The 2020 St. Martin’s Minotaur/ Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition/ How to Submit (Prizes: $10,000 + more)

Submissions are now open for the 2020 St. Martin’s Minotaur/ Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition. The prize, which is sponsored by the Minotaur Books and Mystery Writers of America (MWA), is a prize for a crime novel manuscript of not less than 60,000 words. According to their site, the manuscript to be entered for the prize must have “murder or another serious crime or crimes at its heart”. The winner will have their manuscript published and will receive $10,000 advance against future royalties. The deadline for submission is January 3, 2020.

Who is Eligible:

  • Any writer from anywhere in the world who is 18 years or older, and who has not published any book.
  • NOTE: Authors of self-published works may submit, given that the submitted manuscript has never been published.

How to Submit:

  • Format your manuscript: 12pt, Times New Romans, double spaced, and as Word Documents or PDF’s. All pages of the manuscript must also be numbered. The manuscript to be submitted should be saved as “Manuscript Title_Entrant Name”.
  • NOTE: Each entrant should keep a copy of their manuscript.
  • The manuscript must be about murder or a very serious crime, or both.
  • The manuscript must not be less than 60,000 words.
  • Do the best you can to submit early.
  • NOTE: Entrants must have a valid e-mail address.
  • The deadline for submissions is January 3, 2020.
  • The winner will be notified no later than March 31, 2020. In the case where the winner cannot be reached, another winner will be selected.
  • Submit here.


  • The winner will receive a $10,000 advance against future royalties, after an agreement has been signed with Minotaur Books.
  • The winning manuscript will be published by Minotaur Books, after the author has reached into a standard form author’s agreement with them.
  • The author will be recognized at the Edgar Awards Banquet in New York City in April 2020.


Best of luck.


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