An Honor For Writer Beware Co-Founder and Chair, Ann C. Crispin

I’m thrilled and extremely proud to announce that my friend and colleague, Writer Beware co-founder and Chair Ann C. Crispin, has been named the 2013 Grandmaster by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW).

The official announcement is here.

This annual honor, the highest awarded by the IAMTW, is given only to the most accomplished and successful authors in the field (previous Grandmasters include Kevin J. Anderson, Peter David, and Keith DeCandido). Ann’s outstanding media tie-in achievements include best-selling novels in numerous franchises, including Star Trek (Yesterday’s Son and Sarek, among others), Star Wars (the best-selling Han Solo trilogy), V (the original novelization), and Pirates of the Caribbean (The Price of Freedom).

Ann works in her own worlds as well. She created the acclaimed StarBridge series for young adults (recently brought back into circulation in electronic form), and, for adults, the high fantasy novel Storms of Destiny. She’s also a respected writing teacher and workshop leader, many of whose students have gone on to be professionally published–and, of course, a founding member of Writer Beware, where she is a force to be reckoned with (just ask Martha Ivery).

On a personal note…Ann and I began as colleagues, united by our concern about the many scams that victimize writers. But our professional relationship quickly ripened into a close and deep friendship. We’re not just fellow warriors in the battle against literary fraud, we’re companions, confidantes, and trusted beta readers.We’ve shared so much over the fifteen years since Writer Beware’s founding (holy crap–fifteen years!!), both good and bad, and we know each other inside out. That may sound corny…well, yes, it does sound corny. But it’s the truth. I can’t possibly be as thrilled as Ann that her accomplishments are being honored in this way–but I’m pretty chuffed!

Many people regard media tie-in writing as the red-headed stepchild of publishing. Not writing in your own universe–that’s hackwork! A copout for those too unoriginal to make up their own stories! A half-step up from plagiarism! But having been Ann’s beta reader through the entire process of creating The Price of Freedom, I can tell you that tie-in writing is a lot more difficult than most people think. It’s challenging, exacting, and requires an incredible degree of discipline. Not everyone is capable of doing it.

Ann addresses this issue in her response to the award.

To be honest, for years I struggled with the prevailing attitude among some s.f. and fantasy writers that writing media tie-ins was the ultimate in degrading hackwork, lower on the authorial totem pole even than writing pornography to eke out a living.

Personally, I believe a good story is a good story, no matter what universe it’s written in. I really love being able to put characters from famous universes through their paces, and get inside their heads. I put as much effort into my tie-in books as I do for my original books (though I confess the original books are tougher to write, since you have to make it ALL up), and I was proud of the stories I produced. But I didn’t like getting openly snubbed or patronized sometimes when I was at conventions or writer gatherings.

One time I was talking to my dear friend, Andre Norton, about how I felt about this, and she set me straight. “Ann, you are a STORYTELLER,” she said. “One of the oldest and proudest professions known to the human race. No matter what kind of story you’re telling, be proud of that ability!”

Fortunately, that snotty attitude among the “purist” s.f. and fantasy writers seems much less prevalent today. Earning a living writing is so darned tough these days that whatever type of writing you’re doing, if you can make money doing it, hey, more power to you.

So I’m very proud to be receiving this award, and proud to be a storyteller.

Please join me and Writer Beware in congratulating a wonderful storyteller, caring mentor, fearless activist, and loyal friend: Ann Crispin.

For more info on Ann and her many novels, visit her at her website.


  1. Congratulations for sure! Yes, all of us struggling writers dearly appreciate all you do. Thanks so much!

  2. I'm so sorry this is so late, but it's no less heartfelt–Congratulations, Ann! I can't think of a more deserving author. And thank you, too (and Victoria and Richard White and crew) for all you do on Writer Beware. Don't ever think your hard work is unappreciated.

  3. Congrats to Ann and truly well-deserved! Personally, I think that writing in someone else's universe is even harder than writing in your own. Ann modestly says she's helped by the fact that she doesn't have to make it ALL up, but that to me is even more remarkable: you may not have to make it all up, but you have to toe the line and be true to that other universe. Which means you need to know it inside out, quite a feat!

    As they say here in Italy (where I live) Brava, Ann, bravissima!

  4. Congratulations, Ann! And I loved your Trek novels. I would call media tie-ins fan fiction that was paid for. And fans know the difference between a hack writer who writes in any universe they're paid to write for and those who genuinely care for the universe, which I believe you did. I wrote about 150 fan stories before selling my first book and even now, I enjoy reading fanfic, though I don't write it, and I know some big name writers who write it for fun. If you can get paid for it, good on you!

    I read the Martha Ivery link – goodness, sounds like a blurb for a Hollywood movie!

  5. Hey, J.L., I hope I haven't been THAT downbeat. Struggling with cancer is tough, no doubt, but I try to stay positive. This GrandMastership is great news. The only better news I could imagine would be Robert Fletcher and PublishAmerica getting their just desserts. I think it will happen…the handwriting is on the wall.

  6. WTG Ann! Glad to see something positive in your column. I honestly kept waiting for the BUT or the other shoe to drop.

  7. Congratulations, Ann! I've read all your media tie-ins and loved them, starting with Yesterday's Son. I thought Storms of Destiny was terrific.

    I missed the Starbridge novels the first time around, so I jumped on the reissues. I just finished Voices of Chaos. This entire series is great, and I'm so glad I got the chance to read it at last.

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