The Best Mystery Writing Contests of 2022

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Showing 44 contests


Editor's Prize - Work Anthology

Unleash Press

Writers are invited to submit creative interpretations on Work for an upcoming anthology and the chance of winning the editors' prize. Essays, fiction, drama, and poetry interpretations of the theme will be accepted. Submissions should have a total word count of no more than 5,000 words. All authors chosen for the anthology will receive a paperback copy of the book. Only one editor’s prize will be selected.

Top prize

150

Additional prizes

Publication in anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: December 30, 2022


Genres

Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Poetry, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller

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Seven Hills Literary Contest and Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest

Tallahassee Writers Association

The Seven Hills Literary Contest and Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest (collectively, “the Contest”) is sponsored annually by the Tallahassee Writers Association. The contest is open to English-language entries from around the world. For the first time, we are open to published entries as well as unpublished entries.

Top prize

$300

Additional prizes

Published in the Seven Hills Review

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

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

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Henshaw Short Story Competition

Henshaw Press

A short story on any subject up to 2000 words. Results announced by the end of October 2022. Prize winners published on the Henshawpress website and in our next Anthology. Optional Critiques a further £14. Free critiques for authors aged sixteen and under.

Top prize

$237

Additional prizes

2nd: $118 | 3rd: $60

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $7

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

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

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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We welcome previously unpublished stories (max 1,000 words) on any theme.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, 2022


Genres

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

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Etched Onyx and the Story Discovery Podcast

Onyx Publications

The Fall Edition Contest is an open, mixed-category contest. In other words, we have no limitations or expectations on which types of works will win awards. Selections are based on originality, voice, and style. Last year's contest had 4 prose winners and 2 poetry winners. (An early bird entry fee of $7.50 runs till July 31)

Top prize

$500

Additional prizes

Second Prize $250 | Third Prize $100 | 3 Honorable Mentions $50 each

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: August 28, 2022


Genres

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

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Elegant Literature's Contest For New Writers

Elegant Literature

We are the first magazine to pay professional rates and only accept submissions from new writers. We don't allow pros to submit, so your work has a better chance to be selected. Each month we hold a contest based on a short fiction prompt. You write a wonderful story and enter the contest. We choose the winner who receives the grand prize. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors above-professional rates, and publish them in our magazine.

Top prize

$3,000

Additional prizes

Paid publication, 25 x $20 USD.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: July 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Gothic Novella Contest

Briar Press NY

Briar Press NY is looking for a Novella in the Gothic tradition, previously unpublished and set in any historical time period and place/culture up until 1970. We are looking for beautiful writing, an engaging plot, memorable characters, and that authentic Gothic atmosphere (classic tropes are welcomed, but we also want substance and depth!) 75 to 150 pp long (18,000 to 38,000 words)

Top prize

Publication with Briar Press NY in Autumn 2022

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: July 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Novella, Romance, Thriller

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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: October 01, 2022


Genres

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

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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

Additional prizes

2nd Prize: $243 | 3rd Prize: $122

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $8

Deadline: August 31, 2022


Genres

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

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2nd Annual WCWF Writing Contest

Wine Country Writers' Festival

Fire up those pens and get those unpublished stories and poems submitted to WCWF 2nd Annual Writing Contest. Three winners in each category, publication in Anthology, and your own copy. Entries: $15 or two for $25.

Top prize

$150

Additional prizes

2nd Place: $75 | 3rd Place: $50

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: July 29, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Beagle North Competition

Beagle North

The theme for Beagle North's short story competition changes quarterly. - Your story must be no longer than 2,500 words (not including the title) - Only one story permitted per person, each quarter - Stories must be in English

Top prize

£20 Amazon Voucher

Additional prizes

£10 Amazon voucher for 2nd and 3rd place

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: June 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Geminga: $250 for Tiny Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, or Art

Sunspot Lit

Authors and artists eligible. Sunspot Lit’s Geminga contest honors the power of the small. No restrictions on theme or category. $250 cash, publication for the winner, and publication offered to runners-up and finalists. Enter as many times as you like, but only one piece per submission.

Top prize

$250

Additional prizes

Publication in digital and print

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $6

Deadline: June 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

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The Dante Rossetti Awards

Chanticleer Book Reviews and Media

The Dante Rossetti Awards Categories are: Contemporary Young Adult; SFF & Paranormal; Dystopian/Edgy/Urban; Mystery/Thriller/Suspense; Historical Young Adult; YA Adventure/Romance. The Chanticleer Prize Package includes: A Prize Ribbon to use in promotion at book signings and book festivals Digital Badges for display on your website or incorporation into book covers Book stickers to identify your print books to bookstore shoppers as they browse.

Top prize

$1,000

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $99

Deadline: August 30, 2022


Genres

Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Romance, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult

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International Novel Prize

Grindstone Literary

The 2022 Grindstone International Novel Prize is open to authors from all around the world, and is aimed at discovering and elevating new and unsung authors. Authors may submit finished or part-finished manuscripts providing they are not currently represented by an agent. We forward all longlisted works to some of the best agencies in the UK such as Curtis Brown Books, Conville and Walsh, Janklow & Nesbitt, the Paper Literary Agency, the Good Literary Agency, and so many more.

Top prize

£1,000

Additional prizes

Runner Up: £500 | 4x Shortlist: £125 | Longlist: Entries forwarded to affiliated agents.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: October 01, 2022


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, 2023


Genres

Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, 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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Caledonia Novel Award

Caledonia Novel Award

Now in our ninth year of competition, we are an Edinburgh-based, international award for unpublished and self-published novelists in all genres for adults and YA. This year's judge is Charlotte Seymour, literary agent at Johnson & Alcock. On top of the £1,500 top prize, the best entry from the UK and Ireland will receive a place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre.

Top prize

£1, 500

Additional prizes

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

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: November 01, 2022


Genres

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

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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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2nd Annual WCWF Writing Contest

Wine Country Writers' Festival

Fire up those pens and get those unpublished stories and poems submitted to WCWF 2nd Annual Writing Contest. Three winners in each category, publication in Anthology, and your own copy. Entries: $15 or two for $25. See the contest rules and enter now. Blind Judging.

Top prize

$150

Additional prizes

Publication in an anthology

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $15

Deadline: July 29, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

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ElegantLiterature's Fiction Contest

ElegantLiterature.com

We help new talent go pro, award life-changing prize money, and promote fiction writers worldwide. Each month we hold a contest based on a short fiction prompt. You write a wonderful story and enter the contest. We choose the winner who receives the grand prize. We also choose the best stories, pay the authors above-professional rates, and publish them in our magazine. Anyone can submit work to the magazine for free, but you must be an Elegant+ Member to enter the contests and win prizes. Membership is $10/month.

Top prize

$3000 USD + $0.10/word for publication

Additional prizes

Publication in online monthly magazine

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: May 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

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The Synopsis Skirmish—a contest for querying authors

Darling Axe Editing

Summarize your novel in 500 words for a chance at a $1000 CAD prize pool! Our judge, Michelle Barker, will be asking herself one question: "Does this synopsis convince me that I'm in the hands of an adept novelist with a unique and engaging story to tell?"

Top prize

$560

Additional prizes

$200 for second place, $100 for third

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $5

Deadline: May 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Creative Writing Ink Short Story Competition 2022

Creative Writing Ink

We're looking for short stories of up to 3000 words. Stories can be any theme, genre, or subject - the world is your oyster! Top prize is £1000, plus a free creative writing course of your choice and publication on our site. Two runners-up will receive £200 each."

Top prize

$1,333

Additional prizes

Free creative writing course, publication online

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $12

Deadline: September 30, 2022


Genres

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

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The Christy Award

The Christy Award

The Christy Award® was established in 1999 to acknowledge the value and impact of the novel of faith in contemporary culture. Since that time, the Christys have been a focal point for the writers and publishers in our community, symbolizing the best aspirations and accomplishments of writers who write from a perspective of faith and who create stories with matters of belief at their core.

Top prize

Award

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $175

Deadline: March 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Christian, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Young Adult

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100 Word Writing Contest

Tadpole Press

100 words per entry. Submit as many entries as you’d like. All ages. All genders. All nationalities. All writers welcome. This year's theme is the power of words. The words we write, the words we say, the words we keep to ourselves. They make a difference in the lives of those around us. How can you use your words to instill a sense of calm, of hope, of community? To remind one another of the beauty of diversity. To encourage us to support, love, and inspire one another.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

2nd: writing coach package 3rd: developmental or diversity editing package.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: April 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult

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The Writerwerx University Novel Opening Contest

Writerwerx University

Submit the first 1,000 words of your published book.

Top prize

$2,000

Additional prizes

2nd Place: $1,000 cash/prizes, 3rd Place $100 cash/prizes

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $20

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

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

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Debut Dagger

Crime Writer's Association

The Debut Dagger is a competition for the opening of a crime novel by a writer who isn’t represented by an agent by the time the competition closes, and who has never had a traditional contract for any novel of any length, or who has never self-published any novel of any length in the last 5 years. Writers submit their opening 3,000 words and a 1,500 word synopsis. Entries from shortlisted writers are sent to UK literary agents and publishers. Every year, authors find representation this way.

Top prize

$675

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $49

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Suspense, Thriller

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Olive Woolley Burt Awards For Creative Writing

League of Utah Writers

The Olive Woolley Burt Awards are open to the general public for previously unpublished work. Discounts for entry given to members of the League of Utah Writers.

Top prize

$150

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $10

Deadline: May 13, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Writing, Script Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

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The Daphne du Maurier Award For Excellence in Mystery/Suspense Unpublished Division

RWA Kiss of Death Chapter

The Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense is named for Daphne du Maurier, the author of Rebecca, a suspense novel with romantic and gothic overtones and a precursor to today’s romantic suspense. The writing contest is for unpublished authors of mystery, suspense, and thrillers with or without romantic subplots.

Top prize

Award

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: March 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Thriller

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The Daphne du Maurier Award For Excellence in Mystery/Suspense (Published Division)

RWA Kiss of Death Chapter

The Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense is named for Daphne du Maurier, the author of Rebecca, a suspense novel with romantic and gothic overtones and a precursor to today’s romantic suspense. The writing contest is for published authors of mystery, suspense, and thrillers with or without romantic subplots.

Top prize

Award

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $30

Deadline: March 15, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Thriller

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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 (Expired)


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 (Expired)


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 (Expired)


Genres

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

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CWA Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition

Crime Writers' Association

Every year since 2014, the CWA and the Margery Allingham Society have jointly held an international competition for a short story of up to 3,500 words. Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery, and not only that, but one which fits into Golden Age crime writer Margery Allingham’s definition of what makes a great story. Entries are invited from all writers, published or unpublished, writing in English.

Top prize

£500

Additional prizes

Two weekend passes to CrimeFest

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $16

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Mystery, Short Story

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Season Themes

HAVOK Publishing

HAVOK is a constant flash fiction contest, with rolling deadlines. Each season is split into monthly competitions with thematically connected prompts in a range of genres.

Top prize

$100

Additional prizes

Publication in an anthology. Potential for larger gift card wins.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: January 31, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

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The Adventure Writers Competition

Adventure Writers

Any novels between 50,000 and 200,000 words that are in the realm of action/adventure/thriller/mystery - and chocked-full of adventure - are welcome. New and previously published books welcome, though you must have sold or given away less than 10,000 books of the title(s) you enter. We do not accept sci-fi, fantasy, horror or young children's books. See our website for info on rules and entering.

Top prize

$1,000

Additional prizes

Consideration by Braveship Books for publishing/promotion, free book trailer, free editing sample

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: $35

Deadline: April 30, 2022 (Expired)


Genres

Fiction, Novel, Thriller, Mystery

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