Last night, C.J. Tudor’s bestselling debut novel, The Chalk Man, was awarded the Best Debut Novel at the Strand Critics Awards 2019 in New York.

The Awards are dedicated to recognising outstanding literature in the mystery fiction genre, and C.J. Tudor was up against some brilliant opposition in her category. Stuart Turton, John Copenhaver and Lauren Doyle Owens were among those nominated. Annie Ward, another Agency author was also nominated for her spellbinding debut, Beautiful Bad.

While each author up for the award was recognised for excellence in their novels, The Chalk Man won the critics hearts.

The Strand Critics Awards were set up by the Strand Magazine, and are judged by a select team of book reviewers from the nation’s leading newspapers – meaning that C.J. Tudor really did wow the best of the best.

Although she was unable to attend the awards in person, her editor at Ballantine, Anne Speyer, accepted the award on her behalf. C.J. Tudor said:

“I’m honoured, thrilled and totally gobsmacked to receive this award. I REALLY didn’t expect it. I was amazed to even be on the shortlist. Thank you so much Strand Magazine.

Three years ago I was working as a dog-walker. I’d been trying to get published for over a decade and I’d almost given up hope. Then, someone gave my little girl a tub of coloured chalks for her second birthday . . . and the idea for The Chalk Man was born. I’m so grateful to my agent, Madeleine Milburn, for plucking my manuscript from the slush pile.

I would also like to thank my publishers – Ballantine here in the US and Michael Joseph in the UK – for putting their all behind an unknown author. And my brilliant editors, Anne Speyer and Maxine Hitchcock, for always pushing me to be better. Finally, thanks to all the readers who have been kind enough to spend their hard-earned cash on the ramblings of my weird mind. Thank you!”

This follows the news last week that all three of C.J. Tudor’s novels, The Chalk ManThe Taking of Annie Thorne and the not-yet-published The Other People were ranking in the Top 20 of Amazon’s Horror and Suspense category, with The Taking of Annie Thorne at No. 1 across three categories: the Classic Horror category, the Horror Fiction Classics category and the Horror Thrillers.

C.J. Tudor’s third novel, The Other People will be published on 23rd January 2020.

She is heading out to New York next week for the Thrillerfest Awards, and we have everything crossed for yet another victory!