The Best Crime Writing Contests of 2024

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 36 contests


New Deal Writing Competition

New Deal Museum

GVCA is excited to announce the ninth annual New Deal Writing Competition! This competition challenges writers to use a painting chosen by the staff at GVCA as inspiration for a short story. This year’s painting is “Playtime” by Fred Ross.

Top prize

$200

Additional prizes

Publication in newsletter

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: March 15, 2024


Genres

Christian, Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, LGBTQ, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Travel

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April Flash Fiction Challenge

Writing Peers

Are you seeking lots of feedback? Ever wondered what it’s like to step into the shoes of a jury? Pull a genre, pick a prompt, and let your creativity soar. Submit your piece, then review other entries and develop an eye for what makes a story stand out. Receive detailed feedback, evolve as a writer and you might even walk away with the prize money!

Top prize

$1000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: April 14, 2024


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

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Ironclad Creative Short Story Competition

Ironclad Creative CIC

We are looking for short stories that respond in any way to: 7:12am. You can use that in the text, as a theme, or any way you want. We accept any prose genre and any length of story up to 6k words. We’re looking for writers who have exciting voices and can move us - that can happen in any genre of prose. We’re not accepting plays or poetry for this competition.

Top prize

£100

Additional prizes

2nd: £50 | 3rd & 4th: £25 | 10 short-listed entries: publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: April 30, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novella, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller

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Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction

Not Quite Write

The Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction challenges writers to create an original piece of flash fiction based on two typical writing prompts plus one ""anti-prompt"". An anti-prompt is a challenge to break a specific “rule” of writing while telling a great story. Participants compete for AU$2,000 in cash prizes, including AU$1,000 for the winner, cash prizes for the entire shortlist and two bonus ‘wildcard’ prizes. Winners are read aloud on the Not Quite Write podcast, where the judges share in-depth analysis about the entries and offer free writing advice. The Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction is hosted in Australia and open to all writers of any age and level of ability around the world.

Top prize

$1,000 AUD

Additional prizes

Publication on the Not Quite Write website and podcast

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $16

Deadline: April 21, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult

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Elegant Literature's Award For New Writers

Elegant Literature

One of the largest awards open to unpublished writers, and the only one closed to professionals. We are the first magazine to pay pro rates and only accept submissions from new writers, putting over $100k into the hands of emerging talent around the globe. One new writer receives the grand prize. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors professional rates, and publish them in our magazine.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

Paid publication, 25 x $20 USD | Free entry to Novelist Accelerator

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: February 29, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult, Flash Fiction, Science Writing

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7 Day Story Writing Challenge

Globe Soup

Register now for our next 7-day story writing challenge. A secret theme, a randomly assigned genre, and just 7 days to write a story of no more than 2,000 words. Our 7-day story writing challenges take place throughout the year. The challenges are free and you can even get feedback on your story. Take part in one challenge or take part in all of them!

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

Publication on website

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: March 11, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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Chapter One Prize

Gutsy Great Novelist

The Gutsy Great Novelist Chapter One Prize is awarded for an outstanding first chapter of an unpublished novel. The prize is open internationally to anyone over 18 writing a novel in English in any genre for adult or YA readers. Winners will be announced March 29, 2024.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $500 |3rd: $250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: March 01, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Young Adult, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller

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Spring Microfiction Battle

Writing Battle

Two days to write a 500 word short story. The peer-powered quarterly writing contest where every story receives oodles of feedback. Write one. Read ten. Win thousands.

Top prize

Genre Winner (x4): $1,500

Additional prizes

Genre Runner-up (x4): $375 | Feedback by industry professionals

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: May 03, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Summer Nanofiction Battle

Writing Battle

Two days to write a 250 word short story. The peer-powered quarterly writing contest where every story receives oodles of feedback. Write one. Read ten. Win thousands.

Top prize

Genre Winner (x4): $1,500

Additional prizes

Genre Runner-up (x4): $375 | Feedback by industry professionals

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: August 02, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award

Killer Nashville

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award is committed to discovering new writers, as well as superlative books by established authors and, upon discovery, sharing those writers and their works with new readers. There are a large number of both fiction and non-fiction categories you can enter.

Top prize

$250

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $79

Deadline: June 15, 2024


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Science Fiction, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller

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Indignor Play House Annual Short Story Competition

Indignor House Publishing

Indignor House Publishing is proud to announce that our annual writing competition (INDIGNOR PLAYHOUSE Short Story Annual Competition) is officially open with expected publication in the fall of 2024. Up to 25 submissions will be accepted for inclusion in the annual anthology.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

2nd: $250 | 3rd: $150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: March 01, 2024


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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Edinburgh Short Story Award

Scottish Arts Trust

£3,000 first prize for writers worldwide and stories on any topic up to 2,000 words. We welcome stories in all genres: literary, historic, crime, romance, gritty realism, contemporary, humour and more.

Top prize

£3,000

Additional prizes

2nd: £500 | 3rd: £250 | Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: February 29, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult

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Stringybark Open Short Story Award 2024

Stringybark Publishing

Our annual flagship competition, the Stringybark Stories Open Short Story Award 2023, is now bigger than ever! Thanks to Graeme Simpson and Anne Buist, a record prize pool of over $1300 is on offer. The theme is open, the only constraint is that there must be a reference to Australia somewhere in the story. It doesn't matter how small a link there is (it could be a jar of vegemite on the counter), there just needs to be one!

Top prize

$560

Additional prizes

2nd: $360 | 3rd: $210 | 4th: $110

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: February 25, 2024 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Mystery, Short Story, Crime, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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Best Indie Book Award

Best Indie Book Award

The annual Best Indie Book Award® (or BIBA®) is an international literary awards contest recognizing self-published and independently published authors from all over the world. Entries are limited to independently (indie) published books, including those from small presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors.

Top prize

Trophy

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $65

Deadline: August 15, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Black Orchid Novella Award

Wolfe Pack & Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

Novellas are an important part of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe's opus. To celebrate this format, the Wolfe Pack and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine have partnered to sponsor the Black Orchid Novella Award. Each entry must be an original, unpublished work of fiction that conforms to the literary tradition of the Nero Wolfe series.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: May 31, 2024


Genres

Crime, Mystery, Novella

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The Rubery Prize

Rubery Book Awards

The Rubery Prize is a prestigious international book award seeking the best books by indie writers, self published authors and books published by independent presses, judged by reputable judges. Through our reputation of finding quality and outstanding books we aim to bring recognition to the works that win and heighten an author's profile.

Top prize

£2000

Additional prizes

£200, a write-up

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $60

Deadline: March 31, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult, Romance

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The Letter Review Prize for Unpublished Books

The Letter Review

The Letter Review Prize for Unpublished Books (Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction) is open to writers from anywhere in the world. Three Winners are awarded, and 20 entries are Shortlisted.

Top prize

3 x $333 USD

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: February 29, 2024


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Goldfinch Books Novel Award

Goldfinch Books

Goldfinch Books, an independent bookshop, café and event space in Alton, Hampshire, UK has announced a UK nationwide literary competition to coincide with the inaugural Alton Arts Festival. The Goldfinch Novel Award 2024 is a prize for emerging authors (aged 16+) with completed young adult or adult novels. This competition is open to authors in the UK and will have a prize of £300 for the winning novel, chosen by judge Kiya Evans, Associate Literary Agent at Mushens Entertainment.

Top prize

£300

Additional prizes

Goldfinch Membership

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $14

Deadline: May 15, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novel, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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Storytrade Book Awards

Storytrade

The Storytrade Book Awards recognizes excellence in small and independent publishing. Open to all indie authors and publishers including self-published authors, university presses, and small or independent presses, our annual awards program spotlights outstanding books in a number of fiction and nonfiction categories.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Medal, Book Stickers, Digital Seal

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $75

Deadline: June 30, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Work-In-Progress (WIP) Contest

Unleash Press

We aim to assist writers in the completion of an important literary project and vision. The Unleash WIP Award offers writers support in the amount of $500 to supplement costs to aid in the completion of a book-length work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Writers will also receive editorial feedback, coaching meetings, and an excerpt/interview feature in Unleash Lit.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Coaching, interview, and editorial support

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: July 15, 2024


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Young Adult

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Reader Views Literary Awards

Reader Views

The Reader Views Literary Awards program helps level the playing field for self-published authors, recognizing the most creative and exciting new books in the industry. Our awards program is recognized industry-wide as one of the top literary awards programs for independent authors.

Top prize

$2,500

Additional prizes

Several marketing prizes (e.g. book review)

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $89

Deadline: December 15, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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The Paul Cave Prize for Literature

Tim Saunders Publications

The Paul Cave Prize for Literature, established in 2023 by Tim Saunders Publications, is in memory of Paul Astley Cave-Browne-Cave (1917 to 2010), a hugely inspirational magazine and book publisher. What we are looking for All forms of poetry: haiku, free verse, sonnet, acrostic, villanelle, ballad, limerick, ode, elegy, flash fiction, short stories and novellas. Work must be new and unpublished. International submissions welcome.

Top prize

£100

Additional prizes

Best Short Story: £50 | Best Flash Fiction: £25 | Best Poem: £25

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: September 30, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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A Warm Mug of Cozy Anthology

Warm Mug of Cozy

Do you like writing short cozy mysteries? If so, we would love to invite you to submit your work for potential inclusion in our first Warm Mug of Cozy Anthology. Theme: No restriction, as long as your story follows the classic rules of Cozy Mystery.

Top prize

2% royalties per published story ($)

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: March 31, 2024


Genres

Crime, Flash Fiction, Mystery, Short Story

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Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize

Gotham Writers Workshop

The Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize is a writing competition sponsored by the stage and radio series Selected Shorts. Selected Shorts is recorded for Public Radio and heard nationally on both the radio and its weekly podcast. This years entries will be judged by Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House, Her Body and Other Parties).

Top prize

$1000 + free 10 week course with Gotham Writers

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: March 01, 2024


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Winter Flash Fiction Battle

Writing Battle

Three days to write a 1000 word short story. The peer-powered quarterly writing contest where every story receives oodles of feedback. Write one. Read ten. Win thousands.

Top prize

Genre Winner (x4): $2,000

Additional prizes

Genre Runner-up (x4): $500 | Feedback by industry professionals.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: February 01, 2024 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller

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The Book of the Year Awards

The Independent Author Network

The Independent Author Network presents the 10th Annual IAN Book of the Year Awards, an international contest open to all authors with 55 fiction and non-fiction categories. Winners are eligible to receive a share of cash prizes of $6,000 USD. Open to all English language print and eBooks available for sale, including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors.

Top prize

$2,500

Additional prizes

$6,000.00 USD in total cash prizes

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $49

Deadline: August 16, 2024


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult, Crime, Short Story

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Oxford Flash Fiction Prize 2024

Oxford Flash Fiction

Write yourself into history and become one of the greats with the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize. For centuries, the greats have come to Oxford to ink masterpieces. Now, in one of the oldest towns, where the history of the English language can be traced back to its ancient streets, we are celebrating one of the newest forms in literature – flash fiction.

Top prize

£1000

Additional prizes

2nd Prize: £200 | 3rd Prize: £100 | New Voice Prize: £200

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $9

Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)


Genres

Flash Fiction, Fiction, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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Clash of the Query Letters

Darling Axe Editing

Our judge, Michelle Barker, will be asking herself one question: does this query letter convince me that I'm in the hands of an adept novelist with a unique and engaging story to tell?

Top prize

CAD $700

Additional prizes

CAD $200 for 2nd place, $100 for 3rd place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $4

Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novella, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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Best Stories on Human Impact of Climate Change

Secant Publishing

We are seeking the year's best original short stories (fiction) devoted to the theme of global climate change and its human impact. We are interested in literary interpretations of how individuals and families, cities and nations are bearing the brunt of a world dominated by new extremes of weather, seasons, and eco-disasters. All genres welcome.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

2nd: $500 | 3rd: $250 | Publication in anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: March 01, 2024


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Young Adult

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Genre Smash Short Story Challenge

Globe Soup

For this short story challenge, all participants will be randomly assigned a genre pairing. As soon as you receive your ‘smashed’ genres you'll have until the closing time to write and submit a short story of any length up to 5,000 words, that perfectly and seamlessly combines both genres into one amazing short story.

Top prize

£1,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $11

Deadline: October 23, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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The Letter Review Prize for Books

The Letter Review

The Letter Review Prize for Books is open to writers from anywhere in the world. Seeking most unpublished (we accept some self/indie published) novels, novellas, story collections, nonfiction, poetry etc. 20 entries are longlisted.

Top prize

$1000 USD shared by 3 winners

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $25

Deadline: October 31, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Inspiring Fiction's Crime and Speculative Fiction Contest

Inspiring Fiction

Inspiring Fiction’s first crime and speculative fiction short story contest is on the theme ‘Secrets’. The winner and shortlisted entries will be published in the fourth issue of Tangled Web Magazine.

Top prize

£100

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $6

Deadline: July 31, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller

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Historical Fiction Challenge

Globe Soup

For this short story challenge, all participants will be randomly assigned a period in history. As soon as you receive your assignment, you'll have until the closing time to research, write, and submit a short story of no more than 4,000 words, set during this historical period.

Top prize

$1,131

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $17

Deadline: October 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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Claymore Award

Killer Nashville

Created in 2009, the Killer Nashville Claymore Award assists new and rebranding English-language fiction authors to get published, including possible agent representation, book advances, editor deals, and movie and television sales. The contest is limited to only the first 50 double-spaced pages of unpublished English-language manuscripts containing elements of thriller, mystery, crime, or suspense NOT currently under contract.

Top prize

Possible contract with Mystery Writers of America

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $40

Deadline: April 01, 2023 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, Thriller

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First 5 Pages Prize

Stockholm Writers Festival

SWF is proud to launch the First 5 Pages Prize to mark our 5th anniversary. Dazzle us with your brilliance. Delight us with your wit. Deceive us with your dastardly plot-twists. There will be one Grand Prize winner chosen from all entries. The winner will receive: $1000 cash, a ticket to SWF22, a pitch meeting with an agent conducted over Zoom, two night’s accommodation at a boutique hotel, and a full developmental edit donated by Reedsy, the industry’s leading platform for writing services.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

A full developmental edit donated by Reedsy & pitch meeting with an agent

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: January 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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