Unpublished Category

Submission Rules for Unpublished Category


Writing a cheque? We can only accept Canadian funds.

 You can use the online form even if you choose to pay by cheque. Or you can use the mail-in form.

Crime Writers of Canada – Awards
716 Thicket Way, Ottawa ON K4A 3B5

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Contact Ludvica Boota, Awards Manager, at



 

2021 Awards Submission Rules for

The CWC Awards of Excellence for

Best Unpublished Crime Manuscript

Sponsored by ECW Press

 (Click here for Published Categories Rules)

Deadline 15 October 2020 @11:59 PM PT

Introduction

The first award for Best Unpublished Crime Manuscript was presented by the Crime Writers of Canada in 2007 as part of the CWC mandate to recognize and promote the careers of promising new crime writers.

The competition is open to (1) Canadian citizens, no matter where they are living, and to writers, regardless of nationality, who have Permanent Resident status in Canada; (2) who have never had a novel of any kind published commercially but who have a completed crime novel manuscript. Contestants initially only enter the first 5000 words plus a full synopsis but must have a completed manuscript (50,000-110,000 words) at the time of entry.

Note: Crime novels include capers, cozies, detective stories, espionage, police procedural, and any other type of mystery, suspense or thrillers. If you are not certain that your submission qualifies, please contact us at

From the initial submissions, up to ten (10) authors will be asked by the judges to submit their completed manuscripts in digital format. A shortlist of up to five (5) finalists will be selected from these completed manuscripts.  Until the finalists are announced at the Shortlist Events on April 21, 2021 authors cannot announce their entry.

ECW will provide an additional judge to the Unpublished jury in the final phase of judging after the finalists have been chosen so that all finalists will have been read by the publisher.

The winner will receive the Unpublished Award statue along with a $500 cash prize from ECW at the CWC Awards Gala on May 27, 2021. Details of the event will be sent to the shortlisted authors.

 Competition Rules

Definition of a Crime Novel

A crime novel must contain a crime (but not necessarily a murder) that is solved or thwarted or carried out by the main character. The crime should be integral to the plot.

Eligibility

The contest is open to all writers who fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

  1. You are a Canadian citizen, regardless of place of residence, or a writer, regardless of nationality, who has been granted Permanent Resident status in Canada.
  2. You have not had a novel, or novel-length work of fiction (50,000+ words), of any kind, published commercially, whether: in print or electronically (i.e., e-book or published on the Internet) or self-published in any genre, including literary fiction under your given name or a pseudonym, and/or written alone or jointly with another author.
  3. You do not have a contract from a publisher for your manuscript. If you accept a novel contract during the course of the contest, you must notify us and your manuscript will be withdrawn without refund.

Note: A novel that has an ISBN or ASIN is considered to be published commercially.

If you are published in the areas of nonfiction, short fiction (novellas and short stories), poetry, or  plays/screenplays, you are eligible to submit.

You are welcome to submit the same manuscript in subsequent years, provided it was not shortlisted for the Unpublished Award and that criteria 1 to 3 are still met.

If you are uncertain whether your manuscript is eligible, contact us at .

Note: The decision of Crime Writers of Canada as to whether a manuscript is eligible for the Unpublished Award is binding.

Submission procedure

NEW PDF Entries:

This year all entries are asked to be emailed in PDF format to the Awards Manager

Entrants must submit:

  1. One (1) digital PDF document containing:
  2. an opening 5000 words of their completed crime novel
  3. a 500-word synopsis of the novel. The synopsis should be of the entire novel. The synopsis is a crucial part of the submission; it's the only way the judges can see the plot development, so take time to write it.
  4. A completed entry form and entry fee for each submission.

Manuscript and synopses must be:

  • In English.
  • Single-spaced on 8.5" x 11" page or A4 paper using 12-point Times New Roman or Courier, with 1-inch margins.
  • Each page of the excerpt, synopsis, and manuscript must have a header in the upper left-hand corner containing the title of the manuscript. Do not include your name in the header.
  • Make sure that each page is numbered.
  • Submissions should be saved using the title of the manuscript and in PDF format
  • Please see the Unpublished Award Style Guide for more details.

Entries are emailed to

Submissions must be emailed by 15 October 2020 @11:59 PM PT or earlier.

We regret that entries after this date cannot be considered.

Payment

Entry fees:

Non-Member Pricing

  • $30 per manuscript

COVID Discount Pricing for CWC Members

  • $15 per manuscript

To receive the CWC member pricing:

  1. Membership must be in good standing
  2. Indicate on the form that you are a CWC member

NOTE: Once the entry has been submitted, CWC is unable to make any price adjustments

Option 1 - ECWID

Go to the CWC Forms page and click on the appropriate form (depending on whether you are a member or not) and fill in the information for each submission. After completing your payment online, e-mail your PDF submission to

Please include the manuscript title and order number in the subject line

If entering more than one manuscript, please send a separate email for each and include the order number in the subject line.

Option 2 - Cheque

Please make out your cheque or money order in Canadian funds to Crime Writers of Canada. Please include confirmation from the online form or use the printable entry form. For your peace of mind, please request a delivery receipt from your courier or post office as the confirmation of receipt will not be sent by the Awards Manager.

Send your payment to:

Crime Writers of Canada Awards
716 Thicket Way
Ottawa, ON
K4A 3B5
Canada

E-mail your PDF submission to  with the manuscript title in the subject line. In the body of the e-mail indicate that you are paying by cheque and include your online confirmation number if applicable.  

If entering more than one manuscript, please send a separate email for each and include one of the manuscript titles in the subject line. In the body of the e-mail indicate that you are paying by cheque.

All payments must be in Canadian funds. No exceptions will be made.

Submissions must be emailed by 15 October 2020 @11:59 PM PT or earlier.

Authors will be notified no later than 15 January 2021, but potentially as early as 15 November 2020, if they have made the longlist and be required to submit, by email, their complete manuscript, in PDF format, at that time or be immediately disqualified. The semi-finalists will also be asked to provide a 100-word book blurb, a 50-word bio, and an author photo via email.

The judging is still blind at this point, so only put your name on the cover email. Make sure your name does not appear in the document or document properties. Do not advertise that you have made the long list, or publish excerpts from your manuscript, until the shortlist is announced. If you do, you may be disqualified, as this is a blind contest.

The Unpublished shortlist, along with the other Awards shortlists, will be announced on Wednesday, 21 April 2021 at the Awards Shortlist events across Canada.

ECW will provide an additional judge to the Unpublished jury in the final phase of judging after the finalists have been chosen so that all finalists will have been read by the publisher. There is no commitment on ECW Press’s part to publish the finalists, nor are the finalists obligated to accept an offer from ECW Press.

No contract can be accepted until the winner is announced without the withdrawal of the manuscript from the competition. The winner will be announced at the CWC Awards Gala, Thursday, 27 May 2021. All shortlisted authors will be sent details about this event.

The winner will receive a special Unpublished Award statue as well as the cash prize of $500 from ECW Press. However, if there is no clear winner, none will be declared.

For more information about the contest, please email:  

For information about Crime Writers of Canada, please email:

Submissions must be emailed by 15 October 2020 @11:59 PM PT or earlier.

PDF Files

2021 Submission Rules for The Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript

Printable entry form (For those who prefer printed forms, and are paying by cheque.)