Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Posted by: Julie Hennrikus

The award benefits an emerging LGBTQ+ writer in the crime fiction genre and five runners-up

Eight additional finalists will receive a Sisters in Crime membership

June 1, 2021 – Sisters in Crime (SinC) announced today that the winner of the inaugural Pride Award for emerging LGBTQIA+ writers is C.J. Prince (she/hers) of West Orange, NJ. The winning novel-in-progress was selected by judges (and SinC members) Cheryl Head, John Copenhaver, and Kristen Lepionka., who said, “C. J. Prince’s excerpt from her novel-in-progress, The Butcher’s Son, impressed with its fresh blend of gripping crime story and culture-clash narrative, in which a lesbian NYPD detective must confront the homophobia and dark secrets of the Orthodox Jewish community she left years ago. With clear prose, a strong ear for dialogue, and an immersive voice, Prince lays the groundwork for a dynamite mystery, gives us a strong sense of the Orthodox Jewish community, and introduces us to her main characters within only a few pages. It’s a deeply admirable beginning for what is promising to be a poignant page-turner. We are excited to see how the manuscript develops!”

Prince will receive a $2,000 grant, which is intended for a crime writer beginning their career and will support activities related to career development including workshops, seminars, conferences, retreats, online courses, and research activities required for completion of their work. Prince will also receive a manuscript critique from Crooked Lane Books editor Terri Bischoff.

“I have been writing fiction since childhood and this is my first novel,” said Prince. “The Pride Award is the first honor I’ve received for my writing and, as a lesbian, I am especially humbled and thrilled to be recognized by Sisters in Crime, which does so much to elevate the voices of female crime writers. More than anything, this award has given me the confidence and drive to finally finish my manuscript—because I now believe people may actually want to read it!”

Five runners-up will also be paired with an established Sisters in Crime member author to receive manuscript critique. They are: Sandy Bailey of Boston, MA (paired with Brenda Buchannan), Alix Freeman of Wellfleet, MA (Leslie Karst), A.L. Major of Oakland, CA (Jeffrey Marks), Mary Lewis Pierce of Maynard, MA (Anne Laughlin), and Jamie Valentino of New York, NY (Catherine Maiorisi). Eight additional long-list finalists will receive a membership to Sisters in Crime. The award has been established as the legacy project of former Sisters in Crime president Sherry Harris and was funded for 2021 by an anonymous donor.

Sisters in Crime (SinC) was founded in 1986 to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers. Today, the organization boasts 4,200 members and more than 60 chapters worldwide and its initiatives also include the annual Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award and other scholarships; grants for academic research into the roles of women and underserved voices in crime fiction; cash awards to libraries and bookstores; and surveys and monitoring projects which determine visibility and representation of women and diverse voices in the genre and across the marketplace.

Additional information about the award can be found at

Publicity contact: Julia Borcherts, Kaye Publicity (773) 878-0722;

Published by Jacy Sellers

Hello! I'm an author of mysteries, thrillers, and fantasy and president of the Charlotte chapter of Sisters in Crime. Local ghost stories and abandoned buildings fuel my story inspiration. Follow me on Twitter or Insta @JacySellers

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