Crime Cymru First Novel Prize

Ewch i am y wybodaeth hon yn Gymraeg

The Gwobr Nofel Gyntaf Crime Cymru First Novel Prize has been created to promote new crime writing talent from Wales. The prize has two categories: Welsh language entries and English language entries. For each category there are separate judges and individual prizes. 

1. Prizes:

  1. There will be a Welsh-language winner and an English-language winner. Each winner will receive a four-night stay at a date to be agreed at Literature Wales’ Nant Writers’ Retreat Cottage, located within the grounds of Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre in Llanystumdwy, Gwynedd (see terms below). The two winning writers will also be offered mentoring from Crime Cymru writers, to be undertaken in their choice of Welsh or English (see terms below).
  2. There will also be two shortlisted writers in each language category. The prize for shortlistees is a ‘book bundle’ comprising work by Crime Cymru authors, the titles of which will be determined by Crime Cymru. In addition, we hope that being shortlisted in a prestigious new prize will be useful when seeking publication in the future.

2. Judging:

  1. Crime Cymru members will read submitted entries in English and Welsh to form a longlist of twelve entries in each language to be submitted to the relevant judging panel.
  2. The Welsh-language judging panel is Sian Northey, writer and translator, Gwen Davies, translator and editor of New Welsh Review, and Jon Gower, writer and broadcaster.
  3. The English-language judging panel is Sunday Times bestseller Clare Mackintosh, literary agent Peter Buckman, and crime writer Awais Khan.
  4. The chair of judges, who will cover both panels, is Crime Cymru member Alison Layland.
  5. From the longlist of entries provided to each panel, the judges will select a winner and two shortlistees in each language. 

3. Results:

  1. The writers longlisted in each language category will be notified of their placing by email and this information will be shared publicly via the Crime Cymru website, blog and social media channels.
  2. When the judges have made their decisions, the three writers in each language category who have been chosen as shortlistees will be notified that they have progressed further in the competition but without the winner being revealed. This next stage of the prize will also be shared publicly via the Crime Cymru website, blog and social media channels. The unsuccessful longlistees will also be informed.
  3.  The writers in each language category who reach the shortlist stage of the prize will be invited to the prize reception at the Gŵyl Crime Cymru Festival 2022 in Aberystwyth, where the winners will be announced. Attendance at the festival has no bearing on the final results which will be decided by the judges in advance of the event. It is Crime Cymru’s hope that all shortlisted writers will be able to attend the prize reception though we appreciate this won’t be possible in every case. We are a small organisation, launching a new prize without major sponsorship. This means that we are unable to offer full expenses for shortlistees to attend the prize reception as we would wish, but we can offer some support:
  4. Crime Cymru will contribute up to £50 towards travel expenses per shortlistee, payable on production of public transport receipts or mileage claim (mileage paid at 40p per mile).
  5. Crime Cymru will provide each shortlistee attending the festival a free pass to attend all events (not including writing workshops) 
  6. Our hope is to offer one night’s free accommodation with festival volunteers though this is still to be confirmed and might not be possible in the event.

4. Eligibility:

  1. The prize is open to writers currently living in Wales.
  2. This is a first novel prize. To enter, you must not have previously published a novel, either traditionally or through self-publishing. Writers who have published a book in forms other than novels (e.g. a poetry or short story collection, creative non-fiction) can enter.
  3. The submitted novels do not have to have a Welsh setting or theme but they do have to be crime novels. For the purposes of the competition this definition is broad, including (but not limited to) detective novels, mysteries, thrillers, psychological thrillers. For a guide to the expansiveness of the genre, see the scope of crime writing produced by members of Crime Cymru:
  4. Associate members of Crime Cymru are eligible to enter, provided they have not previously self-published a novel. Full members are not eligible – by virtue of being full members they already have books in print.
  5. Entries should be the first 5,000 words of a crime novel plus a one page synopsis which outlines the full plot of the novel (see below for how to submit).
  6. The novel does not have to be complete at the time of entry.
  7. Works should be original, solely the work of the entrant, and must never have been previously published or self-published either in print, online, in digital formats, or broadcast.
  8. Works should not have been accepted for publication or broadcast elsewhere, or have been placed in another competition, at the time of entry.  We ask entrants to inform us if the work is accepted for publication or broadcast, or awarded a placing in another competition, between the time of entry and the Crime Cymru award ceremony.
  9. Works must not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party, nor be defamatory of any living person or corporate body, nor fraudulent.
  10. Works should be in either Welsh or English, and not translations of existing published work.
  11. The prize is limited to one submission per entrant, and this includes translations, i.e. if submitting a Welsh entry, you cannot submit the same work in English.
  12. Works must be aimed at adult readers.

5. Terms and conditions:

  1. The prize is free to enter.
  2. No responsibility will be taken on Crime Cymru’s part for entries that are lost, delayed or damaged.
  3. Crime Cymru reserves the right to oblige any potential winner to provide documentary proof of their identity and address before such person may claim their prize or shortlist status.
  4. Crime Cymru will keep entrants’ contact details for the duration of the prize year only so that winners may be notified and communicated with, and in order to verify compliance with award rules.
  5. We will not pass on entrants’ details to other organisations, excepting partners in the awards, in respect of whom consent is given when entering. We will only pass on contact details of entrants to journalists who are interested in the outcome of the prize with the authors’ consent.
  6. Crime Cymru reserves the right to cancel the prize at any stage if circumstances arise outside its control.
  7. Crime Cymru reserves the right to form a shorter longlist than twelve entries in each language, and not to award winner or shortlisted places in either language of entry, in the event that entries are deemed to be of insufficient quality.
  8. Neither Crime Cymru or the judges will enter into any discussion with entrants about their work or the judges’ decision making. The judges’ decisions are final.
  9. All copyright remains with the author.

6. Terms for use of Nant:

4 night Monday-Friday self-catering stay for 1 writer at Literature Wales’ Nant Writer’s Retreat Cottage, located in the grounds of Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre, in 2022/2023 (pending availability, and excluding the months of July and August). Winners will be put in touch with Literature Wales to discuss available dates and to claim the prize.

7. Terms for mentoring packages:

The winners in each language category will be offered the opportunity to work with a mentor from Crime Cymru to support and develop their writing in English or Welsh. This will comprise three one-hour meetings to be conducted over the course of no longer than twelve months. Mentors can read material in advance of these meetings if desired by the mentee, the amount of which is to be determined by mentee and mentor depending on need and time constraints of either party. The choice of individual mentor will determined by Crime Cymru to best suit the kind of novel the mentee is working on and the language requirement. Mentoring is optional and if a winner chooses not to avail themselves of this prize, it would not impact their status as a winner in any way.

8. How to submit:

  1. The deadline for entries is midnight on 3rd September 2021.
  2. Entries can only be submitted by email to Postal entries will not be accepted.
  3. Submissions must comprise the first 5,000 words of a crime novel and a one-page synopsis which outlines the full plot (or as much as is planned at the time of submission). For a guide to writing a synopsis, we recommend this very helpful blogpost by Emma Darwin:
  4. All material must be submitted as a file created in Microsoft Word or a similar word-processor, or as a PDF, in Times New Roman, font size 12, double-spaced. All pages must be numbered.
  5. Entries will be anonymised before sending to the initial readers and the judges. Please do not include your name anywhere in the manuscript or synopsis. Crime Cymru will give a unique entry number to each submission and remove any identifying information from the entries.
  6. The novel opening and the synopsis should be in the same document, with the synopsis placed first.
  7. The file name should be your novel’s title only – do not include your name in the file name.
  8. In your email, please state the following information: your name, your address, a contact phone number, the title of your novel and confirmation of which category (English or Welsh) you are entering.  It is the entrant’s responsibility that all required information is included.
  9. No alterations may be made once the work is submitted.
  10. Crime Cymru reserves the right to exclude any entries which do not conform to the stated submission requirements.
  11. Entrants will receive acknowledgement of submission.
  12. Submission is taken as acceptance of all Terms and Conditions, including Entry instructions. Failure to comply with these will disqualify entries.

    We can’t wait to read your entries – send them in to!