Harvill Secker and Bloody Scotland relaunch crime competition for writers of colour

Harvill Secker and Bloody Scotland relaunch crime competition for writers of colour

Harvill Secker and Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival have relaunched their joint award to find the most exciting new crime fiction by writers of colour.

The winner of the Harvill Secker-Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Award will have their book published under the Harvill Secker imprint, in a publishing deal with an advance of £5,000. Entries open today (2nd June) and will run until the 4th August, following a hiatus last year over lockdown.

It will be judged by winner of the inaugural competition Ajay Chowdhury (pictured), journalist and public speaker Paula Akpan, creative producer at Words of Colour Heather Marks, and Harvill Secker editorial director Jade Chandler.  

The winner will be announced in September and will feature in a panel appearance at the Bloody Scotland festival after their book is published, with a guest pass for the weekend’s events. The Arvon Foundation is also supporting the competition as a sponsor and offering the winner the chance to attend any one of its creative writing courses, while The Reading Agency will promote the competition to libraries across the UK.  

Chandler said: “Writers of colour remain underrepresented in crime and thriller writing, so I am proud that we are able to partner with Bloody Scotland once again to run this important writing competition. This genre is varied and offers exciting opportunities for page-turning, creative storytelling. I can’t wait to read this year’s entries.” 

Chowdhury added: “Having enjoyed the utter thrill of my book, The Waiter, winning in 2018, and getting published, I’m so very happy to be part of the process of making this happen for someone else. Diverse voices make crime fiction richer and I’m excited about helping another writer share their unique viewpoint.” 

Marks commented: “Given the recommendations of last year's Rethinking Diversity in Publishing report [launched last June], this is a great opportunity for a crime writer of colour to be published and supported with their craft.” 

Entrants should submit the first 5,000 words of their crime novel, along with a full plot outline. For more information, visit this website