Wednesday 3 June 2015


Welcome, IWSGers!  Think it's nerve-wracking being a finalist for a big award?  Try running the awards gala itself!  The Arthur Ellis Awards are Canada's Crime Writing Awards, which took place last week on May 28 at the Arts and Letters club in Toronto.   I'll let the post speak for itself.IWSG Badge


By Melodie Campbell

Okay, I haven’t done it yet.  But I may soon.

I’m the Executive Director of a well-known crime writing association.  This means I am also responsible for the Arthur Ellis Awards, Canada’s annual crime writing awards night, and the resulting banquet.

I’ve planned hundreds of special events in my career as a marketing professional.  I’ve managed conferences with 1000 people attending, scarfing down three meals a day.  Usually, we offer a few choices, and people choose what they want.  They’re pretty good about that.  People sit where they want.  Simple.

Granted, most of my events have been with lab techs, doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals.

It is not the same with authors.  Nothing is simple with authors.


A can’t sit with B, because A is in competition with B for Best Novel.  C can’t sit with D because C is currently outselling D.  E can’t sit with F because they had an affair (which nobody knows about.  Except they do.  At least, the seven people who contacted me to warn me about this knew.) G can’t sit with H because G’s former agent is at that table and they might kill each other.  And everyone wants to sit with J.


The damned meal is chicken.  This is because we are allowed two choices and we have to provide for the vegetarians.  We can’t have the specialty of the house, lamb, because not everyone eats lamb.  We can’t have salmon as the vegetarian choice, because some vegetarians won’t eat fish.

So we’re stuck with bloody chicken again.

P writes that her daughter is lactose intolerant.  Can she have a different dessert?

K writes that she is vegetarian, but can’t eat peppers.  Every damned vegetarian choice has green or red pepper in it.

L writes that she wants the chicken, but is allergic to onion and garlic.  Can we make hers without?

M writes that her daughter is a vegan, so no egg or cheese, thanks.  Not a single vegetarian choice comes that way.

I am quickly moving to the “you’re getting chicken if I have to shove it down your freaking throat” phase.

Chef is currently threatening the catering manager with a butcher’s knife.  I am already slugging back the cooking wine.  And by the time people get here, this may be a Murder Mystery dinner.


Nobody got murdered, but a few got hammered.

Check out the other IWSG blogs today at
FLASH NEWS:  The Arthur Ellis Awards for Crime Writing in Canada were held last Thursday night, and Margaret Atwood (not Melodie Campbell, alas) won the Arthur for the Short Story category.  It was an honour to be shortlisted with her.


  1. LOL! That explains the chicken at every conference and why I'd rather be back in the kitchen slugging back the cooking wine with you. Great post!

  2. Thanks Nancy! Going to check out everyone's Wed post now, myself.

  3. Wow Melodie, Executive Director of a crime writing association is super. I have always envied crime writers. Planning the food can be tiresome as all the attendees have different preferences.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

  4. Thanks for your comment, Rachna! Luckily, I came to this job after being an executive at other associations. But it was sort of coming home, you might say, as it was 'my' association, as a crime writer.