Crime fiction prizes honor late writer Diana Pinckley

When Diana Pinckley, a giant in Louisiana literary circles, died in September 2012, her colleagues in the writing world knew there would need to be a fitting way to honor her and her contributions to the field.

Now there is.

The New Orleans Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association has established the Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction to be announced at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival in March, 2014.

According to the group, awards will be made in two categories.

The Pinckley Prize for Achievement in Crime Fiction will recognize an established woman writer who is judged by a committee of writers and critics to have created a significant body of work in crime fiction. Candidates will be nominated by and the winner selected by committee members.

But candidates for The Pinckley Prize for Debut Novel — honoring a first-time female crime novelist — may submit works to the jury for consideration.

Entry forms are available for download at and must be submitted with three copies of the novel by Nov. 1, 2013.

To be eligible for consideration, the work of fiction must be the writer’s first and must have been published in the 2013 calendar year.

Pinckley was a well-known and highly revered member of the New Orleans literary community whose column on crime fiction, “Get a Clue!” appeared in The Times-Picayune for 23 years.

She was also a communications strategist and a civic activist who devoted much time to assist in New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

Pinckley led many panel discussions at the Tennessee Williams Festival and often supported the work of fledging writers by talking about their work in her column.

She was a founding member of the New Orleans Chapter of the WNBA. For more information about the Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction, contact WNBA-NOLA president Susan Larson at