Please read the contest rules in their entirety.



Theme: Crime stories, mysteries
$100 First Prize
$50 Second Prize
$25 Third Prize

Please read this entire page if you intend to apply to this awesome writing contest.

CRIME TIME (the working title for our fall anthology) is about, you guessed it, crime stories. We’re looking for compelling tales of crime, murder, or mystery. Stories can be set in the past, present, or future. As for the specifics, well, the devil’s in the details as they say.

The Devil’s Party Press editorial staff will select the entries that they determine exemplify solid storytelling. It’ll certainly help if your story is original, edgy, and riveting. The selected works will be collected and published in the CRIME TIME anthology, scheduled for a mid-November 2018 release.


    1. Devil’s Party Press celebrates the mature writer, so you must be at least forty to apply to this contest.
    2. Your submission must fit the theme CRIME TIME. This means crime stories and mysteries as defined above.
    3. Your submission must be a work of fiction, memoir, or poetry.
    4. We are not accepting submissions of erotica, children’s literature, or religious material.
    5. Your work must be original, unpublished, and free from libelous material. You will be required to sign a release prior to publication.
    6. Story/memoir length is 1,000 – 5,000 words. Poems should be one or more poems of no more than 1,000 words total. A story or memoir of 1,000-5,000 words counts as one entry. A poetry manuscript (one or more poems) of 1,000 words or less counts as one entry.
    7. Your work must be submitted via email, preferably in Microsoft Word.
    8. Your work should be publication-ready. This means you are submitting a final version of your work, free of grammatical, spelling, and other errors.
    9. If your work is selected, you will retain copyright but must grant first publication rights to Devil’s Party Press. This includes digital and paper publications of CRIME TIME and reprintings of CRIME TIME.
    10. Submission does not guarantee of publication.
    11. Authors are limited to submitting three entries for this anthology. Each entry must include a reading fee (see below for details).
    12. Devil’s Party Press reserves right to edit for grammar and spelling and to make developmental edits as we deem necessary; writers will be given an opportunity to review changes before publication.
    13. Submissions will be accepted from Monday, June 4, 2018 until 11:59 PM PST, Saturday, September 15, 2018 (entries received at or after 12:01 AM PST, September 16, 2018, will be disqualified and the submission fee will be returned).
    14. Each entry must be accompanied by a $10 fee. This means that two entrees requires a $20 fee and three entries, a $30 fee. No more than three entries per author.
    15. Devil’s Party Press staff will judge the work on creativity, quality of writing, and fit with the theme.


email your story to: In your email, state your preferred author name, your contact information including phone and email, and the title of your submission(s). Attach your submission to the email as a WORD or PAGES doc/file only.

You do not have to include your name or contact information in your submitted files(s). However, if this information is present in the file(s) it will be stripped from the file(s) prior to being delivered to the judging panel.

Submit payment via PayPal at time of article submission by clicking the “Buy Now” button found below (note, you will enter your PayPal ID and password to log into the PayPal site):


Devil’s Party Press specializes in publishing authors over the age of forty and publishing unique and emerging voices in fiction, we aim to help our fellow late bloomers find an advantage in the market.

Our press is local to Delaware, has won awards in the state, and has a following of local readers, book clubs, etc. We want to bring more than your work to our community; we want to make you a part of our funky artist community in Milton and the whole “Eastern Shore” area.

Following publication, you will be invited to attend a launch party, and we will actively promote the anthology, and you, through our networking channels.


  1. Please format your manuscript in Times New Roman 12 pt, double-spaced, no headers or footers.
  2. If possible, refrain from placing contact information in the manuscript. Likewise, avoid placing your name as part of the file name. Rest assured, any identifying information, including headers, will be removed prior to the work being submitted to the judging panel.
  3. We are serious about word count, so when we say 1,000 to 5,000 words we do not mean 5,500 words. Entries that do not adhere to the word count limit are subject to immediate disqualification.
  4. We strive to publish authors over forty. We won’t ask you for identification, but please recognize that our aim as a publisher is to focus on older authors who may be new to publishing.
  5. You will be notified within a few days of submitting your manuscript and payment that we have received your work via an email. If you don’t receive a response, please confirm that we received your entry.
  6. The deadline is non-negotiable. If you wait until the last minute to submit your entry, there is little to no margin for error (email problems, word count, etc.). To be fair to all entrants, the deadline is firm. No exceptions.


Is There an Age Minimum for the Writer?
The contest is open to authors ages forty and older. We specialize in publishing older authors. Authors under the age of forty are encouraged to contact us after they age a bit more, like a wonderful cheese.

How Do I Enter the CRIME TIME Short Story Contest?
Between 6/4/18 and 9/15/18, email your story/memoir/poetry (as an attachment in Microsoft Word or Pages) to There is a $10 entry fee for each piece submitted, and you may submit a maximum of three stories/memoirs, or three poetry submissions of no more than 1000 words each. Payment should be sent at the time of submission via PayPal by clicking on the “Buy Now” button, conveniently found below (note, you will enter your PayPal ID and password to log into the PayPal site):


Stories or memoir (up to three per writer) of 1,000 to 5,000 words, and poetry of up to 1,000 words. Work should be creative, engaging, and related to the theme CRIME TIME.

What Types of Stories Do You Accept?
We are seeking engaging stories of fiction or memoir, or poems. We are not accepting: erotica, children’s stories, religious material, editorial.

I Really Wanted to Submit My Manuscript by the Deadline but My Computer Died Unexpectedly. Can’t You Cut Me Slack?
The deadline is 11:59 PM PST, September 15, 2018. No exceptions. Emails are time stamped, and if your submission arrives AFTER the deadline you will be disqualified from the contest and your submission fee returned. For your own peace of mind, DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY. Seriously, we can’t emphasize this enough.

Will I Receive a Critique of My Story?
At this time we do not expect to be able to provide individual feedback.

Can I Submit a Story in Genres of Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, etc?
Most genres are acceptable. We do not accept children’s stories, erotica, editorial, or religious material. Additionally, please work to submit original ideas.

How Does the Contest Work?
Judges choose the top entries, which will be printed in CRIME TIME, an anthology to be published in paperback format and digital format in November 2018 by Devil’s Party Press. The top three entries will also receive prizes ($100 for first place, $50 for second place, $25 for third place). Each published author will receive one complimentary paperback copy of CRIME TIME, can participate in launch events and book signings/readings, and can purchase books at a thirty-percent discount. Note that authors are NOT required to purchase any copies of CRIME TIME unless they so choose.

Why a Crime-Mystery Anthology?
A number of our readers, and several authors we’ve worked with, have asked if we would consider publishing a crime-mystery anthology in the future. As we at DPP also enjoy a good mystery or crime story, we’ve decided that the future is now.

The theme is designed to ignite your imagination while still allowing you to flex your creative muscles. Our goal is for a central theme to emerge in the final product. The theme is open to your individual interpretation, but fitting within the theme is among the judging criteria.

How Do I WOW the Judges?
The judges are seeking creative voices and strong writing. You are limited to 5,000 words, so choose those words carefully to tell the best tales possible.

Is My Entry Fee Refundable?
Entry fees received before the deadline are non-refundable.

Where Should I Include My Name and Contact Information?
Include your name and contact information (address and phone number) in the body of your email message. There’s no need to include your name or contact information in your manuscript file–it will be removed from the file if present to ensure blind judging. We will document receipt of your entry, but the judges will see only your story and its title.

Will You Confirm Receipt of My Submission?
Yes. We acknowledge all entries via email as quickly as possible. If you have not received an email to confirm that we have received your submission within one-week’s time, please contact us at

How Are Winners (and Non-Winners) Notified?
Winners will be notified by October 1, 2018. If your entry is not chosen, you will be notified via email on or around this same time. Be sure to check your spam folders.

How Do You Ensure Fair Judging? What if I Know One of the Judges?
We do not publicize the names of our judges. We also do everything possible to ensure that the judging process is fair. Your identifying information is removed from the submission upon receipt. During the first round of judging, judges review the submissions independent of one another to avoid bias or influence upon other judges. If a judge believes that he or she recognizes a story or suspects the identity of the story’s author, then the judge recuses himself or herself from that story. Judges select the stories they best feel meet the submission criteria. During the second round of judging, the stories that were selected in round one are read independently by each judge. The top stories are selected, again based on adherence to the contest submission criteria. Lastly, the top prizewinners are chosen by a consensus of all judges without debate or lobbying, making it nearly impossible for any individual judge to unfairly influence the outcome. Entrants who attempt to interfere with the judging process are immediately disqualified.

Any other words of advice?
Best of luck, but remember . . . good writing is no accident.