Writing Contest Competition

The Territory"Wordharvest supports authors and encourages great writing."- Anne Hillerman and Jean Schaumberg

Sponsored by St. Martin's Press and WORDHARVEST, the Tony Hillerman Prize is awarded annually for the best first mystery set in the Southwest. The winner receives a contract with St. Martin's Press for publication of the novel and $10, 000. Named after New Mexico's best known mystery author, the Tony Hillerman Prize competition is open to any professional or non-professional writer who has never been the author of a published mystery, or under contract with a publisher for publication of a mystery. Murder or another serious crime or crimes must be at the heart of the story, with the emphasis on the solution rather than the details of the crime.

The prize was established in 2006 to honor Albuquerque mystery writer Hillerman and has been awarded for The Replacement Child by Christine Barber, by Roy Chaney, The Territory by Tricia Field, by Andrew Hunt, and most recently to CB McKenzie for Bad Country (to be published in 2014). Learn more about the past winners and get tips about crafting a winning entry.

“City of Saints, a local nickname for Salt Lake City, is the fourth novel to win the Tony Hillerman Prize designed to find unpublished authors whose novels are set in the Southwest. The prize has garnered a reputation for introducing excellent authors, such as Hunt, whose debut respects the memory of the late Hillerman, who died in 2008.” —Sun Sentinel

Hillerman Prize Rules and Guidelines

Only one manuscript entry is permitted per writer. All entries must be received or postmarked no later than June 1. All manuscripts submitted: a) must be original works of book length (no less than 220 typewritten pages or approximately 60, 000 words) written in the English language by the contestants; b) must not violate the rights of any third party, and c) must generally follow these guidelines:

1. Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story, and emphasis is on the solution rather than the details of the crime.

2. The story’s primary setting is the Southwestern United States, including at least one of the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

3. All entries must be received or postmarked no later than June 1 and must include:

a) A double-spaced and neatly typed copy of the manuscript (photocopies are acceptable), with pages numbered consecutively listed from beginning to end. The author’s name should appear only on the title page, and otherwise not appear anywhere on the manuscript pages.

b) A letter or cover sheet containing the name, address, email address and telephone number of the contestant and the contestant's previous writing credits, if any.

4. All entries must be mailed to St. Martin's Press at:
St. Martin's Minotaur/THWC Competition, St. Martin's Minotaur

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Achiever | Noah Bunch wins writing contest  — The Courier-Journal
Achievement: Noah won first place in Kentucky's 2014 Letters About Literature writing contest for level 2, grades 7 and 8. He was the only local student to win an award this year.