Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Heading for a Life of Crime

After completing the National Novel Writing Month competition, I've now found another contest to target my efforts at. Britain's Crime Writers Association holds a yearly event for unpublished writers known as the Debut Daggers.
The good thing about it is that you don't have to write the whole novel to enter the competition. All you need is the first chapter of your story, 3,000 words long, and that's about 8 or 9 pages as I learned during NaNoWriMo, and a 1,000-word synopsis. But you also have to pay about 1,000 NT dollars for the privilege of participating. However, that shouldn't be a barrier for any serious writer, since the prize include attendance at the awards ceremony next summer in London, 5,000 pounds or about 30,000 NT dollars, and a night for two at a London hotel.
It also needs mentioning that you don't have to be living in Britain or hold a UK passport to take part, writing in English is enough.
Publication of your novel - which of course might not have been completely written by the time of the awards' ceremony - is not included in the prizes, but the CWA web site says several previous winners and contenders have indeed moved on to published author status. And for those, there are other competitions altogether.
So I've decided on two story ideas to work into first chapters and synopses by the submission deadline of February 15, 2008. Even though my favorite writing genre is the international spy thriller, crime fiction also appeals to me, having read most Agatha Christie novels during my high-school period, and also favoring stories from P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, Elizabeth George, and more modern offerings such as Michael Connelly.
While I am continue working on my Work In Progress, a spy thriller for publication in continental Europe, the two stories for the CWA Debut Daggers will also hold my attention over the next two months. A life of crime writing might be on the cards!


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