Mystery Fest Key West: 2017 Whodunit Writing Competition Kicks Off

Whodunit cutout

(Image above is of last year’s trophy)

Mystery Fest Key West Announces 2017 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition and Award

Key West, Florida Keys, March 10, 2017 — Mystery Fest Key West has announced a call for entries for this year’s Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition. The winner will claim a book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, free Mystery Fest Key West 2017 registration, airfare, hotel accommodations for two nights, meals and a Whodunit Award trophy to be presented at the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 16-18 in Key West, Florida.

Sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks and supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, candidates wishing to compete for the 2017 Whodunit Writing Competition are invited to submit the first three pages (maximum 750 words) of a finished, but unpublished manuscript to whodunitaward@mysteryfestkeywest.com no later than April 15, 2017. There is no fee to enter, finalists will be notified by May 1, and will have until May 10 to submit full manuscripts.

“Why just the first three pages? That criterion is a nod to late author Jeremiah Healy, a terrific mystery writer and great judge of mysteries,” says Shirrel Rhoades, co-founder of the Mystery Fest Key West. “Jerry often said a book either captures a reader in the first three pages…or it doesn’t. The competition judges all agreed with that assessment, and decided to use it as a yardstick for the competition.”

The inaugural, 2015 award was called “The Jerry” in Healy’s honor and was won by J.E. Irvin of Springboro, Ohio, for her entry titled “The Dark End of the Rainbow.” Lewis C. Haskell of Key West, Florida, took the 2016 Whodunit with “Tequila Mockingbird.”

Whodunit Writing Contest judges for 2017 are Dr. Toby Armour, a playwright, author, dancer and choreographer, whose credits include the murder mystery book “Blood Tells” and play, “Is This 24 Lily Pond Lane?”; Carol Lazar, an author, columnist, photojournalist and former senior editor for South Africa’s Independent Newspapers who has chased stories, mysteries and even bodies to continents as disparate as Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas; Captain Reef Perkins, author of “Sex, Salvage and Secrets,” Screwed, Blu’d and Tattooed,” and the mystery novel “Deep Air”; Robin Robinson, an author, syndicated newspaper columnist, educator and horticulturist; and Rhoades, an author, film critic, media consultant and publisher of Absolutely Amazing eBooks.

The 2017 “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise” themed Mystery Fest Key West is to include multiple writers workshops, presentations, panel discussions and social events where attendees mingle with acclaimed mystery, suspense, crime fiction and true crime writers, including headliners John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest and author of “Strange Tribe,” Keynote Speaker Clifford Irving, and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Randy Rawls; New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham; bestselling and award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen; award-winning crime and science fiction writer James O. Born; bestselling Buck Reilly adventure series author John H. Cunningham and many others.

Complete Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details are available at mysteryfestkeywest.com.

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