Bony Blithe Award

Leaf-fall is here, which means, all you criminous authors, that it’s time to submit your light mysteries published in 2020 to the 2021 Bloody Words Light Mystery Award (aka the Bony Blithe Award). The prize is a charming plaque PLUS a cheque for $1000. Read the full submission rules on our website but here they are in brief:

  1. The award is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. However, your publisher does not have to be Canadian.
  2. The award is for light mysteries of at least 60,000 words published for the first time (no reprints) between January 1 and December 31, 2020.
  3. There is no submission fee. 
  4. We must receive your submission by end of day December 18, 2020. If your book will be published after December 18 but before December 31, you can send us the ARC.
  5. If your book is available only as an ebook, contact us at to see if we can accept an e-version (depends on our judges) or if we require a printed version. 
  6. We accept submissions from both publishers and authors.

Light mysteries include cozies, capers, satires, and humorous books; in short, anything from laugh-out-loud books to gentle humour to good old-fashioned stories with minimal overt violence or gore. We’re not looking for books with gravitas that make us think; we’re looking for fun-to-read books that entertain us and make us smile. Check past nominees and winners on our website.

Why do we need an award specifically for light mysteries, you ask? Because books that make us smile traditionally get no respect from the literary competition community. Look at our definition of a light mystery and ask yourself when you last saw a light, amusing, just-plain-fun mystery win an award (well, apart from the Bony Blithe Award, of course).

Sure, there’s room for mysteries with gravitas, but there’s also room for the lighter stuff…and there has been for almost 10 years. In fact, next year (2021) we’ll be celebrating Bony Blithe’s 10th birthday. 

Sadly, the world doesn’t have too much to be happy about during these days of pandemic, so if you have a mystery that will make us smile (or even better, laugh), definitely consider submitting it to the 2021 Bony Blithe Award.

Cheryl Freedman
Chair, 2021 Bloody Words Light Mystery Award (aka the Bony Blithe Award)
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