If you know someone working on mystery fiction, nonfiction, plays, or screenplays in a writing program, urge him or her to apply for the Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship for Mystery Writing. This scholarship, which I proposed while I was serving on the board of directors of Mystery Writers of America, is intended to encourage the next generation of mystery writers. As someone who benefited from the encouragement of English and journalism instructors, I think tangible support is crucial in the often tough world of writing, and we must attend to fostering the next generation of mystery readers and writers if the genre is to maintain its vitality.
Two scholarships of US$500 each are awarded each year. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2009. For further details, go here.
The scholarship is named for writer, editor, agent, and publisher Helen McCloy, creator of sleuthing psychiatrist Basil Willing and an MWA Grand Master. Once married to author Davis Dresser (one incarnation of Brett Halliday), McCloy was a relative of John J. McCloy, who advised presidents from FDR to Reagan.