in the Edgars Database of the Mystery Writers of America. [4]

1953E.T. Guymon Jr."For his outstanding library of mystery literature"
1954 Harrison Stanford Martland Retiring medical examiner, Essex County, New Jersey
1954 Tom Lehrer "For his mystery parodies"
1954Dr. Thomas A. GonzalesRetiring medical examiner, New York City
1957 Dorothy Kilgallen Reader of the Year
1959 Franklin D. Roosevelt Reader of the Year, accepted by Eleanor Roosevelt
1959 Frederic G. Melcher On his retirement after 35 years with Publishers Weekly
1959 Lawrence G. Blochman "For long and distinguished service"
1960 Phyllis McGinley Mystery Fan of the Year
1960 Gail Patrick Jackson Executive producer, Perry Mason
1960 Alfred Hitchcock "For his contributions to the mystery genre"
1960David C. CookBest Detective Stories of the Year
1960Ray Brennan"For crime reporting"
1961 Ilka Chase Reader of the Year
1962 The Defenders TV series
1965Philip Wittenberg"For his long years of voluntary service"
1965Dr. Milton Helpern"For his work in forensic medicine"
1967 Richard Watts Jr. Reader of the Year
1967 Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine "On its 26th anniversary and as the best showcase for mystery stories"
1968 Joey Adams Reader of the Year
1971 Judith Crist Reader of the Year
1975 CBS Radio Mystery Theater Produced by Himan Brown
1975 Royal Shakespeare Company Revival production
1975 Wide World Mystery ABC-TV
1976Leo MargoliesEditor, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine
1976 Eddie Lawrence Reader of the Year
1978 Richard N. Hughes "I Am My Brother's Keeper"
1978 Edward Gorey For the sets he designed for Dracula on Broadway
1978 Danny Arnold Executive producer, Barney Miller
1979Alberto TedeschiPublisher of the Mondadori mysteries
1980 The Muppet Show Episode, "Muppet Murders" [5]
1983 Isaac Bashevis Singer Reader of the Year
1983 Sylvia Porter Reader of the Year
1985 Eudora Welty Reader of the Year
1986 Suzi Oppenheimer Reader of the Year
1988 Vincent Price
1988 Angela Lansbury
1989 Shear Madness Longest running off-Broadway play
1989 Bouchercon Annual World Mystery Convention
1991Sarah Booth ConroyReader of the Year
1991Carol Brener"For her skill in selling books to the public"
1992 Harold Q. Masur "For his years of service to MWA as general counsel"
1993 Bill Clinton Reader of the Year
1995 Paul LeClerc President, New York Public Library
1996 Library of America "For their publication of the collected writings of Raymond Chandler"
1997Marvin Lachman
1998Sylvia K. BurackEditor, The Writer magazine
1999 Steven Bochco
2000 Harold Augenbraum Director, The Mercantile Library
2001Enid Schantz, Tom SchantzThe Rue Morgue Press
2002 Barbara G. Peters The Poisoned Pen mystery bookstore
2002 Anthony Mason, Douglas SmithCorrespondent and producer of "The Fine Print", CBS Sunday Morning profiles of mystery writers [6]
2002 Charles Champlin Book critic, Los Angeles Times
2003 Edgar Allan Poe Museum Richmond, Virginia
2003Pat Thomas, Ed ThomasBook Carnival mystery bookstore, Orange, California [7]
2003 Otto Penzler The Mysterious Bookshop
2004 Graydon Carter and Vanity Fair "In recognition of their coverage of true crime"
2004 Bowling Green State University Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies,"in recognition of its long-standing work in collecting and preserving detective fiction"
2005Martha FarringtonMurder by the Book bookstore, Houston, Texas
2005Diane Kovacs, Kara RobinsonFounders, DorothyL listserv
2005Steve OneyFounder, Cape Cod Radio Mystery Theatre
2006Joan HansenCreator, Men of Mystery Conference
2006Bonnie Claeson, Joe GuglielmelliBlack Orchid Bookshop
2007Kathy Harig, Tom HarigMystery Loves Company Bookstore
2007Mitchell KaplanBooks & Books
2008 Center for the Book Library of Congress
2009 Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum Baltimore, Maryland
2009 Edgar Allan Poe Society Baltimore, Maryland
2010Richard Goldman, Mary Alice GormanMystery Lovers Bookshop, Oakmont, Pennsylvania [8]
2010 Zev Buffman International Mystery Writers Festival
2011Pat Frovarp, Gary ShulzeOnce Upon a Crime Mystery Bookstore, Minneapolis, Minnesota [9]
2011Augie AleksyCenturies and Sleuths Bookstore
2012Molly WestonMeritorious Mysteries
2012Ed KaufmanM is for Mystery
2013Mysterious Galaxy BookstoreSan Diego, California
2013Oline CogdillMystery fiction columnist and critic [10]
2014Aunt Agatha's BookstoreAnn Arbor, Michigan
2015Kathryn KennisonMagna Cum Murder
2015Ruth and Jon JordanCrimespree magazine
2016Margaret Kinsmanmentor, teacher, scholar, Executive Editor of Clues: A Journal of Detection
2016 Sisters in Crime organization of women crime writers
2017Dru Ann Lovewriter and editor of the blog Dru's Book Musings
2018Kristopher ZgorskiFounder of review blog, BOLO Books
2018The Raven BookstoreLawrence, Kansas
2019 Marilyn Stasio Crime Columnist - The New York Times Book Review

See also

Related Research Articles

Rex Stout American writer

Rex Todhunter Stout was an American writer noted for his detective fiction. His best-known characters are the detective Nero Wolfe and his assistant Archie Goodwin, who were featured in 33 novels and 39 novellas between 1934 and 1975.

Tony Hillerman novelist

Anthony Grove "Tony" Hillerman was an American author of detective novels and non-fiction works best known for his Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels. Several of his works have been adapted as theatrical and television movies.

Ruth Rendell British writer

Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, was an English author of thrillers and psychological murder mysteries.

The Edgar Allan Poe Awards are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America, based in New York City. Named after American writer Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), a pioneer in the genre, the awards honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film, and theater published or produced in the previous year.

Phyllis Ayame Whitney was an American mystery writer of more than 70 novels. Born in Japan to American parents in 1903, she spent her early years in Asia.

James Lee Burke is an American author, best known for his Dave Robicheaux series. He has won Edgar Awards for Black Cherry Blues (1990) and Cimarron Rose (1998), and has also been presented with the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. The Robicheaux character has been portrayed twice on screen, first by Alec Baldwin and then Tommy Lee Jones.

Dorothy Margaret Salisbury Davis was an American crime fiction writer.

Robert Crais American author of detective fiction

Robert Crais is an American author of detective fiction. Crais began his career writing scripts for television shows such as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Quincy, Miami Vice and L.A. Law. His writing is influenced by Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Robert B. Parker and John Steinbeck. Crais has won numerous awards for his crime novels. Lee Child has cited him in interviews as one of his favourite American crime writers. The novels of Robert Crais have been published in 62 countries and are bestsellers around the world. Robert Crais received the Ross Macdonald Literary Award in 2006 and was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 2014.

Michael Collins is the best-known pseudonym of Dennis Lynds, an American author who primarily wrote mystery fiction.

Otto Penzler is an editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, where he lives.

Dorothy B. Hughes was an American crime writer, literary critic, and historian. Hughes wrote fourteen crime and detective novels, primarily in the hardboiled and noir styles, and is best known for the novels In a Lonely Place (1947) and Ride the Pink Horse (1946).

Linda Fairstein American author and former Assistant District Attorney

Linda Fairstein is an American author, attorney, and former New York City prosecutor focusing on crimes of violence against women and children. She was the head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's office from 1976 until 2002.

Jan Burke is an author of novels and short stories. She is a winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Stanley Bernard Ellin was an American mystery writer. Ellin was born in Brooklyn, New York. After a brief tenure in the Army, at the insistence of his wife, Ellin began writing full time. While his novels are acclaimed, he is best known for his short stories. In May 1948, his first sale, and one of Ellin's most famous short stories, "The Specialty of the House", appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.

Stuart M. Kaminsky was an American mystery writer and film professor. He is known for three long-running series of mystery novels featuring the protagonists Toby Peters, a private detective in 1940s Hollywood (1977-2004); Inspector Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov, a Moscow police inspector (1981-2010); and veteran Chicago police officer Abe Lieberman (1990-2007). There is also a fourth series featuring a Sarasota, Florida Process Server named Lew Fonesca (1999-2009) which is not as widely known.

Barbara G. Peters is a publisher and bookshop owner.

S. J. Rozan American crime fiction writer

S. J. Rozan is an American architect and writer of detective fiction and thrillers, based in New York City. She also co-writes a paranormal thriller series under the pseudonym Sam Cabot with Carlos Dews.

Left Coast Crime is an annual conference organised by mystery fiction fans for mystery fiction fans, first held in San Francisco in 1991. It is concerned with western North American region mysteries, but the conference itself travels worldwide, having been held in Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as different parts of the United States. The conference enables fans to mix with authors. A prominent author of western mystery fiction is invited to be guest speaker.

Twist Phelan American writer of crime fiction

Twist Phelan is an American writer of crime fiction. She is known for her Finn Teller Corporate Spy mystery series, PinnaclePeak mystery series, and her short stories, which have won numerous awards.

Joe Ide is an American crime fiction writer of Japanese American descent. Ide grew up in South Central Los Angeles, which he used as the setting for a series of crime novels that feature his recurring young Sherlockian protagonist, Isaiah Quintabe.


  1. "Contact the National Office of Mystery Writers of America" . Retrieved 2013-04-21.
  2. Piccoli, Sean; Gold, Michael (November 28, 2018). "After Furor, Literary Group Withdraws Honor for 'Central Park Five' Prosecutor". The New York Times . Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  3. "Robert crais and Carolyn Hart chosen as the 2014 Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America" . Retrieved 2014-01-15.
  4. "The Raven Awards". Edgars Database. Mystery Writers of America. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  5. "The Muppet Show: Season 4, Episode 14 – Liza Minnelli". Internet Movie Database . Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  6. Starr, Michael (April 24, 2002). "Starr Report". New York Post .
  7. Takahama, Valerie (October 7, 2004). "Partners in Crime". Orange County Register .
  8. Wilberding, Beth (December 10, 2009). "Buffman receives national mystery award". Messenger-Inquirer. Owensboro, Kentucky.
  9. Hertzel, Laurie (April 16, 2011). "Crime Pays for Bookstore". Star Tribune .
  10. "Contributors". Mystery Scene . Retrieved 2015-07-11.