Published Books and Stories


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Submissions open September 1, 2016



2016 Arthur Ellis Awards
Submission Rules

The 2016 awards are for books and short stories published in 2015. The Arthurs, established in 1984 and named after the nom de travail of Canada's official hangman, are awarded annually by the CWC in the following categories:

  • Best Crime Novel (Min. 50,000 words)
  • Best Crime First Novel (Min. 50,000 words AND author’s 1st novel in any genre.)
  • Best Crime Novella (8,001 - 40,000 words)
  • Best Crime Short Story (Max. 8,000 words)
  • Best French Crime Book (Fiction and Nonfiction)
  • Best Juvenile or YA Crime Book (Fiction and Nonfiction)
  • Best Nonfiction Crime Book

The Arthurs are for CRIME WRITING which encompasses far more than the traditional whodunit. Crime writing includes capers, detective, espionage, mystery, police procedural, suspense, and thrillers, as well as fictional or factual accounts of criminal doings and crime-themed literary works. If you are not certain that your submission qualifies as a crime book or story, please contact us at:

To qualify, a work must fulfill the following criteria:

1. First publication, whether in English or French, in the preceding year (2015) by a Canadian citizen regardless of place of residence, or by a writer, regardless of nationality, who has been granted Permanent Resident status in Canada. The year of publication is determined solely by the copyright date of the book or the short story.

2. If the work was originally published in a language other than English or French, the first English or French translation of the book is still eligible if:

  • this translation is first published in the preceding year (2015), and
  • the author fulfills the above citizenship/residency requirement.

3. If a work is co-authored, at least one of the authors must fulfill the citizenship/Permanent Resident requirement.

4. For full length novels and nonfiction books: The work must be readily available in print for purchase in Canada through a Canadian retailer’s regular channels (bookstores, Chapters/Indigo online,

5. Special eligibility requirements for the First Novel category: In addition to the above eligibility rules, an author entered in this category cannot have had any other novel of any kind published commercially:

  • in print, electronic/e-book, or self-published, and
  • in Canada or any other country, and
  • in any genre, including literary, and
  • under the author's given name or a pseudonym, and alone or jointly with another author

Note 1: A novel that has an ISBN (or ASBN) is considered to be published commercially.

Note 2: The author may be published in other formats (e.g., short stories, non-fiction, plays/screenplays, poetry) and still be eligible to enter in this category.

6. The book or story fits into the crime-writing genre (see above for our description of "crime genre").

Please note that the following books and short stories are not eligible:

  • Translations from English to French or from French to English that have been previously published in the other official language.
  • New editions or revisions that are substantially the same (60% or greater) as the previously published version.


Entry fees:

$35 per title for novels;

$25 per title for the novella category;

$15 per title for short stories ($35 for a collection with 3 short stories that are being entered); and

$35 per title for all other books (French, Nonfiction, Juvenile).

Please make out your cheque or money order in Canadian funds for the appropriate amount to Crime Writers of Canada. If you wish to pay via PayPal, please contact for instructions.

If a category has fewer than six (6) submissions in a given year, all books or stories will be held over to be judged in the Arthur Ellis Awards of the following year.

Short stories and novellas may be submitted as photocopies of the published work or in manuscript form. A photocopy of the first page of the original published version must be included with a manuscript. (Self-published short stories and novellas are not eligible.) If more than one eligible short story or novella appears in an anthology, publishers may find it convenient to submit the anthology. Up to but no more than three (3) pieces per author may be submitted.

Submissions must be postmarked or courier-dated no later than December 15, 2015.

For each submission please include:

  • Four (4) copies of each book title. Three (3) copies of a short story.
  • An entry form for each title. Attach your entry form to the cheque. If the books are being sent separately, please attach a copy of the entry form to the shipment.
  • A cheque or money order in Canadian funds, made out to Crime Writers of Canada, for the entry fee. If you wish to use PayPal, please contact

The shortlists for all categories will be announced in April, 2016. The winners will be announced at the Arthur Ellis Gala in Toronto in May, 2016. Exact dates and details will be announced on the website .

Please send your submission to:

Crime Writers of Canada – 2015 Arthur Ellis Awards
4C-240 Westwood Road
Guelph, Ontario
N1H 7W9


If you are sending books via courier and need a phone number, or for any other inquiry, email:

For information about the contest, please email:

For information about Crime Writers of Canada, please email:



PDF Entry Form for Published Works

PDF Arthur Ellis Rules for Published Works

PDF Le prix Arthur Ellis appel de soumissions

PDF Formulaire d'inscription

Unhanged Arthur Rules for Unpublished Manuscripts