eBook Original Mystery Novel Contest


The finalists have been chosen! Find them here...


Otto Penzler, President and Publisher of MysteriousPress.com, has announced a contest for the Mysterious Press Award, which will be given for the best e-book original mystery novel. The winning entry will receive a prize of $25,000 and guaranteed world-wide publication. The winner will be announced at the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair.

“Digitally published books have become a major element of the publishing landscape over the past few years.” said Penzler, “Our goal is to acknowledge the outstanding work being produced in this format and reward it appropriately. We expect to have some truly wonderful manuscripts submitted for this substantial prize.”

Among those sponsoring the contest will be MysteriousPress.com partners who distribute and market its books: Open Road Integrated Media, in North America and numerous countries around the world; Head of Zeus in the British Commonwealth; Hayakawa Publishing (Japan, Singapore, and South Korea), Bonnier (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland); Dutch Media Books (Holland and Belgium), and Bastei Lubbe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Greece, and selected Eastern European countries). MysteriousPress.com e-books are distributed in China by Trajectory.

Submissions will be accepted from January 1 through April 30, 2016 June 30, 2016. Entries must be in English and submitted both electronically (to contest@mysteriouspress.com) 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 MysteriousPress.com. 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 MysteriousPress.com and its partners are not eligible. See Official Rules (below) for entry requirements and complete details. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. 

The $25,000 prize will be an advance against future royalties. MysteriousPress.com 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.

* Please note that we've extended the deadline for submission. 

Keep an eye on our blog for updates. 

Entries: contest@mysteriouspress.com

Questions: info@mysteriouspress.com


eBook Original Mystery Novel Contest

Official Rules

Entries can be submitted in the eBook Original Mystery Novel Contest ("Contest") between January 1, 2016 and April 30, 2016 ("Contest Entry Period"). By participating, participants agree to abide by these official rules (“Official Rules”) and decisions of The Mysteriouspress.com (“Sponsor”) and judges, which shall be final and binding in all respects relating to this Contest.  For the purpose of this Contest, “participant” shall refer, individually and collectively, to both the literary agent who submits the entry and the author(s) who wrote the entry.

WHO CAN SUBMIT: Entries will only be accepted from accredited literary agents.  Employees of Sponsor, The Mysterious Bookshop and Grove/Atlantic, Inc., and their respective parent, subsidiaries, affiliates and advertising and promotion agencies, and members of their immediate family (spouse and parent, children and siblings and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and persons living in the same household, whether or not related, of such employees, are not eligible to enter or win. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. Void where prohibited.

HOW TO SUMBIT:  During the Contest Entry Period, to enter, literary agent must submit a complete, original, full-length novel that has never been published in any format ("Entry"). Entries must be in English and submitted both electronically to contest@mysteriouspress.com and in printed format to: The Mysterious Press, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY 10007. Limit one (1) book per author.  Multiple submissions for any author will void all but the first submission. A literary agent should have permission from the author(s) to submit the Entry into this Contest. Participants will retain ownership of nonwinning Entries. Manuscripts will not be returned.

Categories Accepted: 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, provided it would not also fall within one of the prohibited categories below.

Categories NOT Accepted: Horror, supernatural, fantasy, and science fiction works are not eligible.      

REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES: By submitting an Entry, participants represent and warrant that the author(s) owns all right, title and interest to the Entry and that the Entry does not infringe on the intellectual property or other rights of any third party (i.e., Entry was written by author and does not include any material from other publications, essays, novels, etc.).

JUDGING:  All eligible Entries received by Sponsor will be judged by a panel of qualified judges based on, among other things, the following criteria: originality, quality of writing, and literary quality (collectively, “Judging Criteria”).  In the event of a tie, an additional, “tie-breaking” judge will determine the winner based on the Judging Criteria. Sponsor reserves the right to not select a winner if, in its sole discretion, it does not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified Entries. Sponsor will not reveal the judging scores or provide feedback for any Entry.

WINNER NOTIFICATION: Potential winner will be notified through the literary agent who submitted the winning Entry by email or telephone or mail.  Potential winner will be required to execute a publishing agreement with Sponsor (see Prize details below) within a time period to be specified by Sponsor. If potential winner does not respond to the initial notification within the time period stated, all required documents are not returned within the specified time period, a prize notification is returned as undeliverable, or potential winner is not in compliance with these rules, prize will be forfeited and, at Sponsor’s discretion, a runner-up may be selected.

Prize: Winner will receive a publishing agreement with Sponsor with a $25,000 advance against royalties conditioned on the winner agreeing to accept the standard contract terms of The Mysterious Press including, without limitation, the grant of worldwide rights in and to the winning Entry (excluding dramatic rights) for published electronic and other editions of such winning Entry by and through Sponsor and its affiliates and publishing partners.  There is no guarantee of income in excess of such $25,000 advance described above, nor any estimate of critical or financial success of such winning Entry.  In the event the winner will not accept the standard terms, prize will be forfeited and Sponsor will have no further obligation of any nature to the winner.  All federal, state and local taxes associated with prize acceptance, publication and use are the sole responsibility of the winner.  Winner may not substitute, assign or transfer a prize, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute a prize of comparable or greater value.  All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion. 

PUBLICITY GRANT: Each winner, by acceptance of prize, except where legally prohibited, grants permission for Sponsor and its designees to use his/her name, city and state of residence, Entry, likeness and/or image and prize information for advertising, trade and promotional purposes without further compensation, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, in any manner, worldwide in perpetuity, without notice or review or approval.

RELEASE OF LIABILITY:  By participating, each participant agrees to release, indemnify, discharge and hold harmless Sponsor,  Grove/Atlantic, Inc., Open Road Integrated Media, all distribution partners, and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from participant’s participation in the Contest or any Contest-related activity, the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the prize and/or Sponsor’s use of the rights granted herein.

GENERAL CONDITIONS: Released Parties are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, delayed, misdirected, undelivered, or garbled Entries, messages, email or mail; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the processing or judging of Entries, the announcement of the prize or in any Contest-related materials.  Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest.  Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to any person's computer related to or resulting from participating in this Contest.  Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the Contest who act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated Entries will be void. Should any portion of the Contest be, in Sponsor’s sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play, or submission of Entries, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Contest and, if terminated, at its discretion, select the potential winners from all eligible, non-suspect Entries received prior to action taken using the judging procedure outlined above or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsor. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND OTHER REMEDIES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

Request for Winners Name: The winner will be announced at The Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2016.

Sponsor: MysteriousPress.com, 58 Warren Street, New York, N.Y. 10007.

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