Thursday, October 01, 2015

New Prize Promotes Digital Crime

With electronic books (and e-book versions of printed works) having gained at least a fair share of the annual book-sales market,, the digital arm of publisher Mysterious Press, reports that it’s creating the Mysterious Press Award, “which will be given for the best e-book original mystery novel.” A contest will be held to choose the winning entry, which “will receive a prize of $25,000 and guaranteed world-wide publication. The winner will be announced at the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair,” explains a press release.

That official communiqué goes on to read:
Submissions will be accepted from January 1 through April 30, 2016. Entries must be in English and submitted both electronically (to and in printed format (to The Mysterious Press, 58 Warren Street, New York, N.Y. 10007). Limit of one book per author. Initial readings of manuscripts will be handled by editors and associates of The top three entries will then be circulated to its world-wide partners for a final decision.

The contest is open to established authors as well as first-time novelists. Submissions of complete, full-length novels will be accepted only from accredited literary agents and must never have been published previously in any format. All categories will be considered: Traditional detective stories, hard-boiled, noir, police procedural, suspense, crime, historical, humor--any book in which a crime, or the threat of a crime, is central to the theme or the plot. Horror, supernatural, fantasy, and science-fiction works are not eligible. The winner will be chosen based on a variety of criteria, including originality and literary quality. Manuscripts will not be critiqued and will not be returned. Employees of Grove/Atlantic, the Mysterious Bookshop, and and its partners are not eligible. See Official Rules for entry requirements and complete details at our Web site, No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

The $25,000 prize will be an advance against future
royalties. will publish it as an e-book original with print-on-demand copies also available. World-wide partners will have all rights (excluding dramatic rights) to publish in all formats.
At this point, I’m told, no decision has been made as to whether the Mysterious Press Award will be a one-off for this year, or become an annual prize. Sources do, though, mention that Mysterious Press president-publisher Otto Penzler envisions “doing other contests/awards in the future, but time will tell what form [they] will take, or if [they] will be for a different category, etc.”

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