July 14, 2024



Unveiling the 2024 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

3 min read

In the world of literature, new voices are forever emerging, bringing fresh perspectives and gripping stories to the forefront. To nurture and celebrate these budding talents, Minotaur Books and Mystery Writers of America (MWA) proudly present the 2024 Minotaur Books/MWA First Crime Novel Competition. This prestigious event is designed to provide aspiring authors with a platform to showcase their work and potentially launch their careers in the thrilling realm of crime fiction.

Open to All Aspiring Writers

The doors of this competition swing open to writers from all corners of the globe, transcending borders and nationality. Regardless of your background, if you’re 18 years or older and have not yet published a novel (except for self-published works), you’re eligible to participate. The manuscript you submit should be your original creation, and you should not be under contract with a publisher for any forthcoming novels. This is a chance for undiscovered talent to shine.

The Submission Process

For the 2024 competition, submissions will be accepted exclusively online through an easy-to-navigate entry form. Make sure your manuscript is saved as a Microsoft Word document or PDF, double-spaced, with consecutive page numbers. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2023, so seize the opportunity to submit your work early for a more thoughtful consideration.

Crafting the Crime Novel

The heart of this competition revolves around crime fiction, where murder or other serious crimes act as the driving force of the narrative. Entrants are encouraged to let their creativity flow within the bounds of these guidelines:

  • Craft an original story with a length of no less than approximately 65,000 words.
  • Ensure that the manuscript is solely your creation and has not been previously published.
  • Uphold a level of integrity and avoid violating any third-party rights or spreading libel.
  • Keep in mind the essence of a crime novel—develop a limited number of suspects, each with credible motives, and present a detective, preferably an amateur, who plays a central role in solving the crime.

The Path Forward

As the competition progresses, a panel of judges, along with the editorial team at Minotaur Books, will pore over the submissions. The winner will be selected based on the originality, creativity, and writing prowess exhibited in the manuscript. The chosen manuscript will be offered a publishing contract, complete with an advance against future royalties of $10,000.

Furthermore, the victorious author will be recognized at a distinguished event—either the Edgar Awards Banquet in New York City for the First Crime Novel Competition or the Malice Domestic Convention in Bethesda, Maryland for the Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition—depending on the specific competition.

A Launchpad for Literary Journeys

For those who have yet to see their literary dreams take flight, the 2024 Minotaur Books/MWA First Crime Novel Competition offers a rare opportunity to showcase your talent on a grand stage. Whether your manuscript is a meticulously plotted mystery or a gripping crime narrative, this competition could be your gateway to the world of published crime fiction. So, gather your words, craft your story, and seize the chance to become the next breakthrough author in the realm of crime fiction. Good luck!

2024Minotaur Books/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition – Minotaur Books – Home (macmillan.com)

4 thoughts on “Unveiling the 2024 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

  1. Is the Minotaur contest cancelled for 2024? I can find nothing on line, including on their web site that doesn’t list a 2023 deadline.

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