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2016 Holton Awards Contest announced

Unpublished crime fiction manuscript competition opens Oct. 1

Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter’s annual Hugh Holton Contest will have guest judges—agents from Browne & Miller Literary Associates

September 1, 2016-Chicago

The Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter is pleased to open submissions to its annual Hugh Holton Awards Contest—and to welcome guest judges for member submissions from Chicago’s premier literary agency, Browne & Miller Literary Associates!

Any unpublished writer, member or nonmember living in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin can enter up to 25 pages of a crime/mystery/thriller/suspense story or novel manuscript to be considered for the Holton Awards Contest. Each submission must be unpublished, original, and the work of the submitting writer. Submitting writers must not have any novels commercially published (this includes self-published authors). Entrants can have short stories or other short pieces published. All entrants must live in one of the thirteen states covered by MWA Midwest Chapter membership (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin). Only one entry per writer.

Submitted manuscripts by MWA Midwest members are judged by a team of agents at Browne & Miller Literary Associates. Manuscripts submitted by nonmembers will be judged by a panel of published authors and members of MWA Midwest.

Submissions DO NOT receive feedback within this process.

For those who submitted manuscripts to the Holton Critique Program earlier this year, there is no additional cost; you may submit your revised manuscript for consideration without the fee. For new entries not sent through the critique program this year, the cost is $25 for members, $50 for nonmembers, payable by check made out to MWA Midwest and mailed to Lori Rader-Day, PO Box 30173, Chicago, IL 60630-0173 or through Paypal to mwamidwest (at)

Submissions accepted between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1, 2016. Submit manuscript only in attached Word file or pdf to s.calkins (dot) nu (at)

Entries that went through the Holton Critique Program earlier this year are not required to have made specific changes suggested during that program.

Submissions should be no longer than 25 letter-sized, double-spaced pages with one-inch margins, with type that is 12 point Times New Roman or similar. Please number your pages; you can include the title of the piece in the header. No cover page is necessary. Do not include identifying details in the manuscript, as this is a blind competition. Include name, mailing address, phone number, and title of the piece in the body of your email.

For the winning manuscript by an unpublished MWA Midwest member, chosen by Browne & Miller, the grand prize is $250. For unpublished nonmembers, the top prize is a year’s membership in Mystery Writers of America and the Midwest Chapter (valued currently at $115). Winners will be announced December 11, 2016.

Hugh Holton was a Chicago mystery writer, a pioneer African American writer of crime fiction, and a member of MWA Midwest. He wrote eight books about Chicago Police Detective Larry Cole, all of which drew on his experiences as a Chicago cop. When Holton died in 2001, MWA Midwest launched a critique program within the chapter to remember Holton’s contribution to the writing community and to MWA Midwest.

Mystery Writers of America is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. MWA is dedicated to promoting higher regard for crime writing and recognition and respect for those who write within the genre. We provide scholarships for writers, sponsor MWA Literacy programs, sponsor symposia and conferences, present the Edgar® Awards, and conduct other activities to further a better appreciation and higher regard for crime writing. The Midwest Chapter represents members in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. For information on joining MWA, please see the national organization’s web site at

Browne & Miller Literary Associates is led by Danielle Egan-Miller, a longtime member of Mystery Writers of America. Prior to joining the agency as Ms. Browne’s partner in 2002, Danielle held editor positions with Dearborn Trade, NTC Business Books/Contemporary Books and McGraw-Hill Trade.  She holds a BA in English from Loyola University of Chicago and is a graduate of the Radcliffe Publishing Course. She is also a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and The Authors Guild. Learn more about Browne & Miller’s team at


2017-05-25T00:15:25+00:00 September 1st, 2016|Public, Uncategorized|