Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Minotaur Books/Malice Domestic Competition for the Best First Traditional Mystery Novel, plus 3 other contest for 1sttime mystery writers

Sponsored by Minotaur Books (a Macmillan imprint) and Malice Domestic the Best First Traditional Mystery Novel contest is one of four crime novel competitions for first time authors sponsored by Minotaur Press. The other three are: The First Crime Novel Competition, the Best (first) Private Eye competition, and the Hillerman Mystery Contest for a mystery set in the American southwest.

The Minotaur Books/Malice Domestic Competition for the Best First Traditional Mystery Novel:

The competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, who has never been the author of a published traditional mystery (that includes self-published works and ebooks) and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a traditional 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. 

  1. Murder or another serious crime is at the heart of the story, and emphasis is on the solution rather than the details of the crime.
  2. Whatever violence is necessarily involved should be neither excessive nor gratuitously detailed, nor is there to be explicit sex.
  3. The crime is an extraordinary event in the lives of the characters.
  4. The principal characters are people whom the reader might not like, but would be interested in knowing.
  5. The suspects and the victims should know each other.
  6. There are a limited number of suspects, each of whom has a credible motive and reasonable opportunity to have committed the crime.
  7. The person who solves the crime is the central character.
  8. 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.
  9. The detective may find him or herself in serious peril, but he or she does not get beaten up to any serious extent.
  10. All of the cast represent themselves as individuals, rather than large impersonal institutions like a national government, the mafia, the CIA, etc.
Nominees will be selected by judges chosen by the editorial staff of St. Martin’s Press and the winner will be chosen by St. Martin’s Press editors.  St. Martin’s Press 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 competition winner, if any, no later than April 1st. The winner will be officially announced at the Malice Domestic Convention in May.

If a winner is selected, Minotaur Books 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.

Deadline: All entries must be postmarked no later than October 15 

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.

Full contest rules for all four contests sponsored by Minotaur here.

See Brian's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Bracebridge, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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