Pinckley Prizes for Crime FictionPinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction

Greater New Orleans Foundation

Women’s National Book Association


2016 Pinckley Prizes

Sara Paretsky and Christine Carbo are the recipients of the 2016 Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction, named to honor the memory of Diana Pinckley, longtime crime fiction columnist for The New Orleans Times-Picayune. The prizes were presented September 17, 2016 at the Louisiana Humanities Center. The Prizes are sponsored by the Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans, of which Diana Pinckley was a founding member.

Sara ParetskyBestselling author Sara Paretsky is the winner of the Pinckley Prize for Distinguished Body of Work. The author of 24 books, many featuring her signature character V.I. Warshawski, Paretsky founded Sisters In Crime, a worldwide organization to support women crime writers. Paretsky also has a storied career as a passionate advocate for social justice and literacy. Her memoir of political dissent is titled, Writing In the Age of Silence. Sara received the 2015 Paul Engle Prize, recognizing both her body of work and her work for social justice, The Washington Post named Brush Back, Sara’s most recent novel, one of 2015’s top five thrillers.

Brush Back

In their statement about the choice of Paretsky, the committee said, “Sara Paretsky’s singular creation of V. I. Warshawski has stood the test of time and reader loyalty through 19 books since she first debuted in 1982 with Indemnity Only. The Chicago private investigator is fierce and funny and an advocate for all the right causes, just like her creator. Sara Paretsky has used her considerable personal literary gifts to further equal rights for women, racial justice, as well as shining a light on the need for increased literacy and help for troubled teens and the mentally ill. She is a former president of the Mystery Writers of America, and a great advocate for the rights of authors. In 1986, she founded Sisters in Crime, and we all know what an incredible difference that has made for women who write crime fiction. It seems especially appropriate to recognize her as that organization approaches its 30th anniversary, as well as for an impressive body of work that has illuminated the lives of women in all their bravery and complexity.”

Paretsky said, “I am extraordinarily honored by this award, which connects me to Diana Pinckley, who was a thoughtful and insightful reviewer/reader. I'm also delighted to be connected through this award to America's most gallant city.”

Christine CarboMontana resident Christine Carbo wins the Pinckley Prize for Debut Novel for her book The Wild Inside, published by Atria Press. The judges said, “This absorbing crime novel weaves intriguing psychological themes around the presence of a truly frightening grizzly bear, a reminder of all that is wild out there.”

The Wild InsideAs a debut novelist,” said Carbo, “I am humbled and overwhelmed to win the Pinckley Award. Receiving it is a gratifying affirmation that my attempt to shine some light on the ineffable relationship between man and nature has worked on some level. Perhaps, with this award, the spectacular, revered and endangered grizzly bear will become a little more understood. It is truly an honor to have my work associated with the remarkable Diana Pinckley and the Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans."

The judges this year were memoirist Constance Adler; Mary McCay, founding director of the Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing at Loyola University; and novelist Christine Wiltz.

Paretsky and Carbo received a $2,500 cash award, as well as a beautiful paper rosette fashioned from the pages of their books, created by New Orleans artist Yuka Petz.

Submissions for the 2017 Prizes opened on June 1.

Meet the past winners.