Monday, January 9, 2012

Great First Crime Novel Contests--No Fee

Beginning next week, I'll return to my usual schedule of Books of Interest by Writers of Color posts on Mondays and Literary Mystery Writers posts on Fridays.

Today, though, I want to draw the attention of all the writers out there who've never published a novel before to the quartet of free competitions offered by St. Martin's Minotaur in collaboration with various mystery organizations. These contests are not only fabulous to win, but they are also a good way to get your manuscript before the editors at one of most important publishers out there--if you're good enough to make the finals.

These competitions are open to anyone who hasn't published a novel before and whose novel fits the guidelines for that particular contest. There is no fee to enter, and the prize for each of the four competitions is $10,000 and a standard publishing contract with St. Martin's Press.

All that is pretty enticing right there, but also if you win, you get to work with some of the top professionals in the field located in the historic Flatiron Building in New York City. That's important when you're starting out as a novelist. It's even  more important now while publishing is going through such major changes.

I know entering the St. Martin's/Malice Domestic Competition changed my life. So I encourage all my writer friends out there to consider these competitions. Especially all my writer friends of color.

The four competitions--St. Martin's/Tony Hillerman, St. Martin's/Private Eye Writers of America, St. Martin's/Malice Domestic, and St. Martin's/Mystery Writers of America--have different guidelines and deadlines--June, July, October, and December. Check them out!

And good luck! I'm looking forward to reading the next award-winners.


  1. Thanks for that information, Linda.

    I remember you mentioning at a Border Crimes meeting, but in today's overheated environment of so many things to keep track of, one can never have reminders like this in too many places.

  2. I think it's hard to keep track of these kinds of opportunities, Valerie. I hope you're going to submit something this year or next.

  3. I have a WIP, so I have hope. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Well, if it's some kind of mystery or crime novel, it ought to fit in one of these four categories, Valerie. Best of luck.

    Please let any other aspiring writers know about this. St. Martin's is doing a real service to the mystery community with these contests, trying to find the best new writers. It's especially a good thing for writers out here in flyover country who have no connections in New York.

  5. Thanks for the very helpful and generous posting. It's very kind and helpful, especially for someone like me, looking to place his first novel, after years writing plays.

  6. These are great contests. St. Martin's/Minotaur and its co-sponsors provide a real service for the mystery community with these. Best of luck with your novel!