Are you an aspiring crime writer? English newspaper The Telegraph is offering an unprecedented opportunity to be published by one of the world’s leading literary imprints.
Who Can Enter
The competition is open to writers from anywhere in the world. Entries must be unpublished works of fiction aimed at adult readers and written in the English language.
The prize is only open to those who have not had a novel published before and are not already signed with a literary agent.
Harvill Secker, an imprint of Penguin Random House, will offer the winning writer a publishing deal – either physical and digital, or digital only – and a non-returnable advance of £5,000 (approximately US$8,000) for world rights in the book.
The final book will be published by Harvill Secker and be available for purchase through the Telegraph Bookshop, as well as in shops and online. An extract from the winning entry will be printed in The Telegraph in 2014.
How to Enter
Your book does not have to be finished for you to enter, but you must have a detailed plan. In keeping with the international nature of Harvill Secker’s profile, the crime book must contain an international element of some sort (ie an element from outside the United Kingdom).
It’s up to writers how they interpret this requirement. It could be just a weapon that’s come from abroad, a character with a connection to another country, or the whole book could be set outside the UK. A significant international component does not, however, mean that a book will have a greater chance of winning.
To enter the competition writers must submit:
- the first 5,000 words of their crime novel
- a detailed, two-page double-spaced synopsis of how the rest of the book unfolds, including the ending
- a detailed two-page synopsis which includes details of the Novel’s plot, main characters and ending
- a £5 entry fee.
A panel of judges will select the winning entry on the basis of editorial merit. The winner will be notified by 14 February 2014.
The closing date for the competition is 23:59 30th November 2013 GMT
Useful Advice for Entrants
The Telegraph have published a number of great resources for writers intending to enter the competition.
- Alison Hennessey, senior editor at Harvill Secker and one of the prize’s judges explaining why she decided to launch the competition
- An online ‘masterclass’ with Alice LaPlante explaining how to create suspense
- A two video interviews with Jo Nesbo with tips and advice
Entries in The Telegraph Harvill Secker Crime Writing Competition will be assessed by a panel of four judges. The judges are:
- Alison Hennessey, senior editor at Harvill Secker – follow Alison on Twitter @crime_queen
- Sam Copeland, literary agent at RCW – follow Sam on Twitter @stubbleagent
- Jon Stock, Telegraph books desk and author of the Daniel Marchant spy thriller trilogy – follow Jon on Twitter @MarchantM16
- Richard Reynolds, crime buyer at Heffers Bookshop, Cambridge – follow Heffers on Twitter @heffersbookshop
For more writing competitions, visit our Opportunities for Writers list for November and December.
Image credit: Tex Texin via Creative Commons