Amateur writers and mystery enthusiasts have opportunities to showcase their passion in writing contests hosted yearly by the biggest names in the mystery world. Some of these contests are even free, with the opportunity to win feedback, prize money, or even a published credit.
Aspiring mystery writers and supersleuth fans have an outlet for their creativity: online writing contests in honor of the mystery genre. Whether writers are seeking a little bit of recognition or a some credible feedback from inside the mystery industry, these contests offer a range of tempting prizes for mystery writers.
Fans and stylistic emulators of Nero Wolfe are invited to enter the Black Orchid Novella mystery contest, featuring novelettes written in the style of Rex Stout’s celebrated detective. There’s plenty of room for creativity, with applicants submitting a novella of 15,000-20,000 words in return for potentially winning publication in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery magazine and a one thousand dollar prize. There’s no entry fee for submission.
The Daphne du Maurier contest is open to mystery writers with compelling sleuths and intriguing crimes. An entry fee of thirty-five dollars is usually required, with a partial manuscript submission of fifteen pages. Entries receive feedback and the winner’s work is reviewed by an industry professional.
For Christian mystery novelists, the Genesis challenge hosts a yearly mystery genre for members of the Association for Christian Fiction Writers. There’s a thirty-five dollar entry fee (more for non-members) with requirements for spiritual content, romantic themes, and taboos on language, sensuality, and violence. Entry finalists receive a review of their work after each elimination round and the winner receives a shot at publication from Christian publishing brands like Steeple Hill or Tyndale House.
The prestigious Hillerman mystery contest challenges participants to combine their love of the West with their love of crimesolving heroes. Submit a complete, full-length mystery novel (word count above 65,000) that meets their setting and character requirements which emphasize western themes. Entering is free, with the chance to win ten thousand dollars and see your work in print courtesy of St. Martin’s Press.
While a shot at winning may be slim for many writers, the thrill of participating in a mystery contest makes up for the tough competition. For more information, visit the links below to read about sponsored contests for fledgling mystery writers.