The Mystery Writers of America announced in a press release today that the organization will name James Lee Burke and Sue Grafton its 2009 Grand Masters in honor of the Bicentennial of Edgar Allan Poe's birth next year. Not since 1978 has the organization presented dual Grand Masters.
"News of my being named MWA Grand Master, along with James Lee Burke, caught me totally off-guard," said Sue Grafton, "but I'm delighted to be tapped and pleased to share the honor with a writer I so admire. I look forward to the ceremony which will surely be a blow-out affair in that it celebrates Edgar Allan Poe as well as the mystery genre."
Says James Lee Burke: "It is a great honor to receive the Grand Master award from the Mystery Writers of America. It's an enormous compliment to my work and to me, and I feel extremely grateful and humbled by the MWA's generosity of spirit. The award will always remain as one of the greatest tributes my work could receive. Thank you for all the support the MWA has given my work over the many years."
Mystery Writers of America 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. [MBN note: See a list of past winners of the Edgars given out by the MWA on Mystery Book Awards.]
The Mystery Writers of America's 63rd Annual Edgar® Awards Banquet will be held next year at The Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on April 30, 2009.
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