The Glentacle Tentacle (Special)

Many years ago, when we were developing the Kitschies, we came up with the idea of the Black Tentacle – basically, as a way to recognize something that didn’t fit the Kitschies’ criteria but which we believed deserved recognition. It was a discretionary award, and not handed out every year.

Only one book has ever won the Black Tentacle – Memory, a posthumously published novel by Donald Westlake. Every other winner has been a person or group who, the directors determined, contributed something significant and special to the community that year.

And it’s impossible to talk about people who’ve contributed something significant and special to the community without mentioning Glen Mehn. Glen was an ardent supporter of the Kitschies from the beginning. He became a judge, then a member of the board, and finally director. His shadow looms large over the Kitschies, and over the literary community as a whole. His energy, his enthusiasm, his innate goodness – the Kitschies would not be here today if it weren’t for him. And when we lost him, we all lost someone truly special. Glen had a profound belief in the ability of people – anyone and everyone – to change the world, to make it a better place. His day-job saw him actively teaching people around the world how to make lives, their own and others, better. And, of course, his hobbies did the same.

Going forward, the Black Tentacle will hereby be known as the Glen Mehn Black Tentacle for Service to the Community. AKA… the Glentacle.

We may not award the Glentacle every year. But when we do, it’s because we believe that the person or people receiving the award have made the world a better place for all of us.

Previous winners include Simon Key of The Big Green Bookshop in Hastings, Patrick Ness’ Save the Children fundraiser, Sarah McIntyre for the #PicturesMeanBusiness and *NonIdentikit campaigns, Malorie Blackman, OBE, The World SF Blog, innovative comic book publisher SelfMadeHero and Donald Westlake’s stunning posthumous novel Memory, published by Hard Case Crime.