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OTHER REALIZATIONS

Frederic Dannay was not only a highly popular writer and an
influential editor, he was also a great bibliophile. In 1938, Dannay edited Challenge to the Reader, the first of numerous Queen-edited anthologies (70), including 101 Years' Entertainment; Great Detective Stories, 1841-1941 (1945). Dannay updated and expanded Haycraft's list a number of times until it reached its final form in 1952 and became known as the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstones list (or H-Q). This list begins with Voltaire's Zadig in 1748 and continues through the early 1950s.
Under their Queen pseudonym, Dannay and Lee published a number of books and essays relating to the history of detective/mystery fiction that began to generate interest in collecting.
Dannay's critical writings in EQMM, are partly collected in their major critical works on the detective short story. Among those books were The Detective Short Story, which appeared in 1942 followed by In the Queen's Parlor, and Other Leaves from the Editors' Notebook in 1957. Their most influential work was Queen's Quorum, A History of the Detective/Crime Story which was published in a variety of forms until its final appearance in 1969. Dannay was the principal author of this landmark scholarly work which provided in-depth historical and bibliographical information regarding the most important short-story volumes by single authors in the genre. The work of many writers was discussed following a time line from 1845 with Poe's Tales up through 1967 when Queen gave up adding to the "lustrum". Although wide ranging, the book centers around the best books in each era or decade, and these volumes are now know as Queen's Quorum. This important work gave focus and direction to a generation of new collectors and Queen's Quorum, like the H-Q List is still used as a "shopping list" by many collectors today.

"The Detective Short Story" - cover "Queen's Quorum" - cover " In the Queen's Parlor" - cover "101 Year's Entertainment" - cover published by Garden City Publishing Company 1945.

AWARDS

Early in 1945, a group of mystery writers met at a New York
watering hole to discuss forming a professional organization. Among those present were Ellery
Queen, Baynard Kendrick, and Erle Stanley Gardner. From this small meeting grew the Mystery Writers of America, with membership in the thousands and nine chapters nationwide. The MWA holds regional monthly meetings and an annual meeting in New York at which the Edgar Awards are given. They excluded most of Ellery's classic novels from award consideration.
But Ellery Queen did receive more awards than any other "writer" in crime fiction history, and has left an indelible, uniquely American mark on the crime genre.

Mystery Writers of America Inc. Third Annual Edgar Allen Poe Awards dinner. Henry Hudson Hotel New York City April 19. 1949. Lots of famous writers. You can find Fred and Hilda at the same table (see circle, Hilda top left, Fred top middle) whilst we believe Manfred was seated at the table next to the Dannays (bottom of the circle). Click on the picture for a larger version.
Above: Mystery Writers of America Inc. Third Annual Edgar Allen Poe Awards dinner. Henry Hudson Hotel New York City April 19. 1949. Lots of famous writers. You can find Fred and Hilda at the same table (see circle, Hilda top left, Fred top middle) whilst we believe Manfred was seated at the table next to the Dannays (bottom of the circle). Click on the picture for a larger version.

Although the Mystery Writers of America Awards criteria have remained sensitive to changing conditions and needs of the passing years, in general terms, as outlined by Hillary Waugh in the Jan. 1963 TTD:
  • The Edgar is for the best work in a field of the mystery involved writing in various categories.
  • The Raven is for the best work in a field of the mystery NOT involving writing.
  • Scrolls are given in recognition for being a nominee.
  • The Grand Master's Award goes to an author who has made a significant contribution to the mystery over many years.
                  Hilda and Fred Dannay at "The Edgars" (1950s)
Above: Hilda and Fred Dannay at "The Edgars" (1950s)
On November 1. 1949 26 nationally prominent men and women, who were either born in Brooklyn or whose lives have been closely associated with the borough were honored at a dinner in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, sponsored by Youth United. More than 1000 persons were present to see "Youth Oscar Awards" presented. The "Oscars" small gold statuettes, were bestowed individually, the person making the presentation giving a short summary of the recipient's career after himself being introduced by Justice Beldock. Frederic Dannay received his award from Burton Turkus, member of the State Mediation Board.
                 
Above: Manfred B. Lee and Frederic Dannay holding their Gold Gertrude, awarded by Pocket Books, Inc. for over 5,000,000 - copy sales of Ellery Queen Pocket Books editions (1934)


For nine years The Adventures of Ellery Queen was a weekly favorite on the radio; and in 1950 TV Guide gave the Ellery Queen program its national award for the best mystery show on TV. Ellery Queen has won an unprecedented five annual Edgars (the national Mystery Writers of America Awards, similar to Hollywood's Oscars), not including the 1960 Grand Master award in 1961, three MWA scrolls and one Raven (Edgar) and both a silver and a gold "Gertrude" awarded by Pocket Books for sales in their editions of over 1,000,000 copies for a single title and more than 5,000,000 copies collectively (in 1946 for The New Adventures of Ellery Queen). Mystery writers of Japan gave him their gold and onyx Edgar Allan Poe ring at that point only awarded to only five non-Japanese authors. In 1968 Iona College honored Queen with its Columbia Prize in Mystery. 

The full list of Ellery Queen's MWA awards, starting of with the Edgars :
(Years between brackets years according to Award years in Edgar database)
  • 1945 Best Radio Drama Ellery Queen (CBS)  (1946)
  • 1947 Short Story Award (?)
  • 1949 Short Story Award "for ten years service through EQMM." (1950)
  • 1951 Special Edgar: for Queen's Quorum: The 125 Most Important Books of Detective-Crime Mystery Short Stories. (Note: Queen's Quorum was first published in nine parts in EQMM during 1949-1950.) (1952)
  • 1969 Special Edgar, 40th anniv. of The Roman Hat Mystery (1969)
  • 1979 Special Edgar, Celebrating 50 years since the publication of his first novel (1979)
                New Wrinkle in commercial programs is this two play mike setup - NBC at left, CBS at right. Event occurred in NBC studios, Radio City, in presentation of the "Edgars" for best radio mystery program to the winners, "Ellery Queen" (CBS) and "Mr. & Mrs. North" (NBC). Left to right: Joe Curtin (Mr. North); Alice Frost (Mrs. North); Ellery Queen (face lost in embrace); Howard Haycraft; Santos Ortega (Inspector Queen). "Edgars" are awarded by Mystery Writers of America, the name honoring Edgar Alan Poe (July 1946).
Above: New Wrinkle in commercial programs is this two play mike setup - NBC at left, CBS at right. Event occurred in NBC studios, Radio City, in presentation of the "Edgars" for best radio mystery program to the winners, Ellery Queen (CBS) and Mr. & Mrs. North (NBC). Left to right: Joe Curtin (Mr. North); Alice Frost (Mrs. North); Ellery Queen (face lost in embrace); Howard Haycraft; Santos Ortega (Inspector Queen). "Edgars" are awarded by Mystery Writers of America, the name honoring Edgar Alan Poe (July 1946).
                     Above: In 1950 both John Dickson Carr and Fred Dannay were presented a (1949) Special Edgar. John for his work The Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Fred "for ten years of editing Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine".
Above: In 1950 both John Dickson Carr and Fred Dannay were presented a (1949) Special Edgar. John for his work The Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Fred "for ten years of editing Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine".




The  (1960) Grand Master Award for Ellery Queen came in 1961.

The Raven was awarded in 1967 to Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine "On its 26th anniversary and as the best showcase for mystery stories".

Other Edgar nominations were: In 1962 for Ellery Queen 1962 Anthology (1961) in the category Best Short Story and a 1964 nomination for The Player on the Other Side in the "Best Novel" category (1964).

We can also add this
1979 Special Edgar Award, for the Columbo and Ellery Queen TV series, to Richard Levinson and William Link (1979)

                      Dannay and Lee in Dannay's living room in Larchmont (1967), surrounded by their MWA Awards, Lee (right) is holding a MWA's Raven whilst Dannay (left) holds an Edgar. The portrait of Dannay above the mantel is by Maurice Libby.
Above: Dannay and Lee in Dannay's living room in Larchmont (1967), surrounded by their MWA Awards, Lee (right) is holding a MWA's Raven whilst Dannay (left) holds an Edgar. The portrait of Dannay above the mantel is by Maurice Libby.

In 1978 Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (International Category) went to Ellery Queen for And on the Eighth Day.

Since 1983, the MWA has also issued "Ellery Queen Awards," given to the person who has best exemplified the spirit of Ellery
Queen, for outstanding writing teams and editors.

 

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