Margo Power, publisher of Murderous Intent Mystery Magazine founded the Short Mystery Fiction Society in 1996 to increase publication and regard for the short story format. In 1998, the Short Mystery Fiction Society instituted their annual awards, called Derringer for the pocket pistol to honor outstanding published mystery and crime stories up to 20,000 words.

To be considered for the awards a submission must be a mystery or crime story up to 20,000 words. It must be published in English for the first time in 2016 in a paying or non-paying venue. The venue can be an irregular/single publication, periodical, collection or anthology. It can be published either in print or electronically.

Eligible SMFS members vote April 1-29, 2017. Winners will be announced on May 1, 2017.

For Best Flash (up to 1,000 words)

Aftermath” by Craig Faustus Buck (Flash Bang Mysteries, Spring 2016)
The Phone Call” by Herschel Cozine (Flash Bang Mysteries, Summer 2016)
A Just Reward” by O’Neil De Noux (Flash Bang Mysteries, Winter 2016)
The Orphan” by Billy Kring (Shotgun Honey, March 18, 2016)
An Ill Wind” by R.T. Lawton (Flash Bang Mysteries, Spring 2016)

For Best Short Story (1,001 to 4,000 words)

“Beks and the Second Note” by Bruce Arthurs  (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, December 2016)
The Way They Do It in Boston by Linda Barnes (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, September/October 2016)
YOLO” by Libby Cudmore (BEAT to a PULP, May 2016)
“The Woman in the Briefcase” by Joseph D’Agnese (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, March/April 2016)
“The Lighthouse” by Hilde Vandermeeren trans. from Flemish by Josh Pachter (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, March/April 2016)

For Best Long Story (4,001 to 8,000 words)

“Swan Song” by Hilary Davidson (Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns ed. Eric Beetner, Down & Out Books, April 2016)
“Effect on Men” by O’Neil De Noux, (The Strand Magazine, Issue XLVIII, Feb-May 2016) “The Cumberland Package” by Robert Mangeot (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, May 2016)
“Murder Under the Baobab” by Meg Opperman (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, November 2016)
“Breadcrumbs” by Victoria Weisfeld (Betty Fedora Issue Three: Kickass Women In Crime Fiction, September 2016)

For Best Novelette (8,000 to 20,000 words)

“Coup de Grace” by Doug Allyn (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, September/October 2016)
“The Chemistry of Heroes” by Catherine Dilts (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, May 2016)
“Inquiry and Assistance” by Terrie Farley Moran (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, January/February 2016)
“The Educator” by Travis Richardson (44 Caliber Funk: Tales of Crime, Soul, and Payback ed. Gary Phillips and Robert J. Randisi, Moonstone, December 2016)
“The Last Blue Glass” by B.K. Stevens (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, April 2016)

Thanks to Peter DiChellis whose blog is for reminding me about this special award.

You can also read interviews with the finalists by Gerald So on his blog: