Chapman Shallow End

 

Brenda Chapman, Shallow End, Dundurn Books

Wading through deeply buried secrets to the truth will take Stonechild and the team on a twisted journey into the heart of evil.

Arnold Remnants

 

Carolyn Arnold, Remnants, Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

The FBI team is sent to Savannah, Georgia, to hunt a serial killer and find themselves embroiled in a creepy psychological nightmare. Book 6

Brons MeasureForMurder

 

Janet Brons, Measured for Murder, TouchWood Editions

In the jarring third Forsyth and Hay mystery, ruthless murder and terrifying mayhem is inflicted on women who just might be Measured for Murder.

Delany BloodBelonging

 

Vicki Delany, Blood and Belonging, Orca Book Publishers

Sun, sand, vacation…a tiny country struggling to cope with a desperate human wave washing up on its shores. Third in Sgt Ray Robertson series.

Laing FamilyAffaire

 

Chris Laing, A Family Matter, Seraphim Editions

P.I. Max Dexter's mother is back in Hamilton after an absence of more than 20 years.  But why should he meet her after she'd abandoned him when he needed her most?

Sullivan LilsWay

 

Colleen Baxter Sullivan, Lil's Way, Waldorf Publishing

Mystery, drama, love, lust and suspense all take place in this novel and the outcome is one you won’t forget.

Whishaw DeathinDarkeningMist

 

Iona Whishaw, Death In The Darkening Mist, TouchWood Editions

Lane's midwinter visit to the local hot springs is horribly interrupted when she discovers a man shot to death. Unbeknownst to her, her past will put her very life into the hands of a desperate and deadly killer.

Yi HumanRemains

 

Melissa Yi, Human Remains, Windtree Press

A dead man in the snow leads Dr. Hope Sze from an Ottawa stem cell lab to a series of corpses, both at home and around the globe.

Greenaway Undertow

 

R.M. Greenaway, Undertow, Dundurn Press

A heartbreaking set of murders bring RCMP constables Leith and Dion together in the Lower Mainland, where violence flows like a riptide.

Ace CuriousCook

 

Cathy Ace, The Case of the Curious Cook, Severn House Publishers

The WISE women face puzzles involving newly discovered works by a murdered artist, an untraceable octogenarian, and an old folks’ home.

Blair TheEvilMenDo

 

Michael Blair, The Evil That Men Do, Linda Leith Publishing

When two sociopaths face off, someone is bound to die.

Burrows ShimmerofHummingbirds

 

Steve Burrows, A Shimmer of Hummingbirds, Dundurn Press

In this 4th book in the Birder Murder mystery series, Domenic Jejeune finds that sometimes, the wrong choice is the only choice you have.

Delany ElementarySheRead

 

Vicki Delany, Elementary, She Read, Crooked Lane Books

The first in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium series.

Fox ForWhomtheBread

 

Sarah Fox, For Whom the Bread Rolls, Penguin Random House

In the seaside town of Wildwood Cove, pancake house owner Marley McKinney is tangling with a salty troublemaker . . . and a ravenous killer.

Wiken RouxtheDay

 

Linda Wiken, Roux the Day, Berkley Prime Crime

J.J. Tanner loves planning events, like the fundraising Casino Night Dinner Cruise. What she hadn’t planned on was murder.

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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