The 2021 St. Martin’s Minotaur/ Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

Deadline: 1 January 2021
Open to: all writers ages 18 or above who haven’t never been the author of any Published Novel (with the exception of self-published works)
Benefits: a publication offer with a USD 10,000 award and recognition at the Edgar Awards Banquet in New York City


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. They are dedicated to promoting higher regard for crime writing and recognition and respect for those who write within the genre by not only providing scholarships for writers, but they also sponsor MWA Literacy programs, present the Edgar® Awards, sponsor symposia and conferences and many other activities.


In order to be eligible to apply for this competition, you:

  • Must be 18 or over in age;
  • Must not have published any book in any genre, with the exception of self publishing works (the manuscript that you submit must not be a self published work);
  • Have to have themes such as murder or other serious crimes or crime has to be a central part of your manuscript;
  • Must submit your manuscript as a Microsoft Word document or PDF. All manuscripts must be double-spaced, with pages numbered consecutively from beginning to end and saved as “Manuscript Title_Entrant Name.”


The chosen winner will be offered a standard form author’s agreement for publication of the winning Manuscript. If accepted, the winner will receive an advance of USD 10,000 against future royalties. If the chosen winner accepts the publishing deal, they will then be recognized at the Edgar Awards Banquet in New York City in April 2021.


For more information on the application process, please visit the official website.