The Mesdames of Mayhem are planning their third collection of crime fiction stories, which will be released next fall. Titled Thirteen Claws, the anthology will showcase stories by the 15 Mesdames–I’m putting the final touches on mine right now. AND one spot will be reserved for a story by a Canadian writer who has never been published in the crime fiction genre.
Submissions will be judged blind by a committee. All personal identifiers must be removed from the header, footer and body of the story submission.
This contest is a great opportunity for unpublished fiction writers. The winner will have his or her story in a paperback and an e-book, and have a publication credit to add to query letters and resumes. Winning or being shortlisted in a writing contest is a shot of adrenaline for writers who are honing their craft in isolation. I consider being a finalist in Crime Writers of Canada’s inaugural Unhanged Arthur contest (for unpublished crime novelists) in 2007 a major turning point in my fiction writing career. The fact that the judges included my manuscript in the top five submissions meant they liked my work! It was the fuel I needed to keep going.
Here are the submission rules for Thirteen Claws:
- The story must be about a crime, either solving it or trying to prevent it from happening.
- An animal must be central to the story. Any animal is allowed: for example, a cat, dog, rabbit, bear, snake, even a dragon or other mythical beast. The writer’s imagination is the only limit. The animal must be a main character or pivotal to the plot. In other words, if the animal was taken out, there would be no story.
- Writers must not have had a work of prose crime fiction published (i.e. short story, novella or novel) in either print or electronic form. Writers whose stories appear on their own personal blog(s) and writers who have had poetry or non-fiction newspaper or magazine articles or non-fiction books about crime are allowed to submit a story for this contest.
- Writers must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident in Canada.
- The story length should be between 2000 and 5000 words.
- A maximum of two submissions per writer
- Formatting requirements:
- No personal identifiers anywhere in the header, footer or body of the story
- Include the story title and page number in the document header
- Story file in .rtf format, double-spaced, Times New Roman (12 point) or similar, 1” margins and please, no unusual formatting.
- Each submission must include a title page with the story title, name of the author and the word count of the story.
- Deadline for submission is March 15, 2017.
- All submissions must be electronic and sent to mcallway1@ .
- The contest judges reserve the right to name more than one winner. They also have the right to not declare a winner if none of the entries meet a standard suitable for publication in the anthology.
- The winning author(s) must be prepared to sign a contract with Carrick Publishing.
- Royalties will be shared equally between all contributors to the anthology after the publisher’s expenses are recovered and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Toronto Humane Society.
GOOD LUCK! Thirteen is the Mesdames’ lucky number. It may be yours too.