The CBC radio program Day 6 is sponsoring "The Elmore Leonard Rule-Breaking Contest," in which they want you to submit a sentence that breaks as many of Leonard's famous Rules for Writing as possible. Winners will have their rule-breaking sentences featured on the Day 6 website and published in The National Post, plus they'll receive three Elmore Leonard books courtesy of HarperCollins. (Hat tip to Shots Mag.)
Here's another interesting contest (brought to my attention by Crimespree Mag), the "Queen of Crime" sweeptstakes. Acorn Media is offering a Grand Prize package with a trip for two to London and Paris; a visit to the set of a Poirot or Marple production; a tour of Greenway, Christie’s holiday home; tickets to see The Mousetrap, the world’s longest-running play; one-day rail trip to Paris on the Orient Express; and a DVD library of Agatha Christie programs. You can enter once per day through April 30th.
Amazon.com, along with Penguin Group and CreateSpace, announced the third annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, the international competition seeking the next popular novel. For the first time, the competition will award two grand prizes: one for General Fiction and one for Young Adult Fiction. The contest will also now be open to novels that have previously been self-published. Each winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $15,000 advance. Manuscript submissions will be accepted through February 5 or when 5,000 entries have been received in each category, whichever is earlier.
As part of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, you can attend an evening of "The Wrong Kind of Reading" on Thursday, March 1st from 8-10 p.m. This free event features a reading from seven "literary pulp" writers: Pinckney Benedict, Kyle Minor, Robin Becker, Anthony Neil Smith, John Weagly, Nikki Dolson, and David James Keaton, all affiliated to some extent with the ezine Plots with Guns.
If you're a budding writer or just want to perfect your craft, the Left Coast Crime 2012 Workshop for Writers is ready to help. Scheduled for Thursday, March 29, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento, there will be two sessions: one with Jennifer Sawyer Fisher – former editor at Kensington, Penguin, Morrow/Avon and HarperCollins, to such luminaries as Lawrence Block and Lisa Jackson, who will teach a session on self-editing; the other with Alexandra Sokoloff - current author, former screenwriter, teaching a session on using screenwriting techniques to enhance your novel-writing. Also, if you're registered for the Left Coast Crime Conference, you have until Friday, January 27 to submit your award nominations.
For those of you who are members on the Grand Dame of mystery newsgroups, the DorothyL discussion and idea list for the lovers of the mystery genre, you can order DorothyL merchandise, with proceeds to benefit the charity to Stitches from the Heart. This is the 20th Anniversary of the founding of Dorothy L by a group meeting of the Association of Research Libraries.
In cooperation with the New Mexico Book Coop, Wordharvest is creating the Tony Hillerman Award for Best Fiction as part of the expanded New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. The prize will be given to the book that judges deem to be the best work of fiction submitted in the contest's various categories. The competition is open to any author living in New Mexico or Arizona, and to authors from elsewhere who write about these states. Guidelines will be posted on the Wordharvest site on Jan. 27 and entries will be open from that date until July 1, 2012.