The Best Crime Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 20 contests


The 2022 First Chapter Book Contest

TheNextBigWriter, LLC

Have a book or a novel idea you've been noodling? Enter your first chapter into the Booksie First Chapter Contest and see how it does. You don't need to have finished the book. You don't even need more than the first chapter. We're looking for a start that will grab our attention, that is original, that is well written, and that makes us want to beg you to see what comes next. And for those we find, we'll provide some awards to inspire you to finish writing the book or, if finished, to help get it published.

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Gold contest badge.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: May 14, 2022


Genres

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

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The George Floyd Short Story Competition Vol2

Nottingham Writers' Studio

We’ll be taking stories of up to 5,000 words, on the theme of the environment and the ongoing climate crisis. Entrants can write in any genre. There is no fee to take part and we’re offering cash prizes to every successful applicant plus publication in our next anthology. 1st - £250 2nd - £125 3rd - £75 Runner up - £15

Top prize

£250

Additional prizes

Publication in anthology - Earth 2.0

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $0

Deadline: February 28, 2022


Genres

Crime, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

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Stringybark Open Short Story Award 2021

Stringybark Publishing

We are looking for great short stories that address any theme that grabs you. But to just make life not too easy, the story has two stipulations. Firstly, it is to be written for those over the age of 16 and secondly, it must have a link, no matter how tenuous, to Australia. 1500 word limit.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $14

Deadline: February 13, 2022


Genres

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

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Henshaw Short Story Competition

Henshaw Press

We are a small group of writers, editors, lecturers and of course readers who wish to actively support creative writing. We run quarterly competitions throughout the year with closing dates at the end of March, June, September and December. Our aim is to encourage as wide a range of writing as possible and competitions are open for any subject and any style.

Top prize

$260

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: March 31, 2022


Genres

Christian, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, LGBTQ, Mystery, Suspense, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Travel

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Black Orchid Novella Award

Wolfe Pack & Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

An important part of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe's opus are novellas. To celebrate this format, the Wolfe Pack and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine have partnered to sponsor the Black Orchid Novella Award. Want to submit an entry for the this year's contest? It's important that you read the rules and follow the procedures carefully.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Publication in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: May 31, 2022


Genres

Crime, Mystery, Novella

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Crucible First Novel Award

Grindstone Literary

The Crucible First Novel Award is a brand new, free to enter competition for unrepresented authors. We are looking for the best new novels in crime, mystery, and thriller, and are asking entrants to submit the first 5,000 words of their manuscripts, along with a 150 word 'elevator pitch'. We will choose the best 20-30 entries, and compile them into the Crucible Chapbook, which will be sent to a list of agents and agencies.

Top prize

Published in chapbook & sent to agencies

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: February 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Mystery, Novel, Thriller

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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, 2022


Genres

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

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Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

Mystery Writers of America & Minotaur Books

MWA is the premier organization for mystery and crime writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and folks who just love to read crime fiction. To enter, you must complete an online entry form and upload an electronic file of your Manuscript. The entry form will allow you to upload one electronic file.

Top prize

Advance against future royalties of $10,000 & publishing contract

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: December 17, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Mystery, Novel

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Oxford Flash Fiction Prize

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 want to celebrate one of the newest forms in literature – flash fiction.

Top prize

$1,300

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: January 31, 2022


Genres

Christian, Crime, Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, LGBTQ, Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Travel

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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


Genres

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

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Bristol Short Story Prize

Tangent Books

Welcome to the Bristol Short Story Prize – an annual international writing competition open to all published and unpublished, UK and non-UK based writers. Stories can be on any theme or subject and are welcome in any style including graphic, verse or genre-based (Crime, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Romance, Children’s etc..) .

Top prize

£1,000

Additional prizes

£500, £250, £100

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: May 04, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, 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, 2022


Genres

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

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Fiction Factory Flash Fiction

Fiction Factory

We welcome previously unpublished stories (max 1,000 words) on any theme. Our judge is looking for freshness, originality and strongly drawn characters.

Top prize

£200

Additional prizes

£50, £25

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $7

Deadline: November 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Crime, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller

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Etched Onyx and the Story Discovery Podcast

Onyx Publications

Submitted works must be previously unpublished fiction, nonfiction, poetry or flash fiction. We are open to all styles, genres, and types of writing. We suggest you checkout our free archived editions to get a sense of what we publish. All stories published in the magazine also include a narration of the story and an author interview on our podcast. **Early Bird deadline 8th October, reduced fee of $7.50**

Top prize

$350

Additional prizes

Publication in Etched Onyx On-line magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $11

Deadline: November 26, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

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Flash Fiction Competition

Globe Soup

Globe Soup are looking for the best flash fiction of no more than 800 words. The competition features a secret location in which all participants must set their story. Participants can get extensive feedback on their entry by joining Globe Soup's writing group and free entry to their monthly micro fiction contests and other opportunities to win cash prizes!

Top prize

£1000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $16

Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Hillerman Prize

St. Martin's Press and Western Writers of America

Sponsored by St. Martin's Press and Western Writers of America, the Tony Hillerman Prize is awarded annually for the best first mystery set in the Southwest. The winner receives a contract with St. Martin's Press for publication of the novel and $10,000.

Top prize

$10,000

Additional prizes

Publication

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: January 01, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fiction

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Caledonia Novel Award

Caledonia Novel Award

We are an Edinburgh-based, international award for unpublished and self-published novelists in all genres for adults and YA.

Top prize

£1, 500

Additional prizes

Free place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: November 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

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

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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, 2022


Genres

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

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Typehouse Literary Magazine Open Fiction Contest

Typehouse Literary Magazine

We are pleased to announce Typehouse Literary Magazine 's third biennial Open Fiction Contest! All pieces must be between 1000-6000 words, entries must be previously unpublished and all genres are accepted.

Top prize

$175

Additional prizes

$100 for second place and $50 for third place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: June 30, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story

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Jim Martin Memorial Story Contest

Arizona Mystery Writers

Send in your short story in mystery, suspense, or thriller style. Entries may be up to 2500 words (about 10 double-spaced pages). It’s loads of fun and a good exercise of your writing skills.

Top prize

$200

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: July 01, 2021 (Expired)


Genres

Crime, Short Story

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