David L. Goodis Award - Lawrence Block
Lawrence Block is an American crime writer best known for two long-running New York-set series about the recovering alcoholic P.I. Matthew Scudder and the gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr. Block was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1994.
Every novel takes place in a parallel universe all its own, and that’s as true of the grittily realistic novel as it is of the most whimsical flight of fantasy. Take my Matthew Scudder novels, for example.
His earliest work, published pseudonymously in the late 1950s, was mostly in the field of midcentury erotica, an apprenticeship he shared with Donald E. Westlake and Robert Silverberg. The first time Lawrence Block’s name appeared in print was when his short story “You Can’t Lose” was published in the February 1958 issue of Manhunt. The first book published under his own name was Mona (1961); it was reissued several times over the years, once as Sweet Slow Death. In 2005 it became the first offering from Hard Case Crime, and bore for the first time LB’s original title, Grifter’s Game.
Jay & Deen Kogan Award - Otto Penzler
Otto Penzler is the president and CEO of MysteriousPress.com.
He’s also the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and is regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on crime, mystery and suspense fiction.
Penzler founded The Mysterious Press in 1975, which he later sold to Warner Books (1989). He reacquired the imprint in 2010 and published literary crime fiction as an imprint at Grove/Atlantic. As of January 2021, The Mysterious Press is independently owned. Penzler also publishes both original works and classic crime fiction through MysteriousPress.com, in partnership with Open Road Integrated Media.
In Fall 2018, Penzler established Penzler Publishers, which launched American Mystery Classics, a collection of newly-reissued mystery and detective fiction, many of which that had been unavailable for several decades. In September 2020, he launched Scarlet, an imprint specializing in psychological and domestic suspense.
Penzler is also a prolific editor, and his most recent anthologies include The Big Book of Espionage Stories, The Big Book of Reel Murders, The Big Book of Female Detectives, The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, and The Best American Noir of the Century with James Ellroy.
From 1997 to 2020, he was the Series Editor of The Best American Mystery Stories of the Year (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), featuring guest editors Robert B. Parker, Sue Grafton, Ed McBain, Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block, James Ellroy, Michael Connelly, Nelson DeMille, Joyce Carol Oates, Scott Turow, Carl Hiaasen, George Pelecanos, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Robert Crais, Lisa Scottoline, Laura Lippman, James Patterson, Elizabeth George, John Sandford, Louise Penny, Jonathan Lethem, and C.J. Box.
Penzler has won two Edgar Awards, for Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection in 1977 and The Lineup in 2010. The Mystery Writers of America awarded him the prestigious Ellery Queen Award in 1994 and the Raven–the group’s highest non-writing award–in 2003.