Monday, February 6, 2012


From the Poisoned Pen website:

Dear Mystery Writers,
Poisoned Pen Press would like to announce the first annual Discover Mystery Award, a first book contest for unpublished writers trying to break into the mystery genre. This spring, join us by entering your mystery manuscript of 60,000-90,000 words in an effort to win a $1000 prize, the Discover Mystery title, and a publishing contract from Poisoned Pen Press.

At Poisoned Pen Press, we take our mission to “Discover Mystery” very seriously. We’ve always prided ourselves on the discovery of new writers, and now we’re on the  hunt for fresh voices and new stories. We’re not afraid of something different, either, so if you’ve got a mystery, we want to see it! Poisoned Pen Press is waiting to discover you!

Here’s how to play:
Read the guidelines carefully and click on the link below to fill out the form, pay the $20 entry fee, and attach your manuscript. All entries are due by 11:59 pm (Pacific), April 30th, 2012. A winner will be announced by May 31st, 2012. Entries will be judged based on their synopses and manuscript text, with the assistance of celebrity judge, Dana Stabenow!
Click here for the entry form
Barnes & Noble

Entry Requirements and Guidelines:
  • Unfortunately, we will not be able to help you decide if your book is a good fit for our contest. If you have questions about the kinds of books we publish, please visit
  • Due to the number of entries, Poisoned Pen Press will not be able to answer questions regarding your contest entry.
  • This is a first-book award. It is open to writers who have not published a full-length book in the mystery genre.
  • Manuscripts previously submitted to Poisoned Pen Press are eligible for entry in Discover Mystery, provided that those manuscripts have undergone major revisions.
  • Manuscripts previously published in print or digitally, including self-published, are not eligible.
  • Manuscripts must be between 60,000 words and 90,000 words in length.
  • The Poisoned Pen Press Discover Mystery Award is open to all authors writing original works in English for adult readers who reside in the United States and Canada.
  • Non-fiction of any kind, including autobiography is not appropriate for this contest.
  • To avoid conflict of interest and to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, friends and former students of a judge or a Poisoned Pen Press employee are ineligible to enter the competition for that year.
  • Poisoned Pen Press makes every effort to vary the judges by region and aesthetics, so that writers, if ineligible one year, will certainly be eligible in future years.
  • You may not submit your manuscript to other publishers while it is under consideration by Poisoned Pen Press.
  • Poisoned Pen Press cannot consider manuscript revisions during the course of the contest. Winning authors will have an opportunity to revise their works in collaboration with our editorial staff before publication.
  • Should no entry meet editorial approval, Poisoned Pen Press reserves the right NOT to declare a winner
  • Failure to pay the entry fee will exclude you from the contest.

Click here for the entry form

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