I had the pleasure and privilege of attending a symposium at Columbia University yesterday marking the 75th anniversary of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. The fact that it was the magazine's diamond anniversary is most appropriate, for EQMM has been a true jewel of the mystery genre. EQMM, and its sister publication, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, have been, and continue to be, the primary showcase for fine mystery stories, both old and new.
The symposium marks the opening of an exhibition of EQMM memorabilia and papers from its founding editor (and half of "Ellery Queen"), Frederick Dannay. At the symposium, attendees were treated to several panel discussions, including the one you see above, called "EQMM'S EDITORS AT WORK." Panelists on this one were, from left, Russell Atwood, Otto Penzler, Josh Pachter and moderator Joseph Goodrich. The discussion was centered around the editors of the magazine, past and present - for EQMM has had just three editors in its 75 years. Eleanor Sullivan became the editor after Dannay's death in 1982, and Janet Hutchings, the current editor, took the reins in 1991. It's a remarkable display of editorial continuity. The magazine continues to deliver what it always has promised: stories in every possible sub-genre of mystery and crime story, some old, many new, some by established authors, others by brand-new authors.
Joyce Carol Oates, a regular contributor, read part of one of her recent EQMM stories to the symposium.
It is also worth noting that EQMM's sister publication, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, is celebrating its 60th anniversary at the same time - which is another diamond birthday.
The exhibition will be on display until December 23rd at Columbia's Rare Book and Manuscript Library, on the 6th Floor East of Butler Library, on the Columbia campus. You'll find some of Frederick Dannay's correspondence with authors, some edited manuscripts, and some of the original artwork used on EQMM covers. It's open to the public; if you're in the area, it's a rare opportunity to view such an integral part of the history of the crime story.