"When I took my novel apart, did away with backstory and the first two chapters, gave the dialogue punch, picked up the pace, deep down I wondered if I’d just destroyed my story. Positive validation came in the email announcing that A Bad Guy Forever was a 2011 Top Ten Claymore finalist. Yes! I can write a mystery! Now I send query letters with pride. A special thank you to the judges that read my 50 pages and thought them worthy. What an honor and what encouragement—when I most needed it!"- JESSICA FERGUSON, author of A Bad Guy Forever
"An update for you on AGAIN. (For the moment called IN THE BARN as a book – and WRONG MOVE for film). My agent Jill (whom I met through Killer Nashville and winning the Claymore Award) and her rights co-agent Andrea sent it to their Hollywood co-agent, who loved it, and next thing I know, he has five big production companies (Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment; Dan Lin, producer of the Sherlock Holmes movies, etc.) all taking it in to their respective studios – Sony, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, etc. etc.) Then some folks we never even sent it to swooped in, made us an offer, and now have the rights - a team of two production companies – Nick Wechsler Productions (The Road, Time Traveler's Wife, Magic Mike) and Steve Schwartz at Chockstone Pictures (The Host, Killing Them Softly, Tree of Life, etc.). Of course, a publisher made an offer two hours after the movie option deal – the tail wagged the dog! And it all got started thanks to a writing contest in Nashville!"- JONATHAN STONE, author of Again
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Over $1,500 in prizes, plus possible book advance and book publication, plus possible agent representation
Enter the first 50 pages of your unpublished crime literature manuscript in the contest.
Judges will consider any subgenre of mystery or thriller, including political thriller, cozy, legal, police procedural, private eye, romantic suspense, paranormal mystery, and historical mystery.
Only publishers appearing on the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers approved publishers list are recommended. We will not connect you with a publisher not appearing on one of these lists.
Any author may enter (published or not); however, the contest is limited to only unpublished manuscripts not currently under contract.
Ten finalists are chosen through a blind judging process. The winner will receive an engraved replica of a Claymore Dagger, free admission to Killer Nashville 2013, and more. The top ten finalists also receive prizes. All authors will receive written feedback. Any manuscript of merit will be recommended by Killer Nashville to agents, editors, and publishers regardless of placement in the contest.
The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony during the Guest of Honor dinner on the evening of Saturday, August 24, 2013.
To attend the awards ceremony, you must purchase tickets for the Guest of Honor Dinner. Register for Killer Nashville and the Guest of Honor Dinner here. The top three finalists will be reimbursed the cost of his/her ticket.
In 2006, the Killer Nashville Conference was formed with one of its primary objectives to be helping writers advance their careers. In 2009, Killer Nashville founder Clay Stafford created the Claymore Award to further that goal by offering aspiring authors a path to publication. Click here to read more about Killer Nashville – A Conference for Thriller, Suspense, & Mystery Writers and Lovers.