Gwobr Nofel Gyntaf CRIME CYMRU First Novel Prize

 Full details 

The  CRIME CYMRU First Novel Prize exists to promote new crime writing talent in Wales. The prize has two categories: Welsh language entries and English language entries. For each category there are separate judges and individual prizes. 

Specific information for the 2025 Competition:

  1. The competition opens to submissions on the 31st of March and the deadline for receipt of entries is midnight on 1st September 2024.
  2. Winners will be announced at the Gŵyl Crime Cymru Festival in Aberystwyth, 25-27 April 2025.
  3. All shortlistees will receive a two-person weekend pass to Gŵyl Crime Cymru Festival 2025.
  4. The winner in both languages will receive a mentoring package with a successful crime writer in the appropriate language worth at least £1000. The two other shortlisted writers will receive a bundle of Crime Cymru authors’ books.
  5. Mentoring packages will comprise five one-hour meetings to be conducted over the course of no longer than twelve months. Mentors may read material in advance of these meetings if desired by the mentee, the amount of which is to be determined by mentee and mentor depending on need and time constraints of either party.
  6. Please ensure you have read all the submission guidelines as failure to meet requested criteria may result in disqualification.

1. Eligibility:

  1. The prize is open only to writers currently living in Wales.
  2. To enter, you must not have previously published a novel, either traditionally or through self-publishing. Writers who have published a book in forms other than novels (e.g. a poetry or short story collection, creative non-fiction) are eligible to enter.
  3. Submitted novels do not have to have a Welsh setting or theme but they must be crime novels. For the purposes of the competition this definition is broad, including (but not limited to) detective novels, mysteries, thrillers, psychological thrillers all of which may be set in the past, present, or future.
  4. Entries should be the first 5,000 words of a crime novel plus a one page synopsis which outlines the full plot of the novel (see below for how to submit).
  5. The novel does not have to be complete at the time of entry.
  6. Works should be original, solely the work of the entrant, and must never have been previously published or self-published either in print, online, in digital formats, or broadcast.
  7. Works should not have been accepted for publication or broadcast elsewhere, or have been placed in another competition, at the time of entry.  We ask entrants to inform us if the work is accepted for publication or broadcast, or awarded a placing in another competition, between the time of entry and the Crime Cymru award ceremony.
  8. Works must not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party, nor be defamatory of any living person or corporate body, nor fraudulent.
  9. Submissions should be original works in either Welsh or English, and not translations of existing published work.
  10. The prize is limited to one submission per entrant, and this includes translations, i.e. if submitting a Welsh entry, you cannot submit the same work in English.
  11. Works must be aimed at adult readers.
  12. Associate members of Crime Cymru are eligible to enter, provided they have not previously self-published a novel. Full members are not eligible – by virtue of being full members they already have books in print.

2. Judging:

  1. A panel of Crime Cymru authors will read submitted entries to form a longlist of twelve in each language. Longlists will be submitted to the relevant judging panel by the beginning of December.
  2. There will be two judges for the Welsh competition and two for the English with the chair of the first novel prize committee having a casting vote in the event the judges fail to agree. Judges will be selected from the professional crime writing community and may include authors, agents, publishers and editors.
  3. From the longlist of entries provided to each panel, the judges will select a shortlist of three in each language. The shortlist will be published by the beginning of March. 

3. Results:

  1. The writers longlisted in each language category will be notified of their placing by email and this information will be shared publicly via the Crime Cymru website, blog and social media channels.
  2. When the judges have made their decisions, the three writers in each language category who have been chosen as shortlistees will be notified. This next stage of the prize will also be shared publicly via the Crime Cymru website, blog and social media channels. Non-shortlisted longlistees will also be informed.
  3.  The writers in each language category who reach the shortlist stage of the prize will be invited to the prize reception at the Gŵyl Crime Cymru Festival in Aberystwyth, where the winners will be announced.
  4. Crime Cymru will contribute up to £50 towards travel expenses per shortlistee, payable on production of public transport receipts or mileage claim (mileage paid at 40p per mile).

4. Terms and conditions:

  1. The entry fee for the prize is £10 – details of how to pay will be provided to all entrants and no submission will consider to have been formally entered until the fee is received.
  2. Crime Cymru reserves the right to oblige any potential winner to provide documentary proof of their identity and address before such person may claim their prize or shortlist status.
  3. Crime Cymru will keep entrants’ contact details for the duration of the prize year only so that winners may be notified and communicated with, and in order to verify compliance with award rules.
  4. Crime Cymru will not pass on entrants’ details to other organisations, excepting partners in the awards, in respect of whom consent is given when entering. Contact details of entrants will only be passed on to journalists who are interested in the outcome of the prize with the authors’ consent.
  5. Crime Cymru reserves the right to cancel the prize at any stage if circumstances arise outside its control.
  6. Crime Cymru reserves the right to form a shorter longlist than twelve entries in each language, and not to award winner or shortlisted places in either language of entry, in the event that entries are deemed to be of insufficient quality.
  7. Neither Crime Cymru nor the judges will enter into any discussion with entrants about their work or the judges’ decision making. The judges’ decisions are final.
  8. All copyright remains with the author.

6. How to submit:

  1. Entries should be submitted by email to ccfirstnovelprize@gmail.com.
  2. Submissions must comprise the first 5,000 words of a crime novel and a one-page synopsis which outlines the full plot (or as much as is planned at the time of submission). For a guide to writing a synopsis, we recommend this very helpful blogpost: https://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/2011/06/relax-its-only-a-synopsis.html
  3. All material must be submitted as a file created in Microsoft Word or a similar word-processor, or as a PDF, in Times New Roman, font size 12, double-spaced. All pages must be numbered.
  4. Entries will be anonymised before sending to the initial readers and the judges. Please do not include your name anywhere in the manuscript or synopsis. Crime Cymru will give a unique entry number to each submission and remove any identifying information from the entries.
  5. The novel opening and the synopsis should be in the same document, with the synopsis placed first.
  6. The file name should be your novel’s title only – do not include your name in the file name.
  7. In your email, please state the following information: your name, your address, a contact phone number, the title of your novel and confirmation of which category (English or Welsh) you are entering.  It is the entrant’s responsibility that all required information is included.
  8. No alterations may be made once the work is submitted.
  9. Crime Cymru reserves the right to exclude any entries which do not conform to the stated submission requirements.
  10. Entrants will receive acknowledgement of submission.
  11. Submission is taken as acceptance of all Terms and Conditions, including Entry instructions. Failure to comply with these will disqualify entries.

We can’t wait to read your entries – send them in to ccfirstnovelprize@gmail.com!

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