#DisneyMustPay Task Force Expands Focus to All Comic Book Creators

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force is expanding its focus and reaching out to all comic book and graphic novel creators who may be missing royalty statements and payments from Disney and its companies. 

“Writers, artists, illustrators, letterers, and other artists are valued members of the creative teams that produce art and literature that is enjoyed by millions,” said Mary Robinette Kowal, Task Force Chair. “We are inviting these talented artists to share their stories and we will fight for them to receive the money that is owed to them.”

All potentially affected writers and artists should contact the Task Force to share their stories. Creators who are missing royalties or royalty statements may fill out this form hosted by SFWA. Anonymity is guaranteed.

Lee Goldberg, Task Force member and founder of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW), adds his thoughts about the need for the #DisneyMustPay Task Force to expand its reach to all creators:

“Novelists and illustrators provide a rich, all-encompassing story-telling experience, their words creating fully flesh-out characters and detailed images, if not entire worlds and universes, in the readers’ minds. The authors and artists honored their obligation to write and create their books. Now Disney should have the decency and integrity to honor their obligation to pay them. It’s that simple.”

Sandra Wong, National President of Sisters in Crime, states:

“Sisters in Crime believes that writers and creators should be paid what they’re legally owed for their work, no matter the media or genre. We joined the Task Force to help spread the word to potentially affected authors, since Disney has placed the onus to be paid on writers and creators, and to lend our voice to an issue which has potential consequences for all creators.”

The Task Force’s goals are to ensure that all writers and creators who are owed royalties and/or statements for their media-tie in work are identified and that Disney and other companies honor their contractual obligations to those writers and creators after acquiring the companies that originally hired them. 

Fans, fellow writers, and the creative community need to continue to post on social media showing their support, so the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force can help writers. The Task Force says, “Thanks to their support, the message is reaching Disney and related organizations, to alert them to the work they need to do to honor their contractual obligations.”

Progress has been made, most notably ensuring that three well-known media tie-in authors have been paid and attaining the cooperation of BOOM! Studios in identifying affected authors. However, over a dozen additional authors are still in negotiations with Disney. Many of them, especially ones with lesser-known names, find communications with Disney repeatedly stalled until pressure is again applied by the Task Force and its supporters. 

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force, formed by SFWA, includes the Authors GuildHorror Writers AssociationInternational Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW), International Thriller WritersMystery Writers of America National Writers UnionNovelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime (SinC). Individual writers on the Task Force include Neil Gaiman, Lee Goldberg, Mary Robinette Kowal, Chuck Wendig, and Tess Garritsen. The Task Force identifies and guides authors and creators who might be owed money. Disney is refusing to cooperate with the task force to identify affected authors. 

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force notes they are working to make sure creators’ contracts are honored, but individual negotiations are rightly between the creators, their agents, and the rights holder. The Disney Task Force is working to address structural and systemic concerns. 

Additional updates and information are available at www.writersmustbepaid.org.

Crime Fiction Award Winners and Shortlists

SHAMUS AWARDS

The Private Eye Writers of America have announced winners of the 2021 Shamus Awards.

The juried award is given for private eye novels and short stories first published in the United States in 2020.

BEST PI HARDCOVER

  • Blind Vigil by Matt Coyle (Oceanview)

BEST ORIGINAL PI PAPERBACK

  • Brittle Karma by Richard Helms (Black Arch Books)

BEST PI SHORT STORY

  •  “Mustang Sally” by John M. Floyd in Black Cat Mystery Magazine

BEST FIRST  PI NOVEL 

  • The Missing American by Kwei Quartey (Soho)

THE EYE, the PWA Life Achievement Award

  • Michael Z. Lewin

DASHIELL HAMMETT AWARD

The 2019 Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing winner has been named by the International Association of Crime Writers (North American Branch).

  • When These Mountains Burn by David Joy (Putnam) 

 DAVITT AWARDS

The shortlist for the 2021 Davitt Awards, given out by Sisters in Crime Australia, has also been unveiled. The awards highlight “the best crime and mystery books by Australian women.”

ADULT CRIME NOVELS 

  • B M Allsopp, Death Beyond the Limit (Fiji Islands Mysteries #3) (Coconut Press)
  • Sarah Barrie, Deadman’s Track (Calico Mountain #3) (HQ Fiction, an imprint of Harlequin Australia)
  • Candice Fox, Gathering Dark (Penguin Random House Australia)
  • Sulari Gentill, A Testament of Character (Rowland Sinclair #10) (Pantera Press)
  • Sally Hepworth, The Good Sister (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Karina Kilmore, Where the Truth Lies (Simon & Schuster Australia) 
  • Suzanne Leal, The Deceptions (Allen & Unwin) 
  • Mirandi Riwoe, Stone Sky Gold Mountain (University of Queensland Press)
  • Kimberley Starr, Torched (Pantera Press)

YOUNG ADULT CRIME NOVELS 

  • Davina Bell, The End of the World Is Bigger than Love (Text Publishing) 
  • Sarah Epstein, Deep Water (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
  • Ellie Marney, None Shall Sleep (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
  • Christie Nieman, Where We Begin (Pan Macmillan Australia) 
  • Lisa Walker, The Girl with the Gold Bikini (Wakefield Press) 

 CHILDREN’S CRIME NOVELS 

  • Jackie French, The Ghost of Howlers Beach (Butter O’Bryan Mysteries #1) (HarperCollins Publishers Australia)
  • Amelia Mellor, The Grandest Bookshop in the World (Affirm Press) 
  • Julianne Negri, The Secret Library of Hummingbird House (Affirm Press) 
  • Pamela Rushby, The Mummy Smugglers of Crumblin Castle (Walker Books Australia)
  • Lian Tanner, A Clue for Clara (Allen & Unwin Children’s) 
  • Sue Whiting, The Book of Chance (Walker Books Australia)

 NON-FICTION CRIME BOOKS 

  • Stephanie Convery, After the Count: The death of Davey Browne (Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia) 
  • Melissa Davey, The Case of George Pell: Reckoning with child sexual abuse (Scribe Publications) 
  • Louise Milligan, Witness: An investigation into the brutal cost of seeking justice (Hachette Australia)
  • Caroline Overington, Missing William Tyrrell (HarperCollins Publishers Australia)
  • Angela Williams, Snakes and Ladders: A memoir (Affirm Press) 
  • Sonya Bates, Inheritance of Secrets (HarperCollins Publishers Australia)
  • Davina Bell, The End of the World Is Bigger than Love (Text Publishing)
  • Melissa Davey, The Case of George Pell: Reckoning with child sexual abuse (Scribe Publications)
  • Anna Downes, The Safe Place (Affirm Press)
  • Mary Jones, Troubled Waters (Green Olive Press)
  • Karina Kilmore, Where the Truth Lies (Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • Amelia Mellor, The Grandest Bookshop in the World (Affirm Press)
  • Kate Mildenhall, The Mother Fault (Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • Julianne Negri, The Secret Library of Hummingbird House (Affirm Press)
  • Leah Swann, Sheerwater (4th Estate, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Australia)
  • Lian Tanner, A Clue for Clara (Allen & Unwin Children’s)
  • Lisa Walker, The Girl with the Gold Bikini (Wakefield Press)

Sisters in Crime Australia was set up 29 years ago and has chapters in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. The Davitts are named after Ellen Davitt, the author of Australia’s first mystery novel, Force and Fraud, in 1865.

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

#DisneyMustPay Task Force Updates

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force has reported its progress towards its goal that all WritersMustBePaid.org.

“Lee Goldberg, IAMTW, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America bring valuable experience to the Disney Task Force,” said Mary Robinette Kowal, President, SFWA. “Their support demonstrates that writers stand with each other.” 

John Palisano, President, Horror Writers Association (HWA), said, “The HWA is proud to be part of the Disney Task Force alongside SFWA, RWA, MWA, and many other organizations focused on writers. We believe writers must be paid and should not have to jump through hoops for that to happen. We’re hoping Disney will come to the table and cooperate with author organizations that are providing support to authors and agents so that there is a clear path going forward. We are all wishing for a resolution that will continue the great creative relationships that have been built over many decades.”

“Since we launched the Task Force, progress has been made; we are pleased that a few writers have been paid,” said Kowal. “However, we do notice the difference in how the lower profile writers are being treated. We should not still be having the discussion about honoring their contracts.”

Fans, fellow writers, and the creative community have taken to social media to support the authors being helped by the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force. Because of their passion, the message is being delivered. 

For writers to be paid, people need to continue to buy their books and watch their movies and programs. The Task Force strongly feels that a boycott will only hurt writers. 

There are ways fans and supporters can help.

  • Do not boycott, as this will disproportionately affect those authors who are being paid. 
  • Use #DisneyMustPay on social media. Help is needed to bring the task force’s five action items to the attention of Disney’s decision-makers.
  • Visit WritersMustBePaid.org, a new website set up by our new task force, and share it.
  • Do purchase the works of affected authors for which they are receiving royalties.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) formed the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force, which now includes the Authors GuildHorror Writers Association, International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW), International Thriller WritersMystery Writers of America National Writers UnionNovelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime to identify and guide authors who might be owed money. Disney is refusing to cooperate with the task force in identifying affected authors. 

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force is making sure writers’ working conditions are fair and safe, but individual negotiations are, rightly, between the authors, their agents, and the rights holder. The Disney Task Force is working to address structural and systemic concerns. 

Additional updates and information will be available at www.writersmustbepaid.org.

[Based on a press release.]

Sisters in Crime Announces
Pride Award

Sisters in Crime is accepting applications for its inaugural Pride Award for Emerging LGBTQIA+ Crime Writers, a $2,000 grant awarded to an up-and-coming writer who identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Candidates must apply by March 15, 2021. The winner will be announced in April, 2021. Complete guidelines and the application can be found here.

The award is being established as the legacy project of former Sisters in Crime president Sherry Harris, who said, “Sisters in Crime was founded more than thirty years ago as an advocacy group for women crime writers. When considering my legacy project, I knew I wanted to establish a way for us to build on our traditions of expanding inclusiveness in crime fiction publishing and helping to lift up voices that need to be heard.”

The grant, which has been funded for 2021 by an anonymous donor, is intended for a crime writer beginning their career and will support activities related to career development including workshops, seminars, conferences, retreats, online courses, and research activities required for completion of his, her, or their work. The winner and five runners-up will also be awarded a one-year Sisters in Crime membership and each will receive a critique from an established Sisters in Crime member.

The judges for the inaugural Pride award are Sisters in Crimes members John Copenhaver, Cheryl Head, and Kristen Lepionka, who have all written award-winning LGBTQIA+ crime fiction.

“Representation for queer authors is key within the mystery writing community,” said Copenhaver. “Not too many years ago, gay and lesbian mysteries weren’t even shelved in the mystery section of chain bookstores, but in the ‘Gay and Lesbian section, usually at the back of the store. The award offers individual support for new voices in queer mystery and is a symbolic gesture, reminding the broader reading and writing community of the validity of our perspective and our ability to tell great crime stories.”

Sisters in Crime recognizes that not all LGBTQIA+ community members can be out, and each individual’s privacy is valued. Winners and any runners-up who wish to maintain their anonymity may do so, or they may choose to select a pen name for announcement.

Sisters in Crime (SinC) was founded in 1986 to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers. It has 4,200 members and more than 60 chapters worldwide.

[Based on a press release. Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

2020 Davitt Awards

Sisters in Crime’s 20th Davitt Awards winners were announced September 26.

2020 Davitt Winners

Adult crime novels

  • The Trespassers, Meg Mundell (University of Queensland Press) 

Young Adult crime novels

  • Four Dead Queens, Astrid Scholte (Allen & Unwin) 

Children’s crime novels

  • The Girl in the Mirror, Jenny Blackford (Eagle Books, an imprint of Christmas Press) 

Non-fiction crime books

  • Banking Bad: Whistleblowers. Corporate cover-ups. One journalist’s fight for the truth, Adele Ferguson (ABC Books, ABC Books, a HarperCollins Australia imprint) 

Highly Commended:

  • See What You Made Me Do: Power, control and domestic abuse, Jess Hill (Black Inc.) 

Debut crime books

  • Eight Lives, Susan Hurley (Affirm Press)

2020 Davitt Readers Choice Award

[Joint winners]

  • Darkness for Light by Emma Viskic
  • The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

The judging panel for 2020 was Philomena Horsley, winner of the 2018 Scarlet Stiletto Award winner and medical autopsy expert; Bec Kavanagh, YA expert; Debbie Stephen, forensic specialist; and Sisters in Crime national co-convenors Karina Kilmore (author and former Herald Sun book editor), Moraig Kisler and Pauline Meaney.

Sisters in Crime Australia was set up 29 years ago and has chapters in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. The Davitts are named after Ellen Davitt, the author of Australia’s first mystery novel, Force and Fraud, in 1865.

2020 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award

Yasmin McClinton

Sisters in Crime (SinC) announced the winner of the 2020 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award:

  • Yasmin McClinton of Columbia, SC

The award, which honors the memory of pioneering African-American crime fiction author Eleanor Taylor Bland with a $2,000 grant to an emerging writer of color, was created in 2014 to support SinC’s vision statement that the organization should serve as the voice for excellence and diversity in crime writing. The grant is intended to help the recipient complete a debut or early-career work of crime fiction.

Eleanor Taylor Bland

For 2020, Sisters in Crime expanded the Eleanor Taylor Award to also provide funded memberships to the organization for five runners-up. These are Christina Dotson (Nashville, TN), Tony Hernandez (Phoenix, AZ), Robert Justice (Denver, CO), Raquel V. Reyes (Miami, FL) and Manju Soni (Mystic, CT).

“The Eleanor Taylor Bland Award was expanded to provide assistance to more than the single winner, so that more writers of color could benefit from the community support Sisters in Crime can give a beginning writer,” said national Sisters in Crime president Lori Rader-Day. “Because of our commitment to inclusion, we heard from some of our current members who wanted to help us make a difference.”

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

2020 Davitt Awards Shortlist

Twenty-four books crime and mystery books by Australian women are battling it out for Sisters in Crime’s 20th Davitt Awards.

The Davitts are named after Ellen Davitt, the author of Australia’s first mystery novel, Force and Fraud, in 1865.

2020 Davitt Shortlist

Adult crime novels

  • Bruny, Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin)
  • Eight Lives, Susan Hurley (Affirm Press) 
  • Life Before, Carmel Reilly (Allen & Unwin) 
  • Present Tense, Natalie Conyer (Clan Destine Press) 
  • The Scholar, Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Australia)
  • Six Minutes, Petronella McGovern (Allen & Unwin) 
  • The Trespassers, Meg Mundell (University of Queensland Press) 

Young Adult crime novels

  • All That Impossible Space, Anna Morgan (Lothian Children’s Books, a Hachette Australia imprint) 
  • Four Dead Queens, Astrid Scholte (Allen & Unwin) 
  • When the Ground is Hard, Malla Nunn (Allen & Unwin)

Children’s crime novels

  • The Girl in the Mirror, Jenny Blackford (Eagle Books, an imprint of Christmas Press) 
  • The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Lucerne, Katrina Nannestad (The Girl, the Dog and the Writer #3, ABC Books, a HarperCollins Australia imprint)
  • Jinxed!: The curious curse of Cora Bell, Rebecca McRitchie (Jinxed #1, HarperCollins Australia)
  • Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery, Renée Treml (Allen & Unwin) 

Non-fiction crime books

  • Banking Bad: Whistleblowers. Corporate cover-ups. One journalist’s fight for the truth, Adele Ferguson (ABC Books, ABC Books, a HarperCollins Australia imprint) 
  • Fallen: The inside story of the secret trial and conviction of Cardinal George Pell, Lucie Morris-Marr (Allen & Unwin) 
  • Fixed It: Violence and the representation of women in the media, Jane Gilmore (Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia)
  • See What You Made Me Do: Power, control and domestic abuse, Jess Hill (Black Inc.) 
  • Troll Hunting: Inside the world of online hate and its human fallout, Ginger Gorman (Hardie Grant Books) 

Debut crime books

  • Banking Bad: Whistleblowers. Corporate cover-ups. One journalist’s fight for the truth, Adele Ferguson (ABC Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Australia)
  • Bee and the Orange Tree, The, Melissa Ashley (Affirm Press)
  • Drover’s Wife, The, Leah Purcell (Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia)
  • Eight Lives, Susan Hurley (Affirm Press)
  • Four Dead Queens, Astrid Scholte (Allen & Unwin)
  • Life Before, Carmel Reilly (Allen & Unwin)
  • Present Tense, Natalie Conyer (Clan Destine Press)
  • Six Minutes, Petronella McGovern (Allen & Unwin)
  • Troll Hunting: Inside the world of online hate and its human fallout, Ginger Gorman (Hardie Grant Books)

The judging panel for 2020 comprises Philomena Horsley, winner of the 2018 Scarlet Stiletto Award winner and medical autopsy expert; Bec Kavanagh, YA expert; Debbie Stephen, forensic specialist; and Sisters in Crime national co-convenors Karina Kilmore (author and former Herald Sun book editor), Moraig Kisler and Pauline Meaney.

Sisters in Crime Australia was set up 29 years ago and has chapters in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]