Sheluk HoleinOne

Judy Penz Sheluk, A Hole in One: A Glass Dolphin Mystery (#2), Barking Rain Press

Murder, mystery, and mayhem—small-town secrets have never been bigger…

Whishaw ItBeginInBetrayal

Iona Whishaw, It Begins in Betrayal, TouchWood Editions

Darling has been charged with murder and faces the hangman in London. Lane returns to England to save the man she loves.

Duncan MarmaladeMurders

Elizabeth J. Duncan, The Marmalade Murders, St Martin's Press

Orange is the new dead.

Wiken MarinatinginMurder

Linda Wiken, Marinating in Murder, Berkley Prime Crime

There's one thing J.J. Tanner and the Culinary Capers Dinner Club didn't have on the menu -- the dead body in the trunk!

Violini ClueTrail

Juanita Rose Violini, Clue Trail: From Whodunnit to Solution, Mystery Factory

Clue Trail, based on the Mystery Bones method, is a 'How-To' create clues, beat writers block and stop re-writing book.

Finlay RemoteAccess

Barry Finlay, Remote Access, Keep On Climbing Publishing

Will satisfy readers who have even a casual interest in tonight's news and who love page-turning suspense.

Moss LindstromAlone

John Moss, Lindstrom Alone, Iguana Books: A Stonewood Imprint

Drawn into the saga of a family bent on self-destruction, a Toronto P.I. travels to Sweden and a showdown with a killer on the windswept island of  Fårö.

Guidoccio DifferentKindofReunion

Joanne Guidoccio, A Different Kind of Reunion, The Wild Rose Press

One lost email could cost a life.

Greenaway Creep

R.M. Greenaway, Creep, Dundurn Press

As Halloween approaches, somebody is lurking in fun-fur and scaring the wits out of the locals. But is he, she, or it, also responsible for the mangled corpse.

Shortell CelticKnot

Ann Shortell, Celtic Knot, FriesenPress

Ottawa 1868: A hero shot, a rebel hanged, and three others die before young Irish maid Clara Swift untangles the Celtic Knot.

Arnold SecretLostPharaoh

Carolyn Arnold, The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh, Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor and his friends set off for Egypt when a recent dig hints at the discovery of a legnedary treasure.

Dickinson WhiteRibbonMan

Mary Lou Dickinson, The White Ribbon Man, Inanna Publications

A woman’s body is found in the basement toilet of a downtown Toronto church.

Latest Events

CWC 35th Anniversary Celebration Event: Mystery and Mayhem Writers Panel
Mon Apr 23 @ 4:00PM - 05:30PM
Mesdames of Mayhem
Mon Apr 23 @ 7:00PM - 08:00PM
Iona Whishaw, Book Launch
Tue Apr 24 @ 6:30PM - 09:00PM
Jay Zendrowski - Book Launch and Signing Event
Sat Apr 28 @12:00PM - 04:00PM
Barry Finlay - Book Launch
Sat Apr 28 @12:00PM - 04:00PM

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