The Killer Nashville Claymore AwardEnter your unpublished crime literature manuscript and win a publishing contract!

Register for the Killer Nashville Claymore Awards and judges will consider any subgenre of mystery or thriller, including political thriller, cozy, police procedural, private eye, romantic suspense, paranormal mystery, and historical mystery.

Cost to Enter: Entry Fee $30 / Entry Fee with Critique $50

Finalists will be posted on the Killer Nashville website  and on our past winners page prior to the conference.

Winners will be announced during the award ceremony at Killer Nashville in 2017.  You do not have to be present to win.

Entries are required to be double-spaced, in 12-point Courier or Times New Roman, with at least 1-inch margins. The entry must be on 8½ by 11 inch USA Standard size letter paper. The title and page number are required to appear as a header on each page, but the author’s name should appear ONLY on the registration form. Since the manuscripts are evaluated using a blind judging method, the author’s name cannot appear on the manuscript itself.

Note: Self-published works are considered published and, as such, are ineligible for the Killer Nashville Claymore Award. (Self-published novels are eligible for Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion Award, if published for the first time during the previous year.)

Published authors are welcome to enter, as long as the manuscript submitted is not currently under contract.


Step 1 – Copy up to the first 50 pages from your manuscript into a new document.  Save the manuscript as your working title name, manuscripts must be saved in Microsoft Word.

Step 2 – Fill out the form below and attach your manuscript document. If you are entering more then one manuscript, you must submit each one separately.

Step 3 – You can pay the $30 entry fee by PayPal or credit card (at the bottom of the entry form, when you submit your form) or by credit card by phone. You may receive a written critique for an additional $20. Written critiques will not be completed until after the Claymore Award winners are announced. All written critiques should be completed by the end of November.

When you submit your entry form, you will be prompted to pay the entry fee via PayPal. If you do not wish to pay via PayPal, you may call our office after you submit your form to pay by phone. You can call our office M-F 9AM-5PM (central time zone) at (615) 599-4032.

If you wish to pay by check, you will need to enter by snail mail, please see below.


Step 1 – Print out up to (but no more than) the first 50 pages on white paper to mail to us. (No colored paper, please.)

Please use a binder clip of an appropriate size to comfortably hold your manuscript (no overextended paper clips, 3 hole paper, string, unremovable binders, bent or permanent brads, please).

Step 2 – Print out the registration form, fill it out, and paper clip it to your first 50 pages.

Step 3 – Include a check for $30 payable to “Killer Nashville.” You may receive a written critique for an additional $20. Written critiques will not be completed until after the Claymore Award winners are announced. All written critiques should be completed by the end of January.

Step 4 – Mail up to the first 50 pages of an unpublished manuscript that is not under contract, your registration form, and your receipt (if paying online), or a check for the total amount payable to “Killer Nashville” and mail everything postmarked by April 30, 2017 to:

Killer Nashville Claymore Award
PO Box 680759
Franklin, TN 37068-0759

If you would like confirmation that your manuscript was received, please include a stamped, self-addressed postcard with your entry.

DO NOT send your manuscript in such a way that a signature is required. Manuscripts that require a signature will not be accepted.

You can verify delivery through the tracking number provided by the post office. When using the post office to mail your manuscript if you wish to track it, you may do so by mailing it Priority Mail and adding delivery confirmation. Please remember that we will not accept any manuscript that requires a signature.

DO NOT send your manuscript via Fed Ex or UPS. They will not deliver to a Post Office Box.

If you have any questions, please contact us at or 615-599-4032.

Entries must be postmarked or submitted by April 30, 2017.