Mesdames 13Claws

Mesdames of Mayhem, 13 Claws, Carrick Publishing

Are our animal companions angels or demons? Our friends or our betrayers? 13 Claws is the third anthology by The Mesdames of Mayhem.

Smallman LastCall

Phyllis Smallman, Last Call, Phyllis Smallman

Murder in the confusion of a hurricane, this is a suspenseful story of friendship and endurance.

Cragg DeadReakoning

Carys Cragg, Dead Reckoning: How I Came to Meet the Man Who Murdered My Father, Arsenal Pulp Press

A woman confronts the man who murdered her father twenty years earlier. A powerful and emotional memoir about how reconciling with the past doesn't necessarily provide comfort, but it can reveal the truth.

Nesbitt Baggerman MurderAmongThieves

Lauren Nesbitt-Baggerman, Murder Among Thieves, Volumes

Stolen gems, a notorious murder, the girl who knows: a mystery Matthew Traverse must solve – even if it kills him.

Kerr Framed

Wayne Kerr, Framed, Imajin Books

After surviving ten years in prison for a murder she didn't commit, former homicide detective Reggie Swann, wants to return to her old life.

Crawford BeyondFaith

Sharon A. Crawford, Beyond Faith, Blue Denim Press

Fraternal twins Dana Bowman and Bast Overture are thrust into a twisted scenario of extortion, stalking, fire, vandalism, secret adoptions, a bank robbery, assault, and murders.

Dube ForsakenMan

Marcelle Dubé, The Forsaken Man, Falcon Ridge Publishing

It’s been a hard winter and Chief of Police Kate Williams longs for a quiet Spring. What does she get instead? The theft of valuable bull semen from the local vet and increasingly dangerous vandalism at a construction site.

Arnold PowerStruggle

Carolyn Arnold, Power Struggle, Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Detective Madison Knight investigates the murder of the man who killed her grandfather, and she fears the Russian Mafia is behind it.

Barclay PartingShot

Linwood Barclay, Parting Shot, Doubleday Canada

From New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Linwood Barclay comes a new, standalone blockbuster thriller that spins off from the events of the explosive Promise Falls trilogy.

Evans SeaweedUnderFire

Stanley Evans, Seaweed Under Fire, Ekstasis Editions

If you want somebody's legs broken, even if you want somebody killed it can be arranged, at a price.

Danna Lament

Jen J. Danna, Lament The Common Bones, Jen Danna

Forensic anthropologist Matt Lowell doesn’t go looking for death. But when one of Matt’s students suspects the skeleton hanging in a research lab is actually from a murder victim...

Harlick PurplePaletteforMurder

R.J. Harlick, Purple Palette for Murder, Dundurn Press

Her husband arrested for murder, Meg flies to Yellowknife, where she races to unravel a sordid trail of family secrets and greed to prove his innocence.

Kong Knock Knock

Debra Purdy Kong, Knock Knock, Gypsy Moon Press

Violent home invasions and a brutal assault disrupt Casey’s personal and professional life, but she needs to stop a killer before more people die.

MacLeod CodOnlyKnows

Hilary MacLeod, Cod Only Knows, Acorn Press

Finally, readers of The Shores Mystery series will meet Abel, the man whose been lurking in the background through five books. Cod Only Knows is a fish story about the one that got away - a 300 lb. giant cod that trails murder and mayhem in its wake.

Wilkshire Moscow

Nick Wilkshire, The Moscow Code, Dundurn Press

In Moscow, the truth can be a dangerous commodity.

Ryan Matanzas

Garry Ryan, Matanzas, NeWest Press

Calgary’s Detective Lane flies to Cuba to celebrate the wedding of his beloved niece. While there, though, he finds himself drafted by the local police into investigating the murder of a Canadian tourist.

Dowdall AuPair

Anna Dowdall, The Au Pair, The Wild Rose Press

Montrealer Ashley Smeeton's in a fix.  An au pair job sounds like easy money.  Family secrets and a strange child are one thing.  Murder's another.

Bruce GhostWriter

Alison Bruce, Ghost Writer, Imajin Books

Jen has to deal with two kinds of spooks: spies and ghosts. But which one is trying to kill her?

Duncan MuchAdoAboutMurder

Elizabeth J. Duncan, Much Ado About Murder, Crooked Lane

Costume designer Charlotte Fairfax has another murder on her hands as she prepares for the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company's production of Much Ado About Nothing.

Sullivan Gritty

Colleen Baxter Sullivan, Gritty, Waldorf Publishing

Who would know that when Adam Garwood took a detour through a Montreal Alley, he would meet up with Gritty, a very complex character, taking up residence in a box?

White LullabyGirl

Loreth Anne White, The Lullaby Girl, Montlake

Detective Angie Pallorino's past made her a cop. Now her past could kill her. Book 2 in the Angie Pallorino Series, a gritty, northern noir procedural set on Vancouver Island.

Delany HarktheHerald

Vicki Delany, Hark the Herald Angels Slay, Penguin Random House

Santa’s summer vacation plans turn deadly in this festive mystery from the author of Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen and We Wish You a Murderous Christmas.

Unhanged Arthur Style Guide

In case this is the first writing competition you've entered (or even if you're an old hand at the game), information and RULES follow on how to format and present your submission and how to write a synopsis.

The Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award

for Best Unpublished Crime Manuscript

Sponsored by Dundurn Press

STYLE GUIDE

This page addresses various issues to do with formatting and presentation.

There are a few official rules to do with presentation.

  • Entries must be typed.
  • The title of the entry – but NOT your name – must be on each page of your submission.
  • Pages must be numbered.
  • Use either 12-point Times New Roman or 12-point Courier.
  • Use single line spacing.
  • Margins should be 1 inch
  • Paper size should be 8.5 X 11 inch paper or A4.
  • Print on one side of the page only.

IGNORING THESE RULES MAY DISQUALIFY THE ENTRY.

Beyond these rules, however, there are all sorts of presentation elements which won't disqualify you if you get them wrong, but will which make it much easier for the judges to read and enjoy your work if they are used.

Formatting and Layout

The best way to format text for fiction, used in just about every novel ever published, is as follows:

  • Start new paragraphs with an indented first line.
  • Don't use blank lines between consecutive paragraphs.
  • Do use a blank line or three asterisks to show a break between scenes or a break in the flow of the narrative.
  • Start new chapters on a new page.
  • Use a new paragraph each time a different character starts to speak.

Spelling

  • Check your spelling meticulously.
  • Beware malapropisms and homonyms; words can be spelled correctly and still be terribly wrong. Some examples include a particularly 'viscous murder,' a 'burlesque policeman,' and – in a supermarket – an 'isle of chips.' Do not rely solely on your computer's spell-checker.

Punctuation

Punctuation can be a bit of a minefield, and many of the rules are unclear. Three things in particular to beware of are:

  • Apostrophes: It's a shame that many people can't put an apostrophe in its proper place. 'It's' is a contraction of 'it is'; 'its' shows that something belongs to 'it' (whatever 'it' may be). Apostrophes should never be used for plurals – no 'bag's of orange's.
  • Quotation marks: Always use quotation marks around speech. Standard North American usage is to use the “double quote.”
  • Exclamation marks! Try not to use exclamation marks. If a sentence is witty, funny, or dramatic, the reader will notice anyway. If it's not, you won't make things better by drawing attention to it.

The Synopsis

For many entrants, writing the required synopsis may be more daunting and difficult than writing the initial 10,000 words of their novel. You are not alone. Experienced and published writers balk in exactly the same way that you do when faced with writing one.

  1. The synopsis should be of the entire book.

  2. Use the same narrative style that you use in the book; if the book is 'chatty' don't change to formal in the synopsis.

  3. Be clear. Show plot movements in order, introduce new characters as they appear, if they are major characters show us the 'why' of their actions as well as the 'what'.

  4. Never offer meaningless sentences such as: “Something dreadful was about to happen.” or “What happened next would devastate him.”

  5. Show how sub-plots interlink with the main plot and its characters.

  6. Do not include physical descriptions unless it is absolutely essential.

  7. A synopsis is always written in present tense, never past.

These pages incorporate material written by Michael Jecks, Kay Mitchell, and Edwin Thomas, members of the CWA who have coordinated the Debut Dagger Awards.

We thank Margaret Murphy and the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain for their generosity in allowing us to adapt material from their Debut Dagger Award Website in describing the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel.

And thank you to Louise Penny and Michael Whiteside for the original adaptation of the CWA rules to use for the Unhanged Arthur.

 

Submission Rules for The Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award
for Best Unpublished Crime Manuscript

Unhanged Arthur Online Entry Form (For entering online with the choice of online payment or cheque.)

Printable entry Form for "Unhanged Arthur" (For people who don't like online forms.)

Books by Members