Deviant Minds

Do you have what it takes to become a bestselling crime and thriller writer? Do you spend time day-dreaming about fiendishly complex ways to see off your boss or mother-in-law? Fancy yourself as the next Gillian Flynn or Lee Child? Well, now it’s time to put your talent to the test.

Deviant Minds is a writing prize open to unagented authors, with an unpublished adult crime novel or thriller. The author must be born or resident in the UK or Ireland.

The lucky winner will be offered representation by A.M. Heath, one of the most renowned literary agencies in the UK, along with the promise of digital publication from Corvus, Atlantic Books, the home of a thriving list of popular and bestselling writers.

We know the next big thing in crime and thriller is out there. Is it you? Only one way to find out – enter your novel for Deviant Minds.

The nitty gritty…

To enter, send the first 10,000 words and a synopsis (max 300 words) of your novel as word documents to: Deviantminds@amheath.com

You can enter any kind of crime, suspense or thriller novel for the prize, although anything previously submitted to AM Heath is ineligible. Please remember that you must be unagented and born or resident in the UK and Ireland in order to enter. If you are one of the lucky shortlisted authors, then you must be in a position to submit the completed manuscript by the 11th June.

  • 19th February 2018: submissions open
  • 27th April 2018 (midnight GMT): deadline date for entries
  • 18th May: a shortlist of five novels will be announced
  • 11th June: shortlisted authors must submit completed novels
  • 9th July: Winner announced

Entrants will receive confirmation of receipt of submission, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted thereafter.

The Prize:

Guaranteed representation from A.M. Heath and digital publication on the Corvus list, with possible print publication to follow.

The judging talent

The prize will be judged by:

  • AM Heath agents Euan Thorneycroft and Oli Munson

Euan Thorneycroft: have been at AM Heath since 2005, and I am one of the senior agents here. Before that, I was an agent at Curtis Brown. I have always loved finding new authors and working with them. I represent a range of different kinds of fiction, from the very literary to the more commercial. I’m looking for strong prose, unique voices and a compelling narrative. In terms of genre, I’ve always been most interested in crime, thrillers, historical and upmarket women’s fiction. I have been a committee member of the Association of Authors’ Agents as well as serving as the external examiner on one of the country’s leading creative writing courses. I am also a judge for the Bridport First Novel Award.

Oli Munson: After nine years at the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, I joined A.M.Heath in 2012. My client list includes award-winning, bestselling authors of crime, suspense, thrillers and speculative fiction with high concept plots. I’m always looking for more great writers who are blazing trails in these genres. I’ve given talks to various writers’ groups, university courses and international book fairs as well as being a Frankfurt Book Fair Fellow in 2010 and a former committee member of the Association of Authors Agents.

  • Editorial Director, Sara O’ Keeffe and Editor, Susannah Hamilton at Corvus, Atlantic Books

Sara O’ Keeffe: I’m looking for strong psychological thrillers; more traditional thrillers in the vein of Linwood Barclay and Lisa Gardner; upmarket women’s fiction and contemporary, issue-led women’s fiction. I love novels with rounded characters and driving plots, that keep you flipping those pages long into the night.

Susannah Hamilton: I’m looking to acquire sweeping (historical) sagas with a real sense of place and time, warm women’s fiction of the escapist sort, family dramas, classic crime and espionage fiction, and psychological thrillers.

  • A crime and thriller author yet to be named


More information…

Click here for a detailed list of all the terms and conditions.

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And join the discussion at #DeviantPrize

For any questions, email enquiries@amheath.com.