HarperFiction has launched Killing It: The Killer Reads Competition for Undiscovered Writers which aims to open the door for crime authors looking for a way into the publishing industry.
The competition, which is encouraging submissions from Black, Asian and minority ethnic writers in particular, is offering three winners editorial reports from HarperFiction crime editors on their full manuscripts, covering pace, characterisation, pitch, and more, plus editorial mentoring with up to three one-hour sessions.
Entrants are asked to send the first 10,000 words of their fiction crime, thriller or suspense novel and the book needs to be complete or near complete by April to enter, as full scripts may be called in. They must also include a short synopsis of up to 500 words and a short paragraph about themselves, sending it to email@example.com by 7th April 2021.
An optional opening sentence is also provided for those who might be just getting started: “The body was lying in the snow, covered in a smattering of dead leaves.” The judging panel will feature HarperFiction editorial director Phoebe Morgan, commissioning editor Kathryn Cheshire, assistant editor Sophie Churcher, and crime reviewer and journalist Ayo Onatade.
During the submission period, HarperFiction will be offering prospective entrants a host of virtual events, providing tips and guidance on writing a crime/thriller novel, kicking off with a virtual masterclass with crime and thriller publisher Julia Wisdom and literary agent Felicity Blunt, later this month.
Morgan said: “The publishing industry continues to at times appear impenetrable, and we want to take steps to change that, starting with hearing from a new raft of talented voices who may not yet have been heard. I’m thrilled to launch the Killing It competition and we are so looking forward to reading the submissions. If you think you’ve got a crime, thriller or suspense book in you, send it our way, and look out for virtual events over the coming weeks that might help answer any questions and provide further guidance.
"At HarperFiction we are dedicated to seeking out and amplifying talent from all writers but this competition will focus on those who are currently sorely underrepresented in our industry. I can’t wait to read your stories.”
Onatade added: “I am delighted to be part of this judging panel. Crime fiction is read by so many and encouraging a broader range of submissions is a splendid way of ensuring that the genre continues to grow and evolve. I look forward to reading the submissions which I am sure will be of the highest quality and will amaze all the judges.”
For more information, visit the competition website.