14th Annual Killer Nashville
Silver Falchion Award™
Extended Submission Deadline: June 15, 2021
The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award seeks to honor the best books of 2020. Competition opens October 2, 2020.
Listed as one of “The Best Writing Contests of 2021” by Reedsy
The 2021 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award seeks to discover and honor the best books of 2020 that incorporate the elements of mystery, thriller, and suspense.
“Winning the Silver Falchion Award came at just the right time to draw extra attention to the release of The Devil’s Bible trade paperback, and we were also able to use the Silver Falchion win as promotion at the launch of Book of the Just. For some readers trying to decide what to add to their TBR pile, seeing the validation of an award win gives them the last nudge they need to buy your book.”
—Dana Chamblee Carpenter
Author, The Bohemian Trilogy
“Winning the Silver Falchion Award for Best Attending Author from Killer Nashville 2020 is one of my biggest thrills ever—and that coveted Silver Falchion medal has been a huge boost to my writing career. It also comes after I won the Killer Nashville Claymore Award a few years earlier, which helped me start my current Clare Carlson mystery series.
Author, the Clare Carlson Mysteries
“After winning the Silver Falchion in 2019 for Best Mystery (A Knife in the Fog), and again in 2020 as Best Suspense and Book of the Year (Queen’s Gambit), I’m seen by industry professionals as a serious writer. I’ve gotten several invitations to participate or lead author panels and been on several podcasts. If I were in the Mafia, I’d be what is known as a “Made Man.”
Author, A Knife in the Fog & Queen’s Gambit
“I don’t know which was better, winning the Silver Falchion in 2016 for our anthology, Murder on Wheels, or having it presented by the mystery legend, Anne Perry. Both were a total thrill for the Austin Mystery Writers and this honor gave us the confidence to create another anthology.”
“Winning the Silver Falchion Award was one of the highlights of my career! It propelled me forward and opened doors in a way no other award has!”
“The most exciting event in my writing career occurred the evening The Killer Nashville International Mystery Writers’ Conference named my debut novel, Waking Up in Medellin, the Silver Falchion winner for Best Fiction Book of the Year, 2017. The award has validated me as an author in the competitive mystery and thriller categories.”
“An award you’re not quite sure how to pronounce reminds you that there’s always more to learn about language when you’re a writer. And, in this enormous country, it’s lovely to think of readers all the way over in TN knowing about your books and appreciating them.”
“As an indie author, winning a Silver Falchion for Best Mystery out of a pool that included some of my favorite traditionally published authors, alongside winners in other categories who were my idols, was an exciting form of validation I never dreamed was possible. Since winning, I have found that I suddenly have an instant credibility with other crime fiction authors, publishers, agents, publicists, and editors—credibility I lacked before. Readers may care more about my USA Today bestseller status, but nothing opens doors within the industry like the Silver Falchion.”
—Pamela Fagan Hutchins
“Winning the Silver Falchion Award was an incredible experience, from the awards ceremony to the positive effect on my book sales!”
Physical award in each category, bragging rights, increased exposure, and $250 for best overall work (fiction or nonfiction), payable to the winner. Announcements include finalists, as well as winners.
Please note: In order for a category to be awarded, entries in the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Awards have to be worthy of that honor; otherwise, no award will be given in that category.
All semi-finalists and finalists will receive scorecards and short, written comments from the judges after the close of the competition and announcement of winners. These authors are welcome to include the accolade and any comments on their book covers, in blurbs, on their sites/social media, etc. as means of promoting their works to a wider audience. Killer Nashville will also provide Silver Falchion Award stickers that can be included on book covers to the finalists and winners in each category. Finalists & winners will be announced at the 2021 Killer Nashville Awards Dinner.
We believe all engaging stories have three elements: mystery, thriller, and suspense. Since 2008, the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Awards have recognized the best stories from the previous year told through various media utilizing the elements of mystery, thriller, and/or suspense. Judges are professional writers, book reviewers, librarians, academics, and—in specialized cases—specific industry peers. Focus is on quality, not popularity.
The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award began as a way to recognize Killer Nashville attendees and has since grown worldwide into an industry-coveted prize. The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award continues to have NO ENTRY FEE for conference attendees. The charge for non-attendee or additional attendee submissions is $79 per entry to cover our expenses. There are no refunds for award entries.
Eligible works must have been first published in English between January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021.
To be eligible for the Silver Falchion Award, works must be published the year previous the competition and must be readily available to a North-American audience (either in print or digital format).
We make no distinction between self-published, indie-published, and traditionally published works; all are eligible to be entered into the competition so long as they adhere to the guidelines above.
Firm deadline for submission June 15, 2021. Killer Nashville will contact publishers, but fundamentally it is the task of each author to ensure his or her work is submitted either by his/her self or through his/her publisher. Entries received after June 15, 2021 are ineligible.
Finalists will be announced July 25, 2021. Killer Nashville will contact all finalists using submitted information alerting them to the honor. If contact info changes, please contact Killer Nashville so we may get in touch. Finalists will be honored and winners will be announced at the Killer Nashville Awards Dinner on August 21, 2021.
Our team of contest judges is comprised of professors/educators, published authors, editors, book publicists, book reviewers, and other industry professionals.