MWA Announces 2024 Special Awards – Grand Masters and Ellery Queen Recipient

MWA Announces 2024 Grand Masters and Ellery Queen Award Recipient

January 11, 2024 —New York, NY—Today Mystery Writers of America (MWA) announces the recipients of its special awards. The board chose Katherine Hall Page and R.L. Stine as the 2024 Grand Masters and Michaela Hamilton of Kensington Publishing will receive the Ellery Queen Award. They will accept their awards at the 78th Annual Edgar Awards Ceremony, which will be held May 1, 2024, at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York City.

“Mystery Writers of America is delighted to announce the recipients of our 2024 special awards. Our Grand Masters, Katherine Hall Page and R.L. Stine, have given so much to our genre—not just through their writing, but also through their generosity to other writers, their hard-working professionalism, and their boundless enthusiasm for the written word,” said MWA Executive Vice President Donna Andrews.

MWA’s Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality. 

On being notified of the honor, Katherine Hall Page said, “I joined MWA in 1989, over a third of a century ago. In so doing I immediately felt a part of a supportive community and formed deep, long lasting friendships. And membership has also bestowed a link to MWA’s extraordinary past, beginning in 1945. The first Grand Master was Agatha Christie in 1955. I am stunned to be standing in her—and all the other’s—shoes. Thank you MWA for the thrill of a lifetime.”

Page wrote her first mystery, The Body in the Belfry, while living in France for year during her husband’s sabbatical from MIT. It was the 1991 Agatha Award winner for Best First Mystery Novel. The 15th in the series, The Body in the Snowdrift, won the 2006 Agatha Award for Best Mystery Novel. Page was also awarded the 2001 Agatha for Best Short Story for “The Would-Be Widower” in the Malice Domestic X collection and received three more Agatha nominations, including one for her series cookbook, Have Faith in Your Kitchen, in the nonfiction category, making her the first author to be nominated or win in four different Agatha categories. She was an Edgar nominee for her juvenile mystery, Christie & Company Down East.  The Body in the Lighthouse (2003) was one of three nominees for The Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award. The Body in the Boudoir was a finalist in the 2013 Maine Literary Awards. Page received the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from Malice Domestic and Crime Master for her work from the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. The Body in the Web is out now from William Morrow in hardcover, paperback, large print, E-book, and audio editions.

R.L. Stine is one of the best-selling children’s authors in history. Goosebumps, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, has more than 400 million books in print in 32 languages. An all-new New York Times bestselling Goosebumps series, House of Shivers, debuted in September 2023, with two more books to be published in 2024.

The Goosebumps series made Stine a worldwide publishing celebrity (and Jeopardy answer). His other popular children’s book series include Fear Street, (recently revived as a feature film trilogy), The Garbage Pail Kids, Mostly Ghostly, The Nightmare Room, and Rotten School. Other titles include It’s The First Day of School Forever, A Midsummer Night’s Scream, Young Scrooge, Stinetinglers, and three picture books, with Marc Brown—The Little Shop of Monsters, Mary McScary, and Why Did the Monster Cross the Road (2023).

 On learning of the honor, Stine said, “Tony Hillerman. Elmore Leonard. Mickey Spillane. Ruth Rendell: Those were the MWA Grand Masters when I first started attending the Edgar Awards over 30 years ago. If you had told me then I’d be on that list someday, would I have believed you? I don’t think so. I’m surprised and truly honored.”

Previous Grand Masters include Michael Connelly, Joanne Fluke, Laurie R. King, Charlaine Harris, Jeffery Deaver, Barbara Neely, Martin Cruz Smith, William Link, Peter Lovesey, Walter Mosley, Lois Duncan, James Ellroy, Robert Crais, Ken Follett, Sara Paretsky, James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Stephen King, Ira Levin, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, P.D. James, Ellery Queen, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Graham Greene, and Agatha Christie, to name a few.

The Ellery Queen Award was established in 1983 to honor “outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry.” This year the Board chose to honor Michaela Hamilton, executive editor at Kensington and editor in chief of Citadel, which she joined after a 25-year career in publishing. Her importance in the discovery of new writers and emphasis on publishing traditional mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels cannot be underestimated. 

On learning she would receive the Ellery Queen Award, Hamilton said, “As a lifelong mystery fan, as well as a longtime supporter of MWA, I couldn’t be more tickled by this amazing recognition. When I think about previous recipients of the Ellery Queen Award, I feel quite humble.  I’m just a bookworm who was lucky enough to spend the last 50-plus years working with authors I adore on books I love.  Long live suspense fiction!”

Hamilton acquires and edits commercial fiction and nonfiction including thrillers, true crime, and cozy mysteries.  She has worked with authors including John Gilstrap, Gregg Olsen, M. William Phelps, Caitlin Rother, Barbara Allan, John Lutz, Lynn Cahoon, Nancy Coco, Rick Reed, and Leo J. Maloney.  Her lifelong love of suspense fiction began in childhood, when she skipped the Nancy Drew mystery series in favor of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer novels, which she read clandestinely after finding her father’s copies in the bathroom.  She likes her thrillers violent, her cozies amusing, and her beer well chilled.

Previous Ellery Queen Award winners include The Strand Magazine, Juliet Grames, Reagan Arthur, Kelley Ragland, Linda Landrigan, Neil Nyren, Charles Ardai, and Janet Hutchings.

“Michaela Hamilton has worked with dozens of new and seasoned writers over the decades,” Andrews said, “not only making Kensington a powerhouse in the mystery and thriller field, but also giving genre lovers hundreds of books—and thousands of hours of reading pleasure.”

The Edgar Awards, or “Edgars,” as they are commonly known, are named after MWA’s patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are presented to authors of distinguished work in various categories. MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses some 3,000 members including authors of fiction and nonfiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents. For more information on Mystery Writers of America, please visit the website:

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