Procedures, Qualifications, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Contest Entry Qualifications
Please note that if no acceptable candidates are received, AHMM and The Wolfe Pack reserve the right to declare no winner in any given year.
The Black Orchid Novella Award is a blind contest. In order to be considered, your manuscript must follow the standards set out below exactly.
The winner will be announced at The Wolfe Pack’s Annual Black Orchid Banquet in New York City on the first Saturday of December.
Contest Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Heed the words of Linda Landrigan, editor-in-chief of AHMM. She says, “We need to stress that a novella is not a padded short story. A novella needs to be as tight and fast-paced as a short story or a novel. Authors need to ensure that the story they want to tell is properly sized for whatever format they choose.”
No. You should not include a cover letter at all. Instead, you should include a separate document (.DOC or .DOCX file) that includes your:
- Phone number
- Novella title
- Word count
- One-sentence summary
Yes, international submissions are welcome—so long as they’re in English.
You are correct. You can’t use the characters or the universe. But as long as the “feel” is such that it honors the literary tradition (and the meaning of that term is, of course, likely to vary by individual), you can write anything you want. Note that the detective doesn’t have to be a man, based in New York City, have a partner, be employed as a private detective, etc.
While the winner is required to sign a standard AHMM contract, the ownership of the novella remains with the author. The Wolfe Pack is not involved in any assignment of rights.
If a winner is selected, that person will hear from us by the end of October, prior to the annual Black Orchid Banquet (the first Saturday in December); we hope he or she is able to attend! No finalists are named prior to the gala, but a news release is issued the day after the banquet to all relevant media outlets, which includes a list of Honorable Mentions.