2015 November 10 – 2015 Killer Nashville Award Winners Named

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Nashville, TN. November 10, 2015

NASHVILLE – Recipients of Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion and Claymore Awards were recognized Saturday, October 31, during the Killer Nashville Awards Dinner at the Omni Nashville Hotel.

The Silver Falchion Award honors the best books readily available to a North American audience in both fiction and nonfiction from the previous year. This past year, nearly 600 authors entered the competition.

A team of professional writers, published authors, avid readers, and librarians read all Silver Falchion submissions. A special rubric is used to determine finalists and winners. In most categories, five titles were selected as finalists.

For the first time, to recognize all who have submitted books, Killer Nashville offered a new component to the Silver Falchion competition, The Readers’ Choice Award. All submissions to the Silver Falchion were considered for this award, and the winner was determined by popular vote. Readers were invited to visit the Killer Nashville website to select their favorite 2015 Silver Falchion submission.

“We were pleased to receive so many great submissions for this year’s Silver Falchion Award,” said Clay Stafford, Killer Nashville Founder and CEO of American Blackguard, Inc. “Our dedication to select and recognize the best from our pool of talented and hard-working authors proved to be particularly challenging this year, as the entries were all of a superior caliber. All of the authors deserve recognition for their hard work and for taking part in this competition.”

Killer Nashville is also pleased to announce that Michael F. Stewart is the winner of this year’s Claymore Award for his novel The Boy Who Swallows Flies.

Stewart, who lives in Ottawa, Canada with his wife and four daughters, says he has always wanted to be a writer, though he had a short career as a venture capitalist before he was given the chance to do so. He first discovered Killer Nashville in 2013 after his publicist approached him to see if he’d be interested in submitting a book for consideration in the Silver Falchion Award competition. Though he didn’t win that year, his receipt of this accolade proves that persistence can pay off.

When asked what being the 2015 Claymore Award Winner meant to him, Stewart said, “To have ‘Award Winner’ on your novel BEFORE you publish it? That’s a real coup. Juried awards like the Claymore are incredible in that they are judged by publishers, agents, and authors—It’s a wonderful stamp of approval as I seek out the best home for my book. Winning the Claymore builds confidence and it looks ridiculously cool on my bookshelf! I’m stunned and grateful.”

Killer Nashville founder Clay Stafford created the Claymore Award as a way to help aspiring authors along the pathway to publication. And, since its inception, Claymore Award winners and finalists have found success in the publishing industry, many with book and movie deals.

The competition is open to any author, whether published or not. However, the contest is limited to only unpublished manuscripts not currently under contract.

Ten finalists are chosen through a blind judging process. The winner receives an engraved replica of a claymore dagger, free admission to the current year’s Killer Nashville, and more. The top ten finalists also receive rewards.

Any manuscript of exceptional merit deemed ready for submission will be recommended by Killer Nashville to agents, editors, and publishers regardless of placement in the contest.

Also awarded during the banquet was the Dupin Detective Award, a special recognition for an individual who, through superior sleuthing skills, solves Killer Nashville’s most popular annual feature, the Crime Scene. Staged by forensic professionals, the crime scene is an adaptation of real crime scenes they have encountered.

Bobbi Blake took home this honor, which includes free registration to Killer Nashville 2016.

Blake has a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Michigan and has predeominently written non-fiction in past years—but now she is “trying [her] hand at writing a mystery.”

It would seem that Blake is a natural at dissecting a mystery, as dozens of would-be crime solvers were duped by this year’s mock crime scene. Blake, however, was able to piece all the evidence together masterfully, a feat she attributes, in part, to the information she gleaned from the suspect interviews.

“The biggest clue—marks on the victim’s neck from a stun gun or taser,” said Blake when asked what tipped her off. “In the first two interviews (with the Omni employee who discovered the body and then the hotel security officer), the victim, Ralph Reed, was described as ‘on his stomach with his hands tied behind his back’ with zip ties. That indicated pre-meditation.”

Blake is a repeat attendee of the Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference, and it doesn’t take a crack sleuth to figure out why.

“I particularly enjoyed meeting other aspiring and actual authors and hearing their stories at Killer Nashville 2015. They were amazing in their support to a new fiction writer,” Blake said.

The annual Killer Nashville International Thriller, Mystery, and Crime Literature Writers’ Conference was created in 2006 by author/filmmaker Clay Stafford to bring together forensic experts, writers, and fans of crime and thriller literature. The conference draws attendees from as far away as Portmahomack, Scotland; Rome, Italy; and Hadano, Kanagawa, Japan. For interviews or more information: www.KillerNashville.com, Contact@KillerNashville.com, 615-599-4032.

Killer Nashville | P.O. Box 680759 | Franklin, TN 37068-0759 | 615-599-4032