So This Happened: An Edgar Nomination!


News, y’all–I have big news!

It seems that my peers, fellow members of Mystery Writers of America, have selected my short story, A Paler Shade of Death, as one of five finalists for the 2017 Edgar Awards in the Short Story category.

What’s an Edgar Award? you might ask. (I didn’t know either until I became a mystery writer.). Well, you can read more about it here, but think of it as the Oscars for mystery and crime novels, stories, screenplays, and non-fiction work in the mystery genre.

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this. Not just excited, but verklempt and giddy and blown away and humbled and grateful and totally surprised. But when I think about being on the shortlist with–wait for it… Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Lawrence Block, and Megan Abbott, I could just faint. All four are brilliant writers whom I admire very much. Stephen King’s writing shaped my understanding of how novels work, and through him I fell in love with the dark side of fiction. But his stories also helped me not feel so alone as a sensitive teenager with a (very) overactive imagination. I felt the power in his words. They spoke to me like no others at the time. And I came to Joyce Carol Oates’s work through my husband, Pinckney. Her novels and stories helped me find my adult writer’s voice. I devoured her work, and began to model some of my stories on hers, like a sculptor might touch and hold and feel a master sculptor’s work. Her voice is vibrant, often wild, but always in sublime control. It was only after reading one of her stories in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, way back in 2000 or so, that I thought I would try my hand at a mystery story. I wrote it over a weekend, and the magazine bought it a few months later.

I feel like Cinderella already. Just to be here in this time and place for this one moment is enough.

Do I sound gushy? If so, then yay! Because I feel pretty gushy.

The awards banquet will be on April 27th. I was planning to go anyway–but now I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

You can read A Paler Shade of Death in the anthology, St. Louis Noiredited by Scott Phillips. There are a ton of terrific stories in there–you won’t be sorry.


P.S.  I have a spanking new (as in today)  feature on my website. You can now get my blog delivered directly to your email inbox! Click here to go to the blog page on my site and sign up in the sidebar on the left. And, no worries, I never share your email address!


January 19th  Words

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Exercise: Happy dancing. All. Day. Long.

8 thoughts on “So This Happened: An Edgar Nomination!”

  1. skyecaitlin says:

    Congratulations, dearest Laura; I know you must be dancing on air, but I’m not surprised; you are a wonderful writer and a very kind heart. Dance until you drop!

  2. skyecaitlin says:

    Did I just do something wrong on subscribing to get e-mails? Help: I don’t want to stop receiving your blog/

  3. Laura Benedict says:

    Thank you, Skye! Seriously, I’m still happy dancing!!!

    Did you have an issue when you tried to subscribe? Please do tell me what happened!

    1. skyecaitlin says:

      Hi Laura: I subscribed to get e-mails and then I tried to subscribe to your newsletter and nothing happened; it wouldn’t go through.

      1. Laura Benedict says:

        Let me put you in touch with the nice people who run my site, Skye. Will you email me at

    2. skyecaitlin says:

      I adore Joyce Carol Oates, Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner.

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