Writing Competitions

 

First Crime Novel Competition \ Minotaur Books/Malice Domestic Competition \  Best Private Eye Novel Competition \   Hillerman Mystery Contest    

 First Crime Novel Competition  

**The 2014 First Crime Novel Competition is now closed. The winner has been notified and will be publicly announced at the Edgar Awards ceremony in May. The 2015 competition will open in May 2014; please check back for updates at that time.**


Rules for the 2014 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

Sponsored by Minotaur Books and Mystery Writers of America (MWA) 

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1. The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any 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) and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a novel. Employees, and members of their immediate families living in the same household, of Minotaur Books or Mystery Writers of America (or a parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of either of them) are not eligible to enter.  Only one manuscript entry (the “Manuscript”) is permitted per writer.  Void where prohibited or restricted by law.  

Please read all of the rules and guidelines before submitting your entry. 

If you have questions or need further clarification after reading the following rules and guidelines, you may contact us at MB-MWAFirstCrimeNovelCompetition@StMartins.com.  

2. To enter, you must complete an online entry form and upload an electronic file of your Manuscript. The entry form will allow you to upload one electronic file. Only electronic submissions, uploaded through the online entry form, will be considered; do not mail or e-mail your manuscript submissions to Minotaur Books.  

To be considered for the 2014 competition, all submissions must be received by 11:59pm EST on December 16, 2013.  

a) Manuscripts must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents or PDFs. All manuscripts must be double-spaced, with pages numbered consecutively from beginning to end. All manuscripts must be saved as "Manuscript Title - Entrant Name." 

b) Each entrant should keep a copy of the Manuscript for his or her own protection.

c) Because of the great volume of submissions we receive and the fact that our judges are volunteers with full-time responsibilities elsewhere, it is important that you submit your Manuscript as early as possible. Submissions will get a more careful reading if the judge does not have to contend with a flood of last-minute entries.

The entry form is available HERE. 

3.  Entrants must have a valid e-mail address.  In case of dispute as to identity of an entrant, entry will be declared made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address provided to Minotaur Books.  “Authorized Account Holder” is defined as a natural person who is assigned an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) responsible for assigning e-mail addresses or the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.  Minotaur Books and Mystery Writers of America are not responsible for technical, hardware, software, telephone or other communications malfunctions, errors or failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, website, Internet, or ISP unavailability, unauthorized human intervention, traffic congestion, incomplete or inaccurate capture of entry information (regardless of cause) or failed, incomplete, or delayed computer transmissions which may limit one's ability to enter this Competition, including any injury or damage to any computer relating to or resulting from downloading any materials in this Competition.

4. All Manuscripts submitted: a) must be original works of book length (no less than 220 typewritten pages or approximately 60,000 words) written in the English language; b) must be written solely by the entrant, who may not be the author of any previously Published Novel; c) must not violate any right of any third party or be libelous, and d) must generally follow the Guidelines below.

GUIDELINES 

a. Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story.

b. WHAT CONSTITUTES  A PUBLISHED NOVEL: For the purpose of this Competition, a “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. This does not include a chapter excerpt on an author's website, subject to the conditions that: (i) the excerpt is the only text that exists for public viewing; (ii) the excerpt is not for sale to the public, and (iii) the number of words in the excerpt does not exceed 10% of the total number of words in the work as a whole. (The decision of the Competition's judges as to whether or not an entrant or a Manuscript qualifies will be final.)

5. Nominees will be selected by judges chosen by MWA, with the assistance of the editorial staff of Minotaur Books, and the winner will be chosen by Minotaur Books editors on the basis of the originality, creativity and writing skill of the submission. The decision of the editors as to the winner of the Competition will be final. Minotaur Books reserves the right to cancel or modify the competition if, in the sole opinion of the editors, an insufficient number of qualified Manuscripts are received.

6. An attempt will be made to notify the Competition winner, if any, by telephone or U.S. mail no later than March 31, 2014.  If the winner cannot be contacted, an alternate winner may be selected.

7. If a winner is selected, Minotaur Books will offer to enter into its standard form author's agreement with the entrant for publication of the winning Manuscript. After execution of the standard form author's agreement by both parties, the winner will receive an advance against future royalties of $10,000. On the condition that the selected winner accepts and executes the publishing contract proposed by Minotaur Books, the winner will then be recognized at the Edgar Awards Banquet in New York City in May 2014. THE WINNER WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY OTHER PRIZE AND WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY PART OF THE ADVANCE UNTIL THE STANDARD FORM AUTHOR'S AGREEMENT HAS BEEN EXECUTED BY BOTH PARTIES. Those terms of the offer not specified in the printed text of the Minotaur Books standard form author's agreement will be determined by Minotaur Books at its sole discretion. The entrant may request reasonable changes in the offered terms, but Minotaur Books shall not be obligated to agree to any such changes. Minotaur Books may, but will not be required to, consider for publication Manuscripts submitted by other entrants.  

8. No critical evaluation or commentary will be offered by the judges or the editorial staff of Minotaur Books unless, in the sole opinion of the editorial staff, evaluation or commentary is appropriate in the case of a Manuscript being considered for publication.

9. General:  No cash substitution, transfers or assignments of prize allowed.  All expenses, including taxes, relating to the winner's publishing contract, are the sole responsibility of the winner.  By accepting a prize, the winner releases Minotaur Books and Mystery Writers of America, and the parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers and agents of each of them from any and all liability for any loss, harm, damages, cost or expense, including without limitation property damages, personal injury and/or death, arising out of participation in this Competition or the acceptance of the publishing contract.  If, for any reason, (including unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other cause beyond the control of Minotaur Books which corrupts or affects the administration, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Competition), the Competition is not capable of being conducted as described in these rules, Minotaur Books and Mystery Writers of America shall have the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Competition.

Good luck!
 
 

 Minotaur Books/Malice Domestic Competition  

 

Official Rules for the 2014 Minotaur Books/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition  

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited.

Sponsored by Minotaur Books and Malice Domestic

1. The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any Published Mystery Novel (including self-published works and ebooks), as defined by the guidelines below, and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a mystery novel. Employees, and members of their immediate families living in the same household, of Minotaur Books or Malice Domestic (or a parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of either of them) are not eligible to enter. Only one manuscript entry (the “Manuscript”) is permitted per writer. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Please read all of the rules and guidelines before submitting your entry.

If you have questions or need further clarification after reading the following rules and guidelines, you may contact us at MB-MaliceDomesticCompetition@StMartins.com.

2. To enter, you must complete an online entry form and upload an electronic file of your Manuscript. The entry form will allow you to upload one electronic file. Only electronic submissions, uploaded through the online entry form, will be considered; do not mail or e-mail your manuscript submissions to Minotaur Books.

To be considered for the 2014 competition, all submissions must be received by 11:59pm EST on October 15, 2013.

a) Manuscripts must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents. All manuscripts must be double-spaced, with pages numbered consecutively from beginning to end. All manuscripts must be saved as "Manuscript Title - Entrant Name."

b) Each entrant should keep a copy of the Manuscript for his or her own protection.

c) Because of the great volume of submissions we receive and the fact that our judges are volunteers with full-time responsibilities elsewhere, it is important that you submit your Manuscript as early as possible. Submissions will get a more careful reading if the judge does not have to contend with a flood of last-minute entries.

The entry form is available HERE. 

3. Entrants must have a valid e-mail address. In case of dispute as to identity of an entrant, entry will be declared made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address provided to Minotaur Books. “Authorized Account Holder” is defined as a natural person who is assigned an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) responsible for assigning e-mail addresses or the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address. Minotaur Books and Malice Domestic are not responsible for technical, hardware, software, telephone or other communications malfunctions, errors or failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, website, Internet, or ISP unavailability, unauthorized human intervention, traffic congestion, incomplete or inaccurate capture of entry information (regardless of cause) or failed, incomplete, or delayed computer transmissions which may limit one's ability to enter this Competition, including any injury or damage to any computer relating to or resulting from downloading any materials in this Competition.

4. All Manuscripts submitted: a) must be original works of book length (no less than 220 typewritten pages or approximately 60,000 words) written in the English language; b) must be written solely by the entrant, who may not be the author of any previously published mystery; c) must not violate any right of any third party or be libelous, and d) must generally follow the Guidelines below.

GUIDELINES   

a. Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story. Whatever violence is necessarily involved should be neither excessive nor gratuitously detailed, nor is there to be explicit sex. The suspects and the victims should know each other. There are a limited number of suspects, each of whom has a credible motive and reasonable opportunity to have committed the crime. The person who solves the crime is the central character. The “detective” is an amateur, or, if a professional (private investigator, police officer) is not hardboiled and is as fully developed as the other characters. The detective may find him or herself in serious peril, but he or she does not get beaten up to any serious extent. All of the cast represent themselves as individuals, rather than large impersonal institutions like a national government, the mafia, the CIA, etc.

b. WHAT CONSTITUTES A PUBLISHED NOVEL: For the purpose of this Competition, a “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. This does not include a chapter excerpt on an author's website, subject to the conditions that: (i) the excerpt is the only text that exists for public viewing; (ii) the excerpt is not for sale to the public, and (iii) the number of words in the excerpt does not exceed 10% of the total number of words in the work as a whole. (The decision of the Competition's judges as to whether or not an entrant or a Manuscript qualifies will be final.)

5. Nominees will be selected by judges chosen by the editorial staff of Minotaur Books, and the winner will be chosen by Minotaur Books editors on the basis of the originality, creativity and writing skill of the submission. The decision of the editors as to the winner of the Competition will be final. Minotaur Books reserves the right to cancel or modify the competition if, in the sole opinion of the editors, an insufficient number of qualified Manuscripts are received.

6. An attempt will be made to notify the Competition winner, if any, by telephone or U.S. mail no later than April 1, 2014. If the winner cannot be contacted, an alternate winner may be selected.

7. If a winner is selected, Minotaur Books will offer to enter into its standard form author's agreement with the entrant for publication of the winning Manuscript. After execution of the standard form author's agreement by both parties, the winner will receive an advance against future royalties of $10,000. On the condition that the selected winner accepts and executes the publishing contract proposed by Minotaur Books, the winner will then be recognized at the Malice Domestic Convention in Bethesda, Maryland in May 2014. THE WINNER WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY OTHER PRIZE AND WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY PART OF THE ADVANCE UNTIL THE STANDARD FORM AUTHOR'S AGREEMENT HAS BEEN EXECUTED BY BOTH PARTIES. Those terms of the offer not specified in the printed text of the Minotaur Books standard form author's agreement will be determined by Minotaur Books at its sole discretion. The entrant may request reasonable changes in the offered terms, but Minotaur Books shall not be obligated to agree to any such changes. Minotaur Books may, but will not be required to, consider for publication Manuscripts submitted by other entrants.

8. No critical evaluation or commentary will be offered by the judges or the editorial staff of Minotaur Books unless, in the sole opinion of the editorial staff, evaluation or commentary is appropriate in the case of a Manuscript being considered for publication.

9. General: No cash substitution, transfers or assignments of prize allowed. All expenses, including taxes, relating to the winner's publishing contract, are the sole responsibility of the winner. By accepting a prize, the winner releases Minotaur Books and Malice Domestic, and the parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers and agents of each of them from any and all liability for any loss, harm, damages, cost or expense, including without limitation property damages, personal injury and/or death, arising out of participation in this Competition or the acceptance of the publishing contract. If, for any reason, (including unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other cause beyond the control of Minotaur Books which corrupts or affects the administration, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Competition), the Competition is not capable of being conducted as described in these rules, Minotaur Books and Malice Domestic shall have the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Competition.

Good luck!


Best Private Eye Novel Competition 
 

Rules and Guidelines for the Best Private Eye Novel Competition
Sponsored by the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA)
and Minotaur Books

1. The competition is open to any professional or non-professional writer, regardless of race or nationality, who has never been the author of a published "private eye" novel (this includes ebooks and self-published books) and who is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a "private eye" novel. 

2. All manuscripts submitted: a)must be original works of book length (no less than 220 type-written pages or approximately 65,000 words) written in the English language by the contestants; b) must not violate the rights of any third party; and c) must be a "private eye" novel as defined by these rules:

A novel in which the main character is an independent investigator who is not a member of any law enforcement or government agency, and who receives a fee for his or her investigative services.
(There are no other restrictions as to plot or subject matter. The decision of the competition's judges as to whether a manuscript qualifies as a "private eye" novel will be final.)  

3. The competition will be judged by judges selected by the PWA and the editorial staff of St. Martin's Press, LLC. The decision of the judges as to the winner of the competition will be final. The judges reserve the right not to select any winner, if, in the sole opinion of the judges, none of the manuscripts are of publishable quality. 

4. An attempt will be made to notify the competition winner, if any, no later than October 15. The winner will be officially announced at the Bouchercon conference. 

5. If a winner is selected, St. Martin's Press will publish the winning manuscript by offering to enter into its standard form author's agreement with the contestant. The winner will receive an advance against the future royalties of $10,000. Those terms of the offer not specified in the printed text of the St. Martin's Press standard form author's agreement will be determined by St. Martin's Press at its sole discretion. The contestant may request reasonable changes in the offered terms, but St. Martin's Press shall not be obligated to agree to any such changes. St. Martin's Press may, but will not be required to, consider for publication manuscripts submitted by other contestants. 

6. All entries must be received or postmarked no later than July 1st and must include:

a) A double-spaced and neatly typed copy of the manuscript (photocopies are acceptable).
b) An application form, duly completed.
c) A list of previous writing credits, if any.

All entries must be mailed to the judge whose address appears on the application form. Any entries submitted directly to St. Martin's Press will not be considered for the competition. To request guidelines and an application form, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:                                               

Best First Private Eye Novel Competition

Thomas Dunne Books
St. Martin’s Press 
175 5th Avenue 
New York, NY 10010

7. Please note that declined manuscripts will not be returned to the author, so there is no need to include an SASE with your entry. There will be no exceptions. Each contestant must keep a copy of the manuscript for his or her own protection. Neither the PWA nor St. Martin's Press will be responsible for lost, damaged or mislaid manuscripts.

8. No critical evaluation or commentary will be offered by the judges or the editorial staff of St. Martin's Press unless, in the sole discretion of the judges and/or the editorial staff, evaluation or commentary is appropriated in the case of a manuscript being considered for publication. 

9. This competition is void where prohibited or restricted by law. 

 

Hillerman Mystery Contest

Rules for the HILLERMAN MYSTERY CONTEST Sponsored by the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference (THWC) and St. Martin's Press, LLC

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The contest is open to any professional or non-professional writer, regardless of nationality, who has never been the author of a published mystery, as defined by the guidelines below, and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a mystery. Only one manuscript entry is permitted per writer. 

 All manuscripts submitted: a) must be original works of book length (no less than 220 typewritten pages or approximately 60,000 words) written in the English language by the contestants; b) must not violate the rights of any third party, and c) must generally follow the guidelines below. 

 GUIDELINES  

1. Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story, and emphasis is on the solution rather than the details of the crime. 

2. The story’s primary setting is the Southwestern United States, including at least one of the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. 


(The decision of the Competition's judges as to whether or not a manuscript qualifies will be final.) 


Nominees will be selected by judges chosen by the organizers of the THWC, with the assistance of editorial staff of St. Martin's Press, and the winner will be chosen by St. Martin's editors. The decision of the editors as to the winner of the contest will be final. St. Martin's reserves the right not to select any winner if, in the sole opinion of the editors, none of the manuscripts submitted are of publishable quality. 

An attempt will be made to notify the contest winner, if any, no later than October 1. 

If a winner is selected, St. Martin's Press will publish the winning manuscript by offering to enter into its standard form author's agreement with the contestant. The winner will receive an advance against future royalties of $10,000. Those terms of the offer not specified in the printed text of the St. Martin's Press standard form author's agreement will be determined by St. Martin's Press at its sole discretion. The contestant may request reasonable changes in the offered terms, but St. Martin's shall not be obligated to agree to any such changes. St. Martin's may, but will not be required to, consider for publication manuscripts submitted by other contestants. 

All entries must be received or postmarked no later than June 1 and must include:
a) A double-spaced and neatly typed copy of the manuscript (photocopies are acceptable), with pages numbered consecutively from beginning to end. The author’s name should appear only on the title page, and otherwise not appear anywhere on the manuscript pages. Do not bind your manuscript.
b) A letter or cover sheet containing the name, address, email address and telephone number of the contestant and the contestant's previous writing credits, if any.
c) The application form, duly completed and an SASE. Click here to print the application form. 
 

 All entries must be mailed to St. Martin's Press. For additional copies of the rules and to request an entry form, please send a stamped, self addressed envelope to: 

Minotaur Books/THWC Competition
St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10010
 

 *Each contestant must keep a copy of the manuscript for his or her own protection. St. Martin's Press will not be responsible for lost, stolen, or mislaid manuscripts. Because of the great volume of submissions we receive, the fact that judges are volunteers with full-time responsibilities elsewhere, and the fact that most writers now have the work in their computers, manuscripts will not be returned. Please do not send return postage or envelopes. 

No critical evaluation or commentary will be offered by the judges or the editorial staff of St. Martin's Press unless, in the sole opinion of the editorial staff evaluation or commentary is appropriate in the case of a manuscript being considered for publication. 

This Competition is void where prohibited or restricted by law. 

 *It is important that you submit your manuscript as early as possible. Our judges are volunteers who are extremely busy with their primary concerns, and it is inevitable that your submission will get a more careful reading if the judge does not have to contend with a flood of last-minute entries. However, it is not necessary to send it the most expensive way. We judge on-time delivery by the post-mark or equivalent, not by the date the judge receives the manuscript. 

 Good luck!