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Friday, May 21, 2010

Mystery novel contest: Hillerman Mystery Competition

(This news courtesy Rhonda Browning White)

DEADLINE: June 1, 2010!!!!


Sponsored by the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference (THWC) and St. Martin's Press, LLC

1. The Competition is open to any professional or non-professional writer, regardless of nationality, who has never been the author of a published mystery (as defined in subparagraph 2(a) below) and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a mystery. Only one
manuscript entry is permitted per writer.

2. All manuscripts submitted: a) must be original, previously unpublished works of book length (no less than 220 typewritten pages or approximately 60,000 words) written in the English language by the entrant; b) must not violate any right of any third party or be libelous; and c) must generally follow the guidelines below.


1. Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story and emphasis is on the solution rather than the details of the crime.

2. The story's primary setting is the Southwestern United States, including at least one of the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Southern California and/or Utah. (The decision of the competition's judges as to whether or not a manuscript qualifies will be final.)

3. Nominees will be selected by judges chosen by the editorial staff of St. Martin's Press, with the assistance of organizers of the THWC, and the winner will be chosen by St. Martin's editors. The decision of the editors as to the winner of the Competition will be final. St. Martin's reserves the right not to select any winner if, in the sole opinion of the editors, none of the manuscripts submitted are of publishable quality.

4. An attempt will be made to notify the Competition winner, if any, no later than October 31, 2010.

5. If a winner is selected, St. Martin's Press will offer to enter into its standard form author's agreement with the entrant for publication of the winning manuscript. After execution of the standard form authors' agreement by both parties, the winner will receive an advance against future royalties of $10,000. Those terms of the offer not specified in the printed text of the St. Martin's Press standard form author's agreement will be determined by St. Martin's Press at
its sole discretion. The entrant may request reasonable changes in the offered terms, but St. Martin's shall not be obligated to agree to any such changes. St. Martin's may, but will not be required to, consider for publication manuscripts submitted by other entrants.

6. All entries must be received or postmarked no later than June 1, 2010, and must include:
a) A double-spaced and neatly typed copy of the manuscript (photocopies are acceptable) with pages numbered consecutively from beginning to end. The authors name should appear only on the title page and otherwise not appear anywhere on the manuscript pages.
b) A letter or cover sheet containing the name, address, email address and telephone number of the entrant and the entrant's previous writing credits, if any.
c) The application form, duly completed, and a self-addressed letter-sized envelope for our response.

All entries must be mailed to St. Martin's Press at the address below. For additional copies of the rules and to request an entry form, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:

St. Martin's Press/ Hillerman Mystery Competition
Thomas Dunne Books
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10010

Each entrant must keep a copy of the manuscript for his or her own protection. St. Martin's Press will not be responsible for lost, stolen, or mislaid manuscripts. Because of the great volume of submissions we receive, the fact that judges are volunteers with full-time responsibilities elsewhere, and the fact that most writers now have the work in their computers, manuscripts will not be returned. Please do not send return postage or envelopes for return of your manuscript.

7. No critical evaluation or commentary will be offered by the judges or the editorial staff of St. Martin's Press unless, in the sole opinion of the editorial staff, evaluation or commentary is
appropriate in the case of a manuscript being considered for publication.

8. This competition is void where prohibited or restricted by law.

It is important that you submit your manuscript as early as possible. Our judges are volunteers who are extremely busy with their primary concerns, and it is inevitable that your submission will get a more careful reading if the judge does not have to contend with a flood of last-minute entries. However, it is not necessary to send it the most expensive way. We judge its on-time performance by the post-mark or equivalent, not by the date the judge receives the manuscript.

Good luck!


Sponsored by the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference (THWC)

and St. Martin's Press, LLC

I have read, understood and agree to the foregoing rules. I affirm that the enclosed manuscript is original and was written by me. I further affirm that I have never written a published mystery novel of the type described in the rules.

Signature of Entrant: ____________________________________________
Name of Entrant: _______________________________________________
(please print or type)
Manuscript Title:__________________________________________________

Address of Entrant:________________________________________________

Please send your manuscript to:

St. Martin's Press/ Hillerman Mystery Competition
Thomas Dunne Books
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10010

And mark the outside of the package HILLERMAN MYSTERY COMPETITION

A word about self-published mysteries:

A note from WORDHARVEST in response to your most common question: Although the judges make the final call, in general self-published mysteries are allowed. If a self-published book sold thousands of copies, got a starred review in Publishers Weekly, or otherwise made a big splash, it would be disqualified.