Saturday, 13 July 2013

More information on the Harvill Secker/ Telegraph Crime Writing Competition

Harvill Secker partner with The Telegraph

to launch the most exciting new competition

in crime fiction  



Harvill Secker and the Telegraph today (13.07.2013) launch a new competition to find an unpublished crime writing star.   This is an unprecedented opportunity to be published at one of the country’s leading literary imprints, home to bestselling crime authors including
Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell, Fred Vargas, Stuart Neville, Karin Fossum and Arne Dahl, and receive a £5,000 advance for his or her novel.

Alison Hennessey, Senior Crime editor at Harvill Secker says‘Crime fiction has always been a very important part of what we publish at Harvill Secker and as an editor, I’m always on the lookout for exciting new names.  I’m delighted that, through our partnership with the Telegraph, we’ll be able to offer a brilliant new crime writer this opportunity.’

The competition launches in the Telegraph in print and online today at  To help aspiring writers with their crime novel, the Telegraph will publish a number of masterclasses, written by a host of crime writers, on its website over the coming weeks and months. These will be accompanied by video interviews. The first comes from bestselling Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo, and it is available to view now.

You can read a new masterclass at every Saturday: Oliver Harris will be advising on brilliant beginnings; Jason Webster on settings and atmosphere; Susan Hill on characterisation; Alice LaPlante on suspense; and Stuart Neville on thickening the plot.

There will also be videos from leading Harvill Secker crime authors including Henning Mankell, Arne Dahl, Henry Sutton, Jan Costin Wagner, Koethi Zan and MD Villiers, all of whom will be offering helpful tips to ensure that aspiring writers are given the best chance of winning the most exciting new prize in crime fiction.


Would-be crime writers must submit the first 5,000 words of their crime novel, along with a detailed, two-page double-spaced synopsis of how the rest of the book unfolds, including the ending. The book does not have to be finished to be entered, but must be submitted with a detailed plan.
In keeping with the international nature of Harvill Secker’s profile, the crime book must contain an international element of some sort.  It’s up to writers how they interpret this: it could be as a minor as a weapon that’s come from abroad, a character with a connection to another country, or the whole book could be set outside the UK. A significant international component does not, however, mean that a book will have a greater chance of winning.

Harvill Secker, an imprint of The Random House Group Limited, which is a Penguin Random House company and Publisher of the Year 2013, will be offering the winner a publishing deal – either physical and digital, or digital only – and a non-returnable advance of £5,000 for world rights in the book. An extract from the winning entry will also be printed in the Telegraph next year.

The entries will be assessed by a panel of four judges: Alison Hennessey, senior editor at Harvill Secker; Sam Copeland, literary agent at RCW; Richard Reynolds, crime buyer at Heffers; and Jon Stock, Telegraph books desk and author of the Daniel Marchant spy thriller trilogy


Entries open on 13th July 2013 and the closing date is 30th November 2013.  Each entrant should submit, via the Telegraph website, the first 5,000 words of a crime novel, thriller or mystery written in English, and a detailed two page synopsis of how the rest of the book unfolds, including the ending. They should include their name, contact details, date of birth and a 100 word biography.

Entry is easy and online only, via There is a small £5 admin charge, payable to the Telegraph, and taken when writers upload their 5,000 words, synopsis and contact details to the site. Payment can be made by all major credit and debit cards using WorldPay


The prize is only open to authors who have not had a novel published before and are not already signed with a literary agent. Entry is not restricted to people living in the UK, but entries must be made in the English language.  All applicants must be over 18.

For terms and conditions please visit

For further information please contact:

Bethan Jones
Publicity Director, Harvill Secker
020 7840 8543 /

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