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A Brief Summary of the Agatha Award Process

The Agatha Awards celebrate the TRADITIONAL MYSTERY, best typified by the works of AGATHA CHRISTIE. The genre is loosely defined as mysteries that contain no explicit sex, excessive gore, or gratuitous violence, and would not be classified as "hard-boiled."

  1. ​Everyone who is registered for or becomes a Friend of Malice December 31st of any given year will receive a nomination ballot in early January.

  2. All ballots that are returned by the due date will be counted by the Agatha Awards Chair, who then prepares a slate of up to top five nominees in six categories.

  3. The Malice Board verifies that the titles presented on the slate meet the criteria for their categories (confirming pub dates, etc.). The slate is approved. 

  4. The Agatha Award Nominations are announced! 

  5. Malice attendees receive an Agatha Ballot in their registration bags when they check in to the convention. Ballots that are completed and turned in by the deadline (1:00 on Saturday) are counted by the awards committee onsite, and the winners in each category are determined.​

  6. The Agatha Awards are announced at the Agatha Awards Banquet on Saturday night during Malice!



The Agatha Award Categories

Malice Attendees are invited to nominate their favorite works in the following six categories. The order in which the nominations are listed will count toward the final tally in the event of a tie. Ballots are sent via email in January to everyone who is registered for Malice before the December 31st deadline. Ballots do not need to be filled in completely to be counted. It's perfectly acceptable to nominate in less than six categories, or nominate fewer than five books or stories per category. 

The categories are:

  • Best Contemporary Novel

  • Best Historical Novel

  • Best First Novel

  • Best Nonfiction

  • Best Short Story

  • Best Children's/Young Adult Novel

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