2015 Al Blanchard Award Winners

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Winners of the Al Blanchard Awards for New England short crime fiction are honored at the opening of the 2015 New England Crime Bake mystery conference. Award committee chair Leslie Wheeler, left, with Al Blanchard Award Winner John Bubar and Honorable Mention winners Florence Noonan, Alan McWhirter, Liana Soneclar, and Peter Swanson.

Winners of the Al Blanchard Awards for New England short crime fiction are honored at the opening of the 2015 New England Crime Bake mystery conference. Award committee chair Leslie Wheeler, left, with Al Blanchard Award Winner John Bubar and Honorable Mention winners Florence Noonan, Alan McWhirter, Liana Soneclar, and Peter Swanson.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

‘Tell the Others’ wins 2015 Al Blanchard crime story award

DEDHAM, MA—Nov. 18, 2015—Ridding the world of hackers is just a logical, if slightly bloody, extension of the IT Help Desk in “Tell the Others,” winner of the 2015 Al Blanchard Award for short crime fiction by a New England author or featuring a New England setting.

“Tell the Others” is one of 33 tales of mystery, suspense, and wrong-doing published in Best New England Crime Stories: Red Dawn from Level Best Books.

The award was announced Nov. 7, 2015, at the fourteenth annual New England Crime Bake conference for mystery writers and readers in Dedham, MA.

Bubar, of Durham, NH, spent thirty-six years as a pilot in military and commercial aviation. Retiring in 2006, he returned to his previous professions of intermittent student and full-time gym rat. Successfully squeezing a two-year program into five years, he received his MFA in Writing from the University of New Hampshire in 2012.

This is his fourth publication with Level Best Books and second Al Blanchard Award. He won for “Myrna” in the 2013 anthology, Stone Cold. Bubar also received the 2015 Maine Review Grand Prize for “Squall,” published in Juxtaposition. He has also published stories in Currents VII, the anthology of the Seacoast Writers’ Association; and in BULL: Men’s Fiction.

The authors of four stories received Honorable Mention in the Al Blanchard Awards contest.

Peter Swanson of Somerville, MA, was honored for “The Sea Cliff,” about the last contest between two friends who compete about everything: games, drinking, women.

Swanson is the author of two novels, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, and The Kind Worth Killing, both published by William Morrow. His poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in such journals as The Atlantic, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Measure, Soundings East, and Yankee Magazine.

Florence Noonan of Quincy, MA, was recognized for “White like Death,” about the repressed hostilities that flare up between two sisters stranded in a blizzard while packing up possessions in their deceased mother’s home.

Noonan taught for more than thirty years, and administered a job training program for three years. She recently published her first novel, “Blood and Stone,” in which amateur sleuth Zoey Stone, who teaches troubled youth, must find the six-year-old son of a former student before he disappears forever. Her work has also been published in the journal Best of Buffalo.

Liana Soneclar of Westport, CT, received an Honorable Mention for her first short story, “Alibi,” about a lawyer’s struggle to defend a boy who wants to be convicted for a crime she thinks he didn’t commit.

Soneclar has completed her freshman year at the University of Chicago and is taking this year off to study drama and dramatic writing at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York.

Alan McWhirter of Waterbury, CT, received Honorable Mention for “Old Doc Sloan,” in which a ghost (or is it?) leads local detective Joe Chandler to an unexpected funeral. The story is the third in a series of Joe Chandler, Waterbury detective, mystery stories.

McWhirter recently retired as Head Public Defender of Waterbury, CT, and draws on his decades of exposure to homicides to craft his murder mysteries. He published two previous stories in anthologies from Level Best Books.

The Al Blanchard Award honors the late author of two mystery novel series and numerous short crime stories. Blanchard was president of the New England chapter of Mystery Writers of America and co-founder of the New England Crime Bake.

The award is presented annually at the conference cosponsored by the New England chapters of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Information on the 2016 Al Blanchard Award competition, which will open January 1, 2016 and does not charge an entry fee, will be posted at www.crimebake.org and www.levelbestbooks.com.

For more information on Red Dawn and the twelve previous anthologies of Best New England Crime Stories, visit www.levelbestbooks.com.