Killer Nashville John Seigenthaler Legends Award

"The John Seigenthaler Award is not about what you write; it's about making it right for writers."  – Clay Stafford, Founder of Killer Nashville
“The John Seigenthaler Award is not about what you write; it’s about making it right for writers.”
– Clay Stafford, Founder of Killer Nashville

The annual Killer Nashville John Seigenthaler Legends Award™ is bestowed upon an individual within the publishing industry who, like its namesake, has devoted his or her life to championing First Amendment Rights, advocating for social change, equality, and fairness, or otherwise defending issues of freedom. Recipients of this award have displayed a steadfast commitment to these ideals, and to mentoring the next generation of authors. This is not a lifetime achievement award, as we expect much more of these individuals in years to come.

Max Allan Collins is the recipient of the 2017 Killer Nashville John Seigenthaler Legends Award. He has earned an unprecedented twenty-two Private Eye Writers of America “Shamus” nominations, winning twice for best novel and once for best short story.  In 2007 he received the Eye, the PWA life achievement award, and in 2012 his Nathan Heller saga was honored with the PWA “Hammer” award for its major contribution to the private eye genre.

His graphic novel Road to Perdition (1998), illustrated by Richard Piers Rayner, became the Academy Award-winning Tom Hanks film, and his innovative “Quarry” novels is the basis of a current Cinemax TV series.  He has completed a number of “Mike Hammer” novels begun by the late Mickey Spillane, most recently A Will to Kill, and his full-cast Hammer audio novel, The Little Death (with Stacy Keach), won a 2011 Audie.

Collins has written and directed four feature films, including the Lifetime movie “Mommy” (1996), as well as two documentaries, including “Mike Hammer’s Mickey Spillane” (1998), which appears on the Criterion Collection’s “Kiss Me Deadly.”  His many comics credits include the syndicated strip “Dick Tracy”; “Batman”; and “Ms. Tree” and “Wild Dog,” co-created with artist Terry Beatty.  His movie novels include Saving Private Ryan, Air Force One, and American Gangster (IAMTW Best Novel “Scribe” Award, 2008).

Collins lives in Muscatine, Iowa, with his wife, writer Barbara Collins; as “Barbara Allan,” they have collaborated on thirteen novels, notably the successful “Trash ‘n’ Treasures” mysteries, including Antiques Flee Market (2008) winner of the Romantic Times Best Humorous Mystery Novel award in 2009.  Their son Nathan is a Japanese-to-English translator, working on video games, manga and novels.

Previous Award Winners