The 2018 Claymore Award will be awarded at the Killer Nashville Guest of Honor Dinner.

Every year, the Killer Nashville Claymore Award assists new and rebranding English-language fiction authors get published, including possible agent representation, book advances, editor deals, and movie and television sales. Over $3,000 worth of prizes are given away each year, but to us, the publishing and movie deals—and the careers they build—are the end game.

Previous Killer Nashville Claymore Award winners who are now published.

  • ClaymoreSlider1
  • ClaymoreSlider2
  • ClaymoreSlider3
  • ClaymoreSlider4
    Previous winners who are now published.

What can be entered?
9E0FEF39BA19459ABD20384EAA7C3EC4The contest is limited to only the first 50 pages of unpublished English-language manuscripts containing elements of thriller, mystery, crime, or suspense NOT currently under contract.

These can include Action, Adventure, Alternate History, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Suspense, Thriller, and Western manuscripts, and any of their derivatives.(Self-published manuscripts are considered already published and are not eligible.)

How Much Does It Cost?
Entry fee is $40 per entry.

Critiques of a 50-page manuscript by industry peers is an additional $100. Critiques are only available to paid entrants. Critiques are guaranteed to the writer within 90 days of receipt by Killer Nashville.

Authors are welcome to resubmit new drafts of altered entries up until the deadline of April 1, 2018. A separate charge will be assessed for each entry.

Authors may submit more than one manuscript.

Who Judges?
A jury of publishing and writing peers within each genre chooses the Top 10 Finalists through a blind judging process.

These Top 10 manuscripts are sent to Morgan Elwell of Kensington Books who then chooses the Top 3 winners.


What Do I Win?
Probably a traditional publishing contract with a Mystery Writers of America and/or International Thriller Writers’ approved publisher. But there’s more…

The Top 10 finalists receive heavily discounted admission (a $285 value!) to that year’s Killer Nashville where the winners will be announced and introductions will be made to agents and/or editors to kick-start their publishing careers. Critiques of work will be given. Breakouts will be attended. Pitching sessions will be set up. The Top 10 who are already registered as Killer Nashville attendees will be refunded a portion of their registration fees for that year. Top 10 Finalists do not have to be present to win but will miss out on all networking opportunities.

Any manuscripts considered of exceptional merit above the Top 10 will also be forwarded to agents and/or editors.

We assist all Finalists in getting an agent to best represent their interests and become lifetime mentors to those writers. Winnings are not transferable and must be redeemed in the year they are won. All entries remain eligible as long as they were not under contract at the time of submission. There are no refunds for any reason.