Mystery Readers and Writers Day with Rhys Bowen

Mystery Readers and Writers Day with Rhys Bowen
9 a.m. – 3 p. m. August 6, 2016
Second Presbyterian Church
318 E. 55th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64113

Mystery Starts Contest

Final judge is award-winning mystery author Rhys Bowen.

The three winning entries will receive awards at the Mystery Readers and Writers Day with Rhys Bowen.

Read on for general contest rules, formatting rules for entries, and submission guidelines.

General contest rules

  1. Each entry must not exceed the first 250 words of a mystery short story or novel.
  2. Contestants should submit entries from unpublished work that they can claim the copyright to.
  3. Any entry that contains inappropriate language or excessive violence, especially toward women, will be disqualified
  4. Mysteries targeted for juvenile or adult markets will be accepted. There are no separate categories for juvenile and adult entries.
  5. You need not be a member of Sisters in Crime to enter, no entry fee is required, and you may enter more than once.

Formatting rules for entries

  1. Stories must be submitted as a Word document in an e-mail attachment.
  2. The subject line of the email must start with ”BCSinC Mystery Starts Contest.”
  3. The following information must be included in the body of the e-mail message: the author’s name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address; the mystery title; the word count. PLEASE NOTE: Submissions longer than 250 words, including the title, will be disqualified.
  4. The file name of the attachment should consist of the mystery start’s title and may be followed by more words as long as they do not reveal the author’s identity. PLEASE NOTE: If the author’s name appears anywhere in the attachment, the submission will be disqualified.
  5. This e-mail attachment (the mystery start) must be double-spaced, in 12-point type. Fonts such as Times, Times New Roman, or Courier New are preferred. The document should have one-inch margins on all sides and ragged right margins.

Submission guidelines

  1. Email submissions to Juliet Kincaid at between May 1, 2016, and June 15, 2016. Please note: Submissions received after 11:59 p.m. CDT on June 15, 2016, will be disqualified.
  2. Entrants will receive e-mail confirmation of receipt of the entry. If confirmation of entry is not received within one week of submission, please e-mail Juliet Kincaid at
  3. Submission critiques will not be provided.



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