Tag Archives: mystery

book contest for unpublished mystery writers


Poisoned Pen Press Announces the First Annual Discover Mystery Award:

This Spring, Poisoned Pen Press will award a $1000 cash prize and publishing contract

to the winner of the inaugural Discover Mystery Award

Scottsdale, Arizona– Poisoned Pen Press announces the first annual Discover Mystery Award. A first book contest specifically for unpublished writers trying to break into the mystery genre, the Discover Mystery Award will include a $1000 cash prize, the Discover Mystery title, and a publishing contract from Poisoned Pen Press. The Discover Mystery Award is now open for submissions. Entries must be received by 11:59 PM Pacific on April 30, 2012, and the Discover Mystery Award will be presented on May 31, 2012.

Founded in 1997, Poisoned Pen Press is one of the country’s leading independent mystery book publishers.  For the first time in its history, Poisoned Pen Press is opening their submissions to previously unpublished writers through the Discover Mystery Awards Program. Writers now have the opportunity to submit their manuscripts to Poisoned Pen Press without the need for a query letter—or the worry of having a manuscript rejected outright.

Writers unpublished within the mystery genre are invited to submit their original mystery fiction manuscripts of between 60,000 and 90,000 words. A $20 entry fee applies for all submissions. For full details, eligibility requirements, and manuscript submission instructions, visit: http://www.poisonedpenpress.com/contest

Entries submitted for the Discover Mystery Award will be judged by members of the Poisoned Pen Press editorial staff, along with celebrity guest judge, Edgar® Award-winning novelist Dana Stabenow.

Jessica Tribble, Publisher at Poisoned Pen Press, stated, “At Poisoned Pen Press, we take our mission to discover mystery very seriously and pride ourselves on finding great new voices in the world of mystery fiction. We are looking for fresh, new voices and created the Discover Mystery Award as a means of giving unpublished mystery writers an open invitation to submit their manuscripts to Poisoned Pen Press. We would like to encourage writers to pull out that manuscript they’ve had hidden in their desks, dust off the keyboard, and finish that mystery, or finally do something about that novel idea that has been bouncing around in their heads. We can’t wait to see what we’ll discover.”

In addition to the grand prizes, Poisoned Pen Press will also provide support in publicizing the winning work, and sharing information with prominent booksellers. However, should no entry meet the standards of the editorial team, Poisoned Pen Press reserves the right not to declare a winner, or to offer the cash prize without publication.

Poisoned Pen Press is an independent publisher specializing in the highest quality mystery books. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Poisoned Pen Press is one of the largest publishers of hardcover mysteries in the world.  Visit the new Poisoned Pen Press author blog and Discover Mystery™ at: www.poisonedpenpress.com.

Members of the news media wishing to request additional information about the Discover Mystery Award or Poisoned Pen Press are asked to contact Maryglenn McCombs by phone – (615) 297-9875, or by email – maryglenn@maryglenn.com.

Paying market for short stories – sci fi, fantasy, mystery, etc.


Earthbound pays $.05/word for up to 500 words; also buys stories up to 3,000 for use in its anthology; details HERE:


Hillerman Mystery Competition


deadline is June 1; minimum of 60,000 words – murder mystery or mystery novel; set in the Southwestern United States; prize is $10,000 advance against royalties

– will be published by St. Martin’s press

details HERE:


Paying market for horror, fantasy, mystery, thriller, sci fi


Note from Wendy: I wrote about this anthology call for submissions in April, but now they’re not charging reading fees.

“Dark Highlands”  accepts darkly-themed poetry and short fiction in horror, fantasy, mystery, thriller, science fiction and supernatural. The deadline for the next (April) volume is January 31, 2011. Pays $10 for poetry and $25 for short fiction (plus one copy of the anthology). To find out more about how to submit, go HERE:


Paying market for horror/dark sci fi, dark mystery and dark fantasy

Dark Discoveries; 500 - 6,000 words; pays $.05/word; details HERE:

Market for horror, mystery, fantasy, crime and science fiction


Short-Story.Me! pays (up to $10) for pieces between 200 – 5,000 words.

See details HERE: http://www.short-story.me/submission-guidelines.html

Contest for mystery plays, short stories & screenplays


Several categories; cash prizes; category for young adults; Oct. 31, 2010 deadline; info HERE:


Paying market for horror, dark mystery, dark fantasy


Shroud Magazine; $10 for flash fiction; $25 for short stories up to 5,000 words; $25 for nonfiction up to 3,000 words; submissions close July 31, 2010; info here: