Official Rules for the 2019 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 [email protected]
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 2019 competition, all submissions must be received by January 12, 2019 at 11:59pm ET.
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.
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 approximately 65,000 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.
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, 2019. 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 2019. 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.