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“The Odds Are Against Us” and “Premonition” Named Agatha Award Finalists!

January 31, 2015

I’m stunned and thrilled that two of my short stories have been named as finalists for the upcoming Agatha Awards! My stories “The Odds Are Against Us” from Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and “Premonition” from Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder are both in contention for Best Short Story of 2014, along with Barb Goffman’s “The Shadow Knows,” Edith Maxwell’s “Just Desserts for Johnny,” and Kathy Lynn Emerson’s “The Blessing Witch.” The full slate of finalists in all categories is below. Look forward to seeing everyone at Malice Domestic in May!

Best Contemporary Novel

The Good, The Bad and The Emus by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books)
A Demon Summer by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur Books)
Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books)
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Designated Daughters by Margaret Maron (Grand Central Publishing)

Best Historical Novel

Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd (William Morrow)
An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd (William Morrow)
Wouldn’t it Be Deadly by D.E. Ireland (Minotaur Books)
Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
Murder in Murray Hill by Victoria Thompson (Berkley)

Best First Novel

Circle of Influence by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press)
Tagged for Death by Sherry Harris (Kensington Publishing)
Finding Sky by Susan O’Brien (Henery Press)
Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran (Berkley Prime Crime)
Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber (Midnight Ink)

Best Nonfiction

400 Things Cops Know: Street Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman by Adam Plantinga (Quill Driver Books)
Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer’s Journey by Hank Phillippi Ryan (ed) (Henery Press)
Death Dealer: How Cops and Cadaver Dogs Brought a Killer to Justice by Kate Flora (New Horizon Press)
The Art of the English Murder by Lucy Worsley (Pegasus Books)
The Poisoner: The Life and Crimes of Victorian England’s Most Notorious Doctor by Stephen Bates (Overlook Hardcover)

Best Short Story

“The Odds are Against Us” by Art Taylor (EQMM)
“Premonition” (Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays) by Art Taylor (Wildside Press)
“The Shadow Knows” (Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays) by Barb Goffman (Wildside Press)
“Just Desserts for Johnny” by Edith Maxwell (Kings River Life Magazine)
“The Blessing Witch” (Best New England Crime Stories 2015: Rogue Wave) by Kathy Lynn Emerson (Level Best Books)

Best Children’s/Young Adult

Andi Under Pressure by Amanda Flower (ZonderKidz)
Greenglass House by Kate Milford (Clarion Books)
Uncertain Glory by Lea Wait (Islandport Press)
The Code Buster’s Club, Case #4, The Mummy’s Curse by Penny Warner (Egmont USA)
Found by Harlen Coben (Putnam Juvenile)


Call for Submissions: Murder Under the Oaks, the Bouchercon 2015 Anthology

December 8, 2014

Attention, fellow short story writers! I’ve been invited to edit the short fiction anthology Murder Under the Oaks for Bouchercon 2015 in Raleigh, NC—and I’d love to see lots and lots of good submissions for it! The full call for submissions can be found here—and details are pasted below. Please feel free to share widely with your own writing friends and community! — Art Taylor

Call for Submissions

Bouchercon 2015 invites you to submit a short story for an anthology, Murder Under the Oaks, to be published by Down & Out Books for Bouchercon 2015, October 8-11, 2015, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The theme is: Murder Under the Oaks.

Bouchercon 2015 Chair Stacey Cochran is proud to announce that Agatha, Macavity, and Derringer Award-winning short story writer Art Taylor will be the editor for Murder Under the Oaks. Art is generously contributing his time and talents, and we are very grateful for his participation in this exciting project. Please do not submit stories to Art Taylor directly.

Authors will be notified when the final selections have been made. Also, an announcement will be made on the Bouchercon 2015 website in early June 2015.

Anthology authors will receive one contributor’s copy, and be invited to participate in a signing at the convention.

Profits from the anthology will go to Wake County, NC libraries.


  • Anyone can submit a story; you needn’t register for the convention.
  • Deadline for submission is midnight March 1, 2015.
  • Submit your story as an email attachment, in Word doc or docx, to:
  • The email subject line should read:
    [your last name goes here], Anthology Submission, [title of story goes here].  For example: Smith, Anthology Submission, Deadly Acorns
  • All author contact information must be in the cover email only. Include:
    • your real name,
    • your pen name (if you want the story to be published under a different name),
    • your address,
    • phone number,
    • preferred e-mail address,
    • and word count for the story.
  • There should be no identifying information anywhere on the story.
  • Stories must be original, not previously published anywhere else.
  • One story submission per person.

 Manuscript Guidelines:

  • Stories should be between 3,500 and 5,500 words.
  • Use a standard font such as Courier or Times New Roman at 12 pt size; no fancy fonts or formatting, please. Italicize (don’t underline) words that are to be italicized.
  • Indent the first line of new paragraphs by one-half inch, using paragraph setup for the first line, not the space key. Do not use the tab key anywhere in the document.
  • Denote scene breaks with five asterisks: *****
  • Double-space with one-inch margins on all sides.

Questions? Contact


Sisters in Crime Mystery Author Extravaganza—Saturday, December 6, Reston, VA

December 4, 2014

This Saturday, December 6, I’ll be joining 20 other authors from the Sisters in Crime Chessie Chapter for a Mystery Author Extravaganza—starting at 1 p.m. at the Reston Regional Library. The latest Chesapeake Crimes anthology will be on sale, and I’ll be handing out a few extra copies of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine featuring my latest story, “The Odds Are Against Us.”

Other participating authors include: Donna Andrews, E.A. Aymar, Mary Ann Corrigan, Meriah Crawford, Maddi Davidson, Christina Freeburn, Barb Goffman, Sherry Novinger Harris, Jacqui Lane, Clyde T Linsley Jr., Sujata Massey, Eileen McIntire, Susan O’Brien, Kathryn O’Sullivan, Josh Pachter, Sandra Parshall, Shari Randall, KM Rockwood, Marianne Wilski Strong, and Cathy Wiley.

A great chance to meet some fine authors—and get in some holiday book buying too!


Short Story Month: Agatha Award Finalists

May 1, 2014

shortstorymonth320x320Today kicks off Story Story Month, and to celebrate, I’m going to try once more (as I did last year) to post about a short a day. But since the beginning of the month here falls smack in the middle of the end of the semester and the start of Malice Domestic, I’m having to stockpile a little on my posts here. To that end, let me recommend four-plus short stories to cover today and the long weekend at Malice ahead—and fittingly, the stories I’ll recommend are those of my fellow finalists for this year’s Agatha Award for Best Short Story!

The range here is impressive. Barb Goffman‘s two nominated stories look at revenge and retribution—both in the moment and in retrospect (chilling each of them and diabolically clever). Gigi Pandian takes us behind the scenes of a magic show, where seeing isn’t entirely believing, as the title magician proves when he turns sleuth to solve a murder. And Barbara Ross takes us behind the scenes as well and into the life and history of a fantastically famous TV and lifestyle celebrity—courtesy of an executive assistant who knows how both how to keep a secret and how to find out the truth behind one.

Each of the stories is linked here—and if you want the plus I mentioned, you’ve got my own story linked too:

Look forward to seeing friends old and new at Malice this weekend! — Art Taylor



Interview: Chatting about Short Stories with Diana Belchase

December 10, 2013

The terrific Diana Belchase interviewed me at Malice Domestic back in May, and she’s just posted the video on her website here and at the blog Kiss and Thrill as well. I’m always self-conscious seeing myself on film, but I hope others might look past the stutters and hesitations and enjoy some of our chat about the short story, teaching, and more. As a bonus, folks who post comments are entered for one of two giveaways, including a copy of the anthology Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder. — Art Taylor

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