Rick Treon’s debut novel wins PenCraft literary award

Rick Treon’s novel “Deep Background” has been named the winner of the PenCraft Award for Literary Excellence in Suspense, according to PenCraft editor-in-chief David Hearne.

Treon will be honored Jan. 20 at an awards ceremony in Lake Charles, La.

The PenCraft Awards have been given to fiction and non-fiction books published by small presses since 2016. “Deep Background” was published by Black Rose Writing in December 2018.

“I am unbelievably grateful to be recognized like this,” Treon said. “I owe a million thanks to everyone at Black Rose, the folks PenCraft, and everyone else who helped this book make it into print.”

“Deep Background” was the only title honored in the suspense category.

“We want authors who win a PenCraft Award to realize that they have won a recognition given only to the best books that meet our required literary standards,” Hearne said.

The PenCraft Awards Book of the Year was awarded to historical fantasy novel “Apollo’s Raven” by Linnea Tanner. The Best Fiction Book of 2019 was given to comedy “Managed Care” by Joe Barrett, and Best Nonfiction Book of 2019 went to biography “Left for Dead at Nijmegen” by Marcus A. Nannini.

Treon’s novel was one of 28 First Place awards in fiction and non-fiction categories. Thirteen Second Place awards and two runners up were given.

Treon’s PenCraft Award is his first for “Deep Background” and the second time this year he’s been honored for his fiction.

In May, Treon’s manuscript for “Let the Guilty Pay” — under the working title “Helpers” — was named a finalist in the 2019 Writers’ League of Texas manuscript contest.

“Let the Guilty Pay” was purchased by Fawkes Press as part of a two-book deal in August. It will be released on July 4, 2020.

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