Saturday, July 23, 2011

First Crime Novel Competition

Mystery Writers of America
Are you working on your first mystery novel? St. Martin's Minotaur and Mystery Writers of America hold a competition each year. MWA members judge the manuscript entries and the winner is selected by Minotaur editors for publication with a $10,000 advance! This is the real deal, people. You can enter if you have published only self-published books.

St. Martin's Minotaur
To enter for 2012, you need to request an entry form by November 15th. (More details below.) In return, you'll be assigned a judge to whom you'll send your manuscript. Don't send your manuscript anywhere until you have an assigned judge! A hard copy of your manuscript must be postmarked by November 30, 2011 and received by the judge no later than December 15, 2011. These deadlines are firm. Believe it. Enter as early as you can.

This contest is strictly for debut authors only, and that means the following.

1. Aged 18 or older.
2. Never been the author of any previously published novel (in any genre), as defined by the guidelines below, (except that authors of self-published works only may enter, as long as the manuscript submitted is not the self-published work).
3. The writer is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a novel.
4. Only one manuscript entry is permitted per writer.


1. Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story.
2. A previously published novel means a work of fiction of at least 40,000 words in length that has been published or distributed, in part or whole, in paper or electronic format or in any other medium, excluding, however, self-published works. If you have put a chapter excerpt of your submission manuscript on your website (free to readers), you can still enter if the excerpt doesn't exceed 10% of the number of words in the manuscript.
3. Must be an original work of book length (no less than 220 typewritten pages or approximately 60,000 words) written in the English language.
4. Must be written solely by the entrant, who may not be the author of any previously published novel.

Does this describe you?

If so, send an email NOW to and include the following information.

Name of Entrant:
Manuscript Title:

You'll be assigned a judge. In the meantime, visit for full details on the competition. 

Polish that manuscript, and good luck!

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