The Bloody Words Light Mystery Award (fondly known as the Bony Blithe Award) was created in 2011 by the Bloody Words (BW) board of directors. We wanted to shine a spotlight on light mysteries, an area of the crime fiction genre that is, alas, all-too-often overlooked when it comes to literary awards.
Bony Blithe (BB) is the youngest member of the BW bony family: sister to Bony Pete (the BW short story award mascot) and Bucky (BW’s life-size skeleton mascot). The BB shortlist and winner are determined by a jury of three judges, all of whom are involved in the book biz. . The prize is a colourful plaque as well as a cash prize of $1000. (Bloody Words has always been in favour of paying an author, whenever possible!)
What is a light mystery anyway?
Light mysteries include cozies, capers, satires, and humorous books – in short, anything from laugh-out-loud books to gentle humour to good old-fashioned stories with minimal overt violence or gore. We’re not looking for books with gravitas that make us think; we’re looking for fun-to-read books that make us smile.
History of the Bony Blithe Award
We originally intended for the Bony Blithe Award to be presented annually at the Bloody Words banquet, which is what happened in 2012 (Blithe’s inaugural year) and 2014. In 2013, a non-BW year, the award was presented at a gala reception at the National Club in Toronto.
When Bloody Words gave up the ghost (so to speak) in 2014, the question arose of what to do about Bony Blithe – in particular, what to do about the award gala. We held the 2015 gala at the Hot House Café in Toronto, a fun event but lacking something.
Then when we were starting to work on the 2016 Bony Blithe award and gala, it suddenly struck us: What we needed was a Bony Blithe Mini-con! An afternoon of panels and schmoozing, loot bags, a book dealer, nibblies and drinks, all culminating in the gala dinner and presentation of the 2016 Bony Blithe Award.
And now…the Bony Blithe Mini-con and Award Gala
Last year’s mini-con and gala was even more successful than we had anticipated, and it was a real kick reminiscing about past Bloody Words conferences with so many of the attendees. (And a big high-five to those who had attended our first BW in 1999 in the non-air conditioned Arts & Letters Club and were reprising the experience at our first Bony Blithe mini-con at the non-air conditioned High Park Club).
So from now on, we’ll be celebrating the best of Canadian light mysteries annually at the Bony Blithe Mini-con and Gala. No, it won’t be Bloody Words…but it will be the next best thing to it.
Bony Blithe says so, and who are you to contradict a skeleton?