2014 April 29 – Agents & Editors Find New Writers Through Killer Nashville’s Claymore Award


Nashville, TN. April 29, 2014

Authors find representation and publication as a result of Killer Nashville’s Claymore Award – All from just the first 50 pages – Deadline for the next Claymore Award competition is April 30, 2014.

Agents and editors know the quality of Killer Nashville and the Claymore Award. In fact, Publisher’s Weekly has recognized Killer Nashville and its founder Clay Stafford as playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” throughout “the nation’s book culture.” (PW 6/10/13) And now, the writers’ conference is using that clout to help authors get published.

Jill Marr, an agent with Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, is just one of the many agents who will be scouting the manuscripts of Claymore entrants in search of the next big thing at the Killer Nashville International Thriller, Mystery, and Crime Literature Writers’ Conference. Last year, her new Killer Nashville client Jonathan Stone landed – not only publication – but also a major movie deal.

Getting a dream agent does not include all the other perks that separate Killer Nashville from other writing contests:

  • over $1,500 in prizes to winners
  • getting an advance
  • getting a book published through a traditional publisher
  • maybe even a movie deal, such as with the success of Jonathan Stone

“That’s what Killer Nashville is all about,” says Clay Stafford, the founder of Killer Nashville. “It’s about making connections for authors.”

It’s also a great way  to connect with editors. For example, Deni Deitz, the Senior Editor at Five Star Mysteries, listens for new voices in the entries submitted to the Killer Nashville Claymore Award. Deni says the Claymore is an excellent way to attract her attention, or one of the many publishers, editors, and agents who regularly search for talented writers at the annual writers’ conference.

“There are lots of really good authors out there, U.S. and Canadian. Problem is, most busy agents only read a few paragraphs, perhaps a couple of chapters, and look for reasons to turn new writers down,” Deni said. The Killer Nashville Claymore Award is a great way to bypass that rejection.

All it takes is the first 50 pages of an unpublished manuscript not currently under contract. The manuscript does not even need to be complete.

Deni says, “For our 2014 list, I picked up Bryan Robinson (Limestone Gumption), Rosalyn Rikel Ramage (Millicent’s Tower), Mark Troy (Splintered Paddle), Jessie Bishop Powell (Murder at the Rue Morgue), Carl Filbrich (Heavenly Casino), and second books by Judy Dailey and Jen Danna.”


Rules and registration are available at www.ClaymoreAward.com. Winners will be announced during the award ceremony at Killer Nashville on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

Not everyone’s Killer Nashville success story will match the ones mentioned, but there’s always that dream – and that possibility! Since its inception in 2009, the writing contest has led to publication for many authors and to agent representation for still more.

Judges will consider any subgenre of mystery, thriller, and suspense, including action, adventure, children’s, comedy, cozy, CSI, detective, dystopian, erotica, faith-based, fantasy, gangster, historical, horror, legal, literary, middle grade, paranormal, police procedural, political thriller, private eye, romantic suspense, science fiction (sci-fi), spy, steampunk, urban fantasy, western, women’s fiction, and young adult (YA).

The Killer Nashville International Thriller, Mystery, and Crime Literature Writers’ Conference, held annually on the fourth full weekend in August, was created in 2006 by author/filmmaker Clay Stafford to bring together forensic experts, writers, and fans of crime and thriller literature. The conference has drawn attendees from as far away as Portmahomack, Scotland; Rome, Italy; and Hadano, Kanagawa, Japan. For interviews or more information: www.ClaymoreAward.com, contact@KillerNashville.com, 615-599-4032.

Killer Nashville | P.O. Box 680759 | Franklin, TN 37068-0759 | 615-599-4032