The new Telegraph Harvill Secker crime writing competition offers aspiring writers an unprecedented opportunity to be published at one of the country's leading literary imprints, home to authors like Jo Nesbø, Fred Vargas, Stuart Neville and Henning Mankell, and receive a £5,000 advance for his or her novel.
Would-be crime writers must submit the first 5,000 words of their crime novel, along with a detailed, two-page double-spaced synopsis of how the rest of the book unfolds, including the ending. The book does not have to be finished for you to enter, but you must have a detailed plan. In keeping with the international nature of Harvill Secker's profile, the crime book must contain an international element of some sort. It's up to writers how they interpret this: it could be just a weapon that's come from abroad, a character with a connection to another country, or the whole book could be set outside the UK. A significant international component does not, however, mean that a book will have a greater chance of winning.
Harvill Secker, an imprint of The Random House Group Limited, which is a Penguin Random House company and Publisher of the Year 2013, will be offering the winner a publishing deal - either physical and digital, or digital only - and a non-returnable advance of £5,000 for world rights in the book. An extract from the winning entry will also be printed in these pages next year. The final Telegraph-branded book will be published by Harvill Secker and be available for purchase through the Telegraph Bookshop, as well as at high street and online retailers.
Entry is easy simply complete the form on the right and upload your story. There is a small £5 admin charge, payable to the Telegraph, and taken when writers upload their 5,000 words, synopsis and contact details to the site. Payment can be made by all major credit and debit cards using WorldPay. The closing date for entries is November 30 2013. Books do not have to be completed before entry. Entrants can be from anywhere in the world but must be over 18 and submit their book in the English language. The prize is only open to those who have not had a novel published before and are not already signed with a literary agent. See telegraph.co.uk/crimecomp for full terms and conditions.