Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

A defense attorney & PI who also happen to be writers

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Posts Tagged ‘Private Eye Writers of America’

2017 Shamus Awards, Private Eye Writers of America: Submissions Now Open

Posted by Writing PIs on January 11, 2017

fedora black and white

PRIVATE EYE WRITERS OF AMERICA ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS

FOR 2017 SHAMUS AWARDS

For Works First Published in the U.S. in 2016

Following are the categories for the Private Eye Writers of America 2017 Shamus Awards for private eye novels and short stories first published in the United States in 2016.  The awards will be presented in the fall of 2017 at Bouchercon.

DEADLINE: Submissions must be postmarked by March 31, 2017. No extensions can be given.

Shamus Committees will forward their final list to the Shamus Awards Chair by May 31, 2017.

ELIGIBILITY: Eligible works must feature as a main character a person PAID for investigative work but NOT employed for that work by a unit of government.  These include traditionally licensed private investigators; lawyers and reporters who do their own investigations; and others who function as hired private agents.  These do NOT include law enforcement officers, other government employees or amateur, uncompensated sleuths.

Independently published books (Indies) may be submitted to the Best Original Paperback PI Novel category.

SUBMISSIONS; Please send one copy of each eligible work to ALL members of the appropriate committee. Do NOT submit a book to more than one committee.

There is no application fee and no submission form, as a simple cover letter will suffice. If you have any questions, please e-mail Gay Toltl Kinman at gaykinman@gaykinman.com BEFORE submitting.

BEST HARDCOVER PI NOVEL: A book-length work of fiction published in hardcover in 2016 that is NOT the author’s first published P.I. novel.

BEST FIRST PI NOVEL: A book-length work of fiction, in hardcover or paperback, first published in 2016 that is the author’s first published novel featuring a private investigator as a main character.

BEST ORIGINAL PAPERBACK PI NOVEL: A book-length work of fiction first published as a paperback original in 2016 that is NOT the author’s first P.I. novel. Paperback reprints of previously published novels are NOT eligible.

BEST PI SHORT STORY: A work of fiction of 20,000 words or fewer.  Stories first published in an earlier year and reprinted in a magazine, anthology or collection in 2016, are NOT eligible.

(If you’re interested in submitting for a category, please contact Gay Toltl Kinman at gaykinman@gaykinman.com for the mailing address)

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2015: Readers Favorite Posts at Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes

Posted by Writing PIs on December 27, 2015

Since 2009, Guns, Gams and Gumshoes has been blogging about private investigations. At the end of each year we summarize readers’ favorite 10 posts. Sometimes posts from previous years crop up again in current favorites. For the first time since 2009, an old-time favorite, “Private vs. Public Investigators: What’s the Difference?,” fell off the top 10 annual list.

Below is our tally for 2015, starting with #10. Thank you to our readers for dropping by!

10. Private Detective Couples in Fiction and Real Life

The Thin Man movie trailer (image is in public domain)

The Thin Man movie trailer (image is in public domain)

9. No Cease and Desist Letters: Four Copyright-Free Image Sites

Photo by Ryan McGuire, Gratisography (image in public domain, attribution requested(

Photo by Ryan McGuire, Gratisography (image in public domain, attribution requested)

8. Private Eye Writers of America 2015 Shamus Award Finalists

Fedora (image licensed by Colleen Collins)

Fedora (image licensed by Colleen Collins)

7. Realistically Portrayed Private Eye Characters in Books and Film

James Garner as Jim Rockford (L) in THE ROCKFORD FILES (image is in public domain)

James Garner as Jim Rockford (L) in THE ROCKFORD FILES (image is in public domain)

6. History of the P.I. from Vidocq to Pinkerton

Eugene Francois Vidocq, Recognized as the First P.I. (image is in public domain)

Eugene Francois Vidocq, Recognized as the First P.I. (image is in public domain)

5. International Women’s Day: Honoring Female Investigators

Female PI (image licensed by Colleen Collins)

Female PI (image licensed by Colleen Collins)

4. When Is a Private Investigator’s Evidence Admissible in Court?

Theodore Levin US Courthouse, Detroit Federal Building, Detroit, MI by Carol Highsmith (image is in pubic domain)

Theodore Levin US Courthouse, Detroit Federal Building, Detroit, MI by Carol Highsmith (image is in pubic domain)

3. Free Social Media Search Engines

Fedora and Magnifying Glass on Computer (image licensed by Colleen Collins)

2. How to Conduct a Trash Hit: A Private Investigator’s Dumpster Secrets

The Dirty Business of Trash Hits (image licensed by Colleen Collins)

The Dirty Business of Trash Hits (image licensed by Colleen Collins)

1. Investigating Crime Scenes: Police vs. Private Investigators

Crime Scene Tape (image licensed by Colleen Collins

Crime Scene Tape (image licensed by Colleen Collins

 

Have a great week, Writing PIs

All rights reserved by Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman. Any use of the content (including images owned by Colleen Collins and/or Shaun Kaufman) requires specific, written authority. Please do not copy or distribute any images noted as licensed; any images noted as being in the public domain are yours to steal.

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Private vs. Public Investigators: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Writing PIs on June 2, 2015

fedora black and white

Updated February 10, 2016

In June, we celebrate our seven-year anniversary here at Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes. I just checked which articles have been readers’ favorites over the years, and “Private vs. Public Investigators: What’s the Difference?” ranks #1.

It might seem to be a simple question, but there are all kinds of government (meaning public) investigators — from police detectives to coroner office investigators to FBI agents — as well as different kinds of private investigators, including newspaper reporters, insurance investigators, skip tracers, and more.

Also, there are “amateur sleuths” in some mystery stories, who are not private investigators as amateur sleuths do not accept money for their investigative services. To read more about private investigators in fiction, check out the Private Eye Writers of America website.

So now let’s answer the question:

Private vs. Public Investigators: What’s the Difference?surveillance female hanging out of car with camera

What’s with the word “private”? Without being glib, it’s the opposite of “public.” Police officers and government agents are public investigators. There are differences between private investigators and public investigators, such as:

  • Private investigators do not have ready access to privileged government information about most of us nor do they always share investigative leads and similar intelligence with other investigators.
  • A private investigator’s job status alone does not imbue her with an ability to carry firearms.
  • Private investigators pay for their own equipment, some of which can get quite expensive (such as radios, computers, still/video cameras, automobiles, etc.).  Public-sector investigators (police, etc.) do not pay from their pockets for such equipment.

Why Pursue a Career as a PI?

So why become a private investigator when public ones get better access to information and free tools? For starters, it’s always appealing to be your own boss. If you’re writing a private detective story, keep in mind that as in any well-run business, your sleuth character will need to be good with details, legalities, watching the bottom line (or hire someone to help him/her with it).

Also, a private investigator’s work is challenging, exciting, sometimes downright fun.  Robert Scott, PI and author, sums up the private investigator’s life in The Investigator’s Little Black Book 3 with these words: “It’s a front row seat to the Greatest Show on Earth.” That’s because a PI has a front row seat on life and its constantly revolving characters and life situations — many just as entertaining, if not more so, than you’ll ever see in movies or on TV.  What a rich vantage point for your own fictional PI.

All rights reserved by Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman. Any use of the content (including images owned by Colleen Collins and/or Shaun Kaufman) requires specific, written authority.

How to Write a Dick: A Guide for Writing Fictional Sleuths from a Couple of Real-Life Sleuths by Colleen Collins & Shaun Kaufman 

Click on book cover to go to Amazon page

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Private Eye Writers of America: 2014 Shamus Finalists

Posted by Writing PIs on June 10, 2014

PRIVATE EYE WRITERS OF AMERICA SHAMUS AWARD FINALISTS 2014

For works published in 2013. (The lists below are in alphabetical order by author.) The winners will be announced at the PWA Banquet at Bouchercon in Long Beach, California on Friday, November 14

fedora black and white

BEST HARDCOVER P.I. NOVEL

Little Elvises by Timothy Hallinan

The Mojito Coast by Richard Helms

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton

The Good Cop by Brad Parks

Nemesis by Bill Pronzini

 

BEST FIRST P.I. NOVEL

A Good Death by Christopher R. Cox

Montana by Gwen Florio

Blood Orange by Karen Keskinen

Bear is Broken by Lachlan Smith

Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft

 

BEST ORIGINAL PAPERBACK P.I. NOVEL

Seduction of the Innocent by Max Allan Collins

Into the Dark by Alison Gaylin

Purgatory Key by Darrell James

Heart of Ice by P.J. Parrish

The Honky Tonk Big Hoss Boogie by Robert J. Randisi

 

BEST P.I. SHORT STORY

“So Long, Chief” by Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane in The Strand Magazine

“The Ace I” by Jack Fredrickson in EQMM

“What We Do” by Mick Herron in EQMM

“Extra Fries” by Michael Z. Lewin in EQMM

“The Lethal Leeteg” by Hayford Peirce in EQMM

 

BEST INDIE P.I. NOVEL

Murder Take Three by April Kelly and Marsha Lyons

A Small Sacrifice by Dana King

No Pat Hands by J.J. Lamb

State vs. Lassiter by Paul Levine

Don’t Dare a Dame by M. Ruth Myers

 

With many thanks to judges Ted Fitzgerald, Dorothy Rellas, Colleen Collins, Andrew S. McAleer, Jan Grape, Paul Levine, Chip Hughes, S.J. Rozan, John Shepphird, Clive Rosengren, Christine Matthews, Reed Farrel Coleman, Harley Mazuk, O’Neil De Noux and Barbara D. Amato 

Gay Toltl Kinman, Chair

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Private Eye Writers of America Accepting Submissions for 2014 Shamus Awards

Posted by Writing PIs on January 9, 2014

Below is the announcement for the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) 2014 Shamus Awards, which acknowledges the best private-eye novels and short stories in 2013. For more information, please go to the PWA website.

PRIVATE EYE WRITERS OF AMERICA ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS

FOR 2014 SHAMUS AWARDS

For Works First Published in the U.S. in 2013

Following are the categories for the Private Eye Writers of America 2013 Shamus Awards for private eye novels and short stories first published in the United States in 2013.  The awards will be presented in the fall of 2014 at Bouchercon in Long Beach, California.

DEADLINE: For publishers submissions must be postmarked by March 31, 2014. No extensions can be given.

Shamus Committees will forward their final list to the Shamus Awards Chair by May 31, 2014.

ELIGIBILITY: Eligible works must feature as a main character a person PAID for investigative work but NOT employed for that work by a unit of government.  These include traditionally licensed private investigators; lawyers and reporters who do their own investigations; and others who function as hired private agents.  These do NOT include law enforcement officers, other government employees or amateur, uncompensated sleuths.

SUBMISSIONS; Please send one copy of each eligible work to ALL members of the appropriate committee, and send a copy to the Shamus Awards Chair, Gay Toltl Kinman. Do NOT submit a book to more than one committee.

A new category has been added for Best Indie PI Novel.

There is no application fee and no submission form; as a simple cover letter will suffice. If you have any questions, please e-mail Gay Toltl Kinman at gaykinman@gaykinman.com BEFORE submitting.

BEST HARDCOVER PI NOVEL: A book-length work of fiction published in hardcover in 2013 that is NOT the author’s first published P.I. novel.

BEST FIRST PI NOVEL: A book-length work of fiction, in hardcover or paperback, first published in 2013 that is the author’s first published novel featuring a private investigator as a main character.

BEST ORIGINAL PAPERBACK PI NOVEL: A book-length work of fiction first published as a paperback original in 2013 that is NOT the author’s first P.I. novel; and paperback reprints of previously published novels are NOT eligible.

BEST PI SHORT STORY: A work of fiction of 20,000 words or fewer.  Stories first published in an earlier year and reprinted in a magazine, anthology or collection in 2013, are NOT eligible.

BEST INDIE PI NOVEL:  A book-length work of fiction, in hardcover, paperback or e-book, first published in 2013 featuring a private investigator as a main character and published independently by the author.

fedora black and white

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Our Top 10 Private Investigations Posts in 2013

Posted by Writing PIs on December 21, 2013

At the end of each year, we like to post our readers’ favorite top 10 posts.  Below is our 2013 Top 10 list, starting with #10.

Top 10 Posts

#10 Private Detective Couples in Fiction and Real LifeMyrna Loy and William Powell 1

#9 Marketing the Private Investigations Business (We wrote this in 2009, but a lot of the tips still hold true)

#8 Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Awards Finalists 2013 (Great list of private eye genre books – check ’em out!)

#7 No, Stephanie Plum Isn’t a Private Eye, She’s a Bounty Hunter

#6 What’s the Importance of a Crime Scene? crime scene tape

#5 Secrets of a Real-Life Female Private Eye – The Violent Side of Process Services  (This is an excerpt from Guns, Gams and Gumshoes’s Colleen Collins’s book Secrets of a Real-Life Female Private Eye)

#4 How to Conduct a Trash Hit – A Private Eye’s Dumpster Secrets (This post pops up on our top ten lists year after year)trash hit man in dumpster

#3 Best of 2012: Our 7 Favorite Private Investigator Sites (We’ll be compiling our favorite P.I. sites for 2013 soon, too)

#2 Can You Put a GPS on My Boyfriend’s Car? 

#1 Private vs. Public Investigators: What’s the Difference? (This post has been #1 in our top readers’ favorites for several years running!)

Thank you, readers, for dropping by our site!  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe holiday season, Writing PIs

The Writing PIs

The Writing PIs

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Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award Finalists 2013

Posted by Writing PIs on June 24, 2013

private detective

The Shamus Award is awarded by the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) for the best detective fiction genre novels and short stories of the year.  For the first time this year, PWA also included ebooks in the competition (under the Indie category).

Below are the finalists, listed alphabetically by author, for the 2013 Shamus award (for works published  in 2012).  The winners will be announced at the PWA Banquet at Bouchercon in Albany, New York, on Friday, September 20, 2013.  Congratulations to all the finalists!

BEST HARDCOVER P.I. NOVEL

Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby by Ace Atkins

Taken by Robert Crais

Hunting Sweetie Rose by Jack Fredrickson

Blues in the Night by Dick Lochte

The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

BEST FIRST P.I. NOVEL

Hush Money by Chuck Greaves

Murder Unscripted by Clive Rosengren

Black Fridays by Michael Sears

Racing the Devil by Jaden Terrell

The Twenty-Year Death by Ariel S. Winter

BEST ORIGINAL PAPERBACK PI NOVEL

Death Warmed Over by Kevin J. Anderson

And She Was by Alison Gaylin

Archie Meets Nero Wolfe by Robert Goldsborough

False Negative by Joseph Koenig

Pulse by John Lutz

BEST P.I. SHORT STORY

“The Sequel” by Jeffrey Deaver in The Strand

“After Cana” by Terence Faherty in EQMM

“O’Nelligan and the Lost Fates” by Michael Nethercott in AHMM

“Illegitimati Non Carborundum” by Stephen D. Rogers in Crimespree

“Ghost Negligence” by John Shepphird in AHMM

BEST INDIE P.I. NOVEL

Stranger in Town by Cheryl Bradshaw

Enamorted by O’Neil De Noux

One-Eyed Jack by Christopher J. Lynch

White Heat by Paul Marks

Devil May Care by James Mullaney

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Private Eye Writers of America Announces Nominees for 2012 Shamus Awards

Posted by Writing PIs on June 4, 2012

Each year the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) recognizes outstanding achievement in the private eye genre in short stories, paperback originals, first novels and hardcover novels. This year one of the Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes co-authors, Colleen Collins, chaired the PWA hardcover competition, which although challenging (each judge read 63 novels!), was also a rewarding and edifying experience.  Let it be said, there were many, many wonderful books.

The official announcement for the top five contenders in each category is below.  Congratulations to the nominees!

Private Eye Writers of America

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       June 2012       

 

CONTACT: Gay Toltl Kinman, Shamus Awards Chair  gaykinman@gaykinman.com 

 

PRIVATE EYE WRITERS OF AMERICA ANNOUNCES

2012 NOMINEES FOR SHAMUS AWARDS

The Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) is proud to announce the nominees for the 31st annual Shamus Awards, given annually to recognize outstanding achievement in private eye fiction. The 2012 awards cover works first published in 2011. The awards will be presented at the PWA banquet, to be held Friday evening October 5, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio, during the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. For banquet details, contact Robert J. Randisi at rrandisi@aol.com.

2012 Shamus Awards Nominees

BEST HARDCOVER PI NOVEL

Bye Bye, Baby by Max Allan Collins / Tom Doherty

1222 by Anne Holt / Scribner

When the Thrill is Gone by Walter Mosley / Riverhead Books

A Bad Night’s Sleep by Michael Wiley / Minotaur

The Highly Effective Detective Crosses the Line by Richard Yancey / Minotaur

BEST FIRST PI NOVEL

The Plot Against Hip Hop by Nelson George / Akashic

Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran / Houghton Mifflin

The Ocean Forest by Troy D. Nooe / Ingalls

The Shortcut Man by P.G. Sturges / Scribner

The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams / Bantam

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL PI NOVEL

Quarry’s Ex by Max Allan Collins / Hard Case Crime

Threat Warning by John Gilstrap / Kensington

Serial by John Lutz / Kensington

Long Pig by James L. Ross / Perfect Crime Books

Fun & Games by Duane Swiercyzinski / Mulholland

BEST PI SHORT STORY

“A Bullet From Yesterday” by Terence Faherty in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (Jan.)

“Mr. Monk & The Sunday Paper” by Lee Goldberg in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (July)

“Who I Am” by Michael Z. Lewin in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (Dec.)

“Vampire Slayer Murdered in Key West” by Michael West in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (Sept. / Oct.)

“Dancer in a Storm” by L. A. Wilson in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (Jan. / Feb.)

PWA was founded in 1981 by Robert J. Randisi to recognize the private eye genre and its writers. 

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