Sunday, 14 February 2016

Calling All Crime Writers

Do you like writing crime fiction? Are you looking to be published, or at least noticed by the industry? If so, there are two competitions run every year by the prestigious CWA (the Crime Writers’ Association) that might appeal. You’ll need to be quick, though.

Debut Dagger
The first 3,000 words of a crime novel and a maximum 1,000-word synopsis.  Entry fee: £30 + VAT. Prize: £500 and an assessment for all shortlisted entries. Deadline: 28 Feb.

You must be an unpublished author and the novel or extract must not have been published in any form.

Don’t be put off by the entry fee. If your extract gets through the first stages and is presented to the judges, you’ll find it’s an amazing way of you and your work becoming known to literary agents, respected crime authors and publishers. Offers for representation and of publication have been made on shortlisted work in previous years, so please consider this competition if you’re at all serious about a traditional publishing contract.

Margery Allingham Short Story
A story up to 3,500 words encapsulating Margery Allingham’s belief about what a mystery story should be ( see link below). Entry fee: £15 + VAT. Prize: £1,000 and passes to CrimeFest 2017. Deadline: 1 March.

The same as for the Debut Dagger applies about agents, authors and publishers reading your work.

You can be a published author, but this story mustn’t have been published in any form.

Dea Parkin, the Editor-in-Chief of Fiction Feedback and author of this blog, is currently working for the CWA on a short-term contract. I strongly recommend you to enter the competitions if either suit; they really are an excellent opportunity of getting noticed. Almost all the country’s top crime writers are in the CWA, and many editors, publishers, agents, bloggers and critics are associate members. Go for it!

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