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The Black Spring Crime-Writing Prize 2020

Black Spring Press (founded in 1985) is pleased to announce the second annual Black Spring Crime-Writing Prize to be awarded to the best Crime Fiction novel submitted to us during the year 2020. The prize will guarantee publication of the winning novel within eighteen months of the competition’s closure.

In such a crowded market, we are looking for something fresh, something that makes us think differently and breaks away from the genre’s stereotypes. It’s difficult to quantify. It may be hard-boiled or comical, complicated or a simple whodunit. We will not discriminate against any form of crime novel or thriller. For the purposes of the competition, a novel must constitute a minimum of 50,000 words.

The winning novel will be published in paperback format with the Black Spring imprint, with an advance of $1,000 USD. It will be supported by all means at our disposal: our editors and proof-readers, our sales team and our distributors. 

It doesn’t matter how many rejections you’ve received from other publishers and agents, our judge will read it with fresh eyes. ANYONE 18 YEARS OR OLDER MAY ENTER - from any nation. The manuscript must be at least 50% unpublished and entirely the author's own.

The winner will be announced by the London Book Fair, 2021, where it will be pitched for foreign rights.

This year’s judge will be published crime writer Martin Penny, whose series focuses on a young British woman cop in the 90s, hunting a serial killer. He collects Agatha Christie books, and lives in Turkey. He is a fan of any well-written crime, thriller or mystery book able to combine wit and plot to tell a great story.

Note: This competition may be cancelled without prior notice if less than 100 entries are received; and all entry fees will be fully returned. All judging and other contest decisions are binding.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.