Monday, 10 November 2014


Shots are delighted to learn that during the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Wordharvest and Thomas Dunne Books/ Minotaur Books announced that John Fortunato's DARK RESERVATIONS has won the 2014 Tony Hillerman Prize for a best first mystery novel.

John Fortunato was a Captain in the U.S. Army, Military Intelligence, who served at the Pentagon during the early part of the Global War on Terrorism. He is now a Special Agent with the FBI and has earned an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. A native of Philadelphia, he currently lives in Michigan with his wife and three daughters.
The Hillerman Prize is awarded annually to the best debut crime fiction set in the Southwest. Previous winners include CB McKenzie's BAD COUNTRY, Andrew Hunt's CITY OF SAINTS; Tricia Fields' THE TERRITORY; Roy Chaney's THE RAGGED END OF NOWHERE; and Christine Barber's THE REPLACEMENT CHILD. 

Tony Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee mysteries, set on the Navajo reservation, were the first "regional" mysteries to become national bestsellers. His work has been praised by reviewers and the Navajo Nation for its ability to combine Navajo traditions and beliefs with a well-told mystery story. Hillerman's writing reflects his appreciation for the natural wonders and stark beauty of the American Southwest and its people, particularly the Navajo.  His books have been translated into many languages and frequently make the New York Times bestseller list. At age 83, Hillerman passed away on October 26, 2008.

In 2013, Leaphorn and Chee returned in SPIDER WOMAN'S DAUGHTER by Anne Hillerman, Tony Hillerman's daughter. In 2004, she launched the first Tony Hillerman Writers Conference: Focus on Mystery through Wordharvest, the business which she co-founded with Jean Schaumberg. The conference highlights the craft and business of writing, featuring presentations by prominent published authors. In 2010 conference organizers broadened the focus to include general fiction and nonfiction.
Thomas Dunne Books and Minotaur Books are imprints of St. Martin's Press, which is a subsidiary of Macmillan.

For more information please contact Hector DeJean at 646-307-5560 or

The deadline for submissions to next year's competition will be June 1, 2015. For complete guidelines, please visit

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