Wilson Mezacalero

 T.E. Wilson, Mezcalero, Boularderie Island Press

First book in the Detective Sánchez chronicles. Rich in detail, this is an absorbing tale that shines light into the dark corners of Mexico's pervasive and devastating world of organized crime.

Brown EvilResurrection

 Harold Lea Brown, Deadly Invisible Enemies: Evil Resurrection, Harold Lea Brown

What if all things that happen in life, good and evil, are not random or coincidence, but really intentional cyber events?

Sullivan Yolk

 Colleen Baxter Sullivan, Yolk, Waldorf Publishing

Yolk is a fun, fast-paced, but ultimately suspense-filled novel filled with complex characters and a mystery that unfolds in an exciting way.

Orchard OverMayaDeadBody

 Sandra Orchard, Over Maya Dead Body, Revell Publishing

FBI agent Serena Jones must unearth the ringleader of an antiquities smuggling ring on Martha's Vineyard before another dead body turns up.

Bronken BloodyBusinessofLuck

 Trine Bronken, The Bloody Business of Luck, Trine Bronken

Communications manager Kate Logan and investigative reporter Rhys Wilson, butt heads and dodge bodies to avoid being the next victims of the Provincial Lottery Corporation.

Barclay Chase

 Linwood Barclay, Chase, Puffin Canada

The Incredible Journey meets Gordon Korman's On the Run in this exciting middle-grade thriller.

Kellough HeartBalmTort

 Janet Kellough, The Heart Balm Tort, Janet Kellough

Preacher Thaddeus Lewis investigates seduction, arson and murder in London, Canada West. When his granddaughter Martha is threatened by the killer, Thaddeus gets some unexpected help from an old adversary - con-artist and fraudster Clementine Elliott

White DrownedGirls

 

Loreth Anne White, The Drowned Girls, Montlake

When a rapist escalates to serial murder, a sex crimes detective takes a turn at homicide.

Sullivan Jaded

 

Colleen Baxter Sullivan, Jaded, Waldorf Publishing

As a sequel to Lil’s Way, Jaded takes you to a new level of intrigue and thrills. Delve into this world of deceit and family drama leading to murder. 

Doyle GhostsintheBrothel

 

Robert U. Doyle, Ghosts in the Brothel, APF Press

A sex worker murders a mob enforcer and escapes a Toronto brothel.Tara Street takes on the mob and ghosts in this cracker of a case.

Soosar PTA

 

Jennifer Soosar, Parent Teacher Association, Black Opal Books

A small town with a bad reputation. A troubled new teacher. An aggressive mother with a bizarre agenda. Welcome to Splinter Wood, Pennsylvania.

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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

Entry Form for Unhanged Arthur

Books by Members