IACW/NA awards THE HAMMETT PRIZE annually for literary excellence in the field of crime-writing, as reflected in a book published in the English language in the US and/or Canada. The winner receives a "Thin Man" trophy, designed by sculptor Peter Boiger.
Eligibility: US and Canadian citizens or permanent residents only.
"Crime-writing" is defined as any published work of adult fiction or narrative nonfiction that encompasses such areas as "crime," "suspense," "thriller," "mystery," or "espionage" as those terms are normally understood in the writing and publishing fields. A collection of short stories by a single author would qualify.
Nominations are solicited from the membership, as well as distinguished crime specialist booksellers and critics. The Officers and Executive Council may also nominate books of merit that they feel have been overlooked.
Nominations will be screened by a Nominating Committee composed of IACW/NA members, who will review the nominations and select no less than three and no more than five finalists each year.
Submissions may be made by publishers, agents, or authors by sending one copy of the nominated book to each member of the Nominations Committee.
The President in consultation with the Executive Council will appoint a panel of three outside (ie, non-member) judges to select the winner. One of these judges will be a distinguished US or Canadian author working outside the crime writing field; one a distinguished editor or publisher; the third a distinguished critic or bookseller, again, not working primarily in the crime field.
The judges shall be obliged to name a winner and their decision will be final.