Kerr OkanaganExpress

Wayne Kerr, Murder on the Okanagan Express, Canusa Books

Trapped on a train with a devious killer!

Kellough UntowardAssassin

Janet Kellough, The Untoward Assassin, Janet Kellough

Someone is trying to kill preacher Thaddeus Lewis. Is an old case coming back to haunt him?

Howell OnlyPrettyDamned

Niall Howell, Only Pretty Damned, NeWest Press

Toby is a disgruntled circus clown who can't get his hard-boiled past to leave him the hell alone.

Kingsmill NobodyDrowned

Peter Kingsmill, Nobody Drowned, Peter Kingsmill

Nobody Drowned is the second Frank Anderson novel in the Awan Lake series, by Canadian author Peter Kingsmill.

Arnold ShadesofJustice

Carolyn Arnold, Shades of Justice, Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Detective Knight has risked her badge—and her life—in the pursuit of justice before, and she just might need to do so again.

Wesstermann AnExcuseforMurder

Vanessa Westermann, An Excuse For Murder, The Wild Rose Press

She died on his watch - now he’d take his revenge.

Chatterson SimplytheBest

Delvin Chatterson, Simply the Best, Tellwell Talent

It may be simple, it’s never easy. Dale Hunter is back in business, but so is Gino Boncanno.

Wiken TroubleontheBooks

Linda Wiken (writing as Essie Lang), Trouble on the Books, Crooked Lane Books

A bookshop,a castle and a murder! Shelby Cox has a lot to learn or she could be next.

Gates SomethingRead

Eva Gates, Something Read Something Dead, Crooked Lane Books

The fifth book in the National Bestselling Lighthouse Library series by Eva Gates.

Clayden OutlawMC

Dwayne Clayden, Outlaw MC, Dwayne Clayden

Calgary, 1978. Gangs fight for control. The war has begun. Stopping the war will bring a greater unimaginable threat.

Greenaway FlightsandFalls

R.M. Greenaway, Flights and Falls, Dundurn Press

A wicked game at play on the Sea-to-Sky Highway is costing lives, and it's up to the North Van RCMP to shut it down, fast.

Coupal Blindshot

Denis Coupal, Blindshot, Linda Leith Publishing

After a stray bullet leaves two sons grieving for their father, they take matters into their own hands, demanding justice.

Ogilvie Hound

Ken Ogilvie, Hound, Joffe Books

Do you love mysteries with intricate plots and new locations? Meet Detective Rebecca Bradley as she faces an escaped serial killer whose next target IS THE POLICEWOMAN HERSELF.

Freeland MurderinMidtown

Liz Freeland, Murder in Midtownn, Kensington

New York, 1913. Arson destroys Louise Faulk's former workplace, killing a colleague. Finding the culprit becomes the new policewoman's mission.

Timmerman OutoftheRunning

Robin Timmerman, Out of the Running, Trafford Publishing

Marathon fever has hit Middle Island and it seems that some folks are literally dying to run!

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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

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