The William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant Program

As many of you know, I am the Grant Chair for Malice Domestic. We are currently accepting submissions and reviewing works-in-progress for this year’s grant. If you’re an unpublished writer in the Malice genre (traditional mysteries), please consider sending us your submission for review.

Here is a Q & A I just did regarding the Malice Grant Program.

What exactly is the Malice Grants Program? What does the writer of the winning submission receive?

The William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants Program for Unpublished Writers is a wonderful way for unpublished writers of the traditional mystery to be recognized for the potential of their works-in-progress. The Program is designed to foster quality malice domestic literature and to help the next generation of traditional mystery writers get their first works published.
Each grant includes a $1,500 award which may be used to offset registration, travel, or other expenses related to attendance at a writers’ conference or workshop within a year of the date of the award. A comprehensive registration to Malice Domestic and two nights’ lodging at the convention hotel for the year the grant is presented is also included, but travel to the convention hotel and meals are excluded.

What are you looking for in a Malice Grant submission?

The Grants Committee is looking for a submission that is a cut above the rest. It must be consistent with the Malice Domestic genre which can be loosely described as mystery stories of the Agatha Christie type—i.e., “traditional mysteries.” These works feature no excessive gore, gratuitous violence, or explicit sex. Grants are awarded to works-in-progress that demonstrate excellent writing skills, originality, and a solid knowledge of character development and plotting.

What are the dates I can submit my manuscript?

The Grant submission period is from September 15 through November 15 each year. Any work-in-progress postmarked before or on November 15 will be accepted.

How is the winning submission(s) for the Malice Grant decided?

The three members of the Grants Committee receive a copy of the submission materials to review and evaluate. They then come together to discuss their recommendations until all three are in agreement about which submission(s) should be awarded a grant.

Can I email you my submission?

No, the Committee only accepts hard copy submissions.

What makes the Malice Grant different from other literary contests?

The Malice Grant is specific to the traditional mystery. If you are writing in any other genre, your work-in-progress will be disqualified. I am happy to report that the William F. Deeck-Malice Grant for Unpublished Writers is highly regarded by agents representing writers in this genre and how wonderful it has been to receive this feedback from a number of well-respected professionals in the field.
Where can I find more information about the Malice Grant and submission guidelines?
For a more comprehensive discussion about the Malice Domestic Grant Program please visit our website at: http://www.malicedomestic.org and click on Grants. If you have additional questions, please feel free to email me at: malicegrants@comcast.net.

Who are some past winners of the Malice Grant?

I am very proud to tell you that a few of the authors included amongst our Grant recipients are: Jeffrey Marks, Sujata Massey, Mat Witten, Marcia Talley, G.M. Malliet, Elizabeth Duncan, Stephanie Evans, and Gigi Pandian.

Can I submit more than one manuscript at a time?

No, only one submission per writer will be considered each year.

I’ve submitted a work-in-progress to the Malice Grants Program in the past and I was not a Grant recipient. Can I resubmit my revised manuscript this year for consideration?

We encourage writers to revise their manuscripts and resubmit. However, we only permit resubmission once. But we welcome the submission of a new manuscript in the future.

Who Dat? An Interview with Debra H Goldstein

It was my pleasure to interview Debra H. Goldstein, a fellow contributor to the Mystery and Horror, LLC short story anthology, Mardi Gras Murder. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Debra’s story and wanted to introduce her to you.

Tell me about yourself-including other published short stories, etc.

For many years as a litigator and then a federal Administrative Law Judge, my writings were confined to legal articles and book chapters. In 2009, I decided to write more creatively.

Maybe I Should Hug You won a 2009 Alabama Writers Conclave Nonfiction Award and was published by More Magazine online in April 2010 as More Hugs, Less Fear. Malicious Mischief received a 2010 Chattahoochee Valley Writer’s Conference Short Story Award. After receiving AWC Humor and Short Fiction Awards, Legal Magic and Grandma’s Garden appeared in the 2011 and 2011 editions of www.Alalit.com. The Bethlehem Writers Roundtable November 2013 featured short story was A Political Cornucopia. Early Frost will be in the April 2014 Birmingham Arts Journal and Saturday the Rabbi’s Wife Stayed Home will be included in a future edition of Mysterical-E.

Meme’s Place was included in the 2012 short story anthology It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.   Who Dat? Dat the Indian Chief was one of thirteen stories selected for the 2014 Mardi Gras Murder anthology. My first novel, Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan’s campus in the 1970’s was published in April 2011 and received a 2012 IPPY Award. Harlequin Worldwide Mystery will feature Maze in Blue as a May 2014 book of the month.

Tell me a plot teaser about your Mardi Gras Murder story, Who Dat? Dat the Indian Chief!

Who Dat? Dat the Indian Chief! focuses on the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Tribe parades and traditions. This story of redemption is set post Katrina.

How did you get the idea for your story? How did you come to write it?

I saw an open call for short stories for a Mardi Gras anthology. Not knowing much about Mardi Gras events, I started researching different parades. When I found historical info about how the offspring of slaves and Indians created alternate parade activities, my imagination ran wild – especially in light of the aftermath of Katrina.

Did you need to do research for the story?

Yes. I read everything I could find on Mardi Gras Indian tribe parades, the routes they use, and the special way the tribes communicate so that I could make my story realistic. Because I have not spent much time in New Orleans, I contacted two friends who are natives to find out about schools, streets, parishes, and other physical landmarks so my setting would be accurate.

Anything else you want to say about the story or the anthology?

“Who Dat? Dat the Indian Chief!” is a story of redemption that features two characters who are part of the New Orleans Indian tribe/Krewe culture. The story highlights the costumes of the tribes and the impact that Katrina had on the city of New Orleans and the people who stayed or returned to live there.

Many thanks to Debra for sharing her thoughts and experiences on writing. Find out more about Debra and her work on her website www.DebraHGoldstein.com .

A new story just published!

Now Available: All Hallows’ Evil which contains my short story “Devil’s Night.” Published by Mystery & Horror LLC, the anthology is available in paperback and also as a Kindle download.

Order your copy here:
http://www.amazon.com/All-Hallows-Evil-Gloria-Alden/dp/0989007626/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1379461776&sr=8-2&keywords=all+hallow%27s+evil

Heading Across the Pond

Heading Across the Pond

I’m off to the UK!

Fish Nets Anthology: Just Where Do the Stories Come From?

Fish Nets Anthology: Just Where Do the Stories Come From?

I recently guest blogged for the Sisters in Crime Guppy Chapter Anthology blog for our new release Fish Nets. Ever wonder what motivates a writer? Check it out and see! 

The Anatomy of a Critique Group

The Rockville Writers’ Group gets together on the fourth Saturday of each month.  I very much look forward to our meetings because I know that I’ll always come away with a sense of accomplishment, whether it is relative to my own writing or that of my colleagues.

            I got to thinking about why this critique group works so well and why some fail.  I

identified a number of factors that I’d like to share.

            First, the Rockville Writers’ Group is structured.  We have guidelines for operation which insure that all members are actively engaged.  We critique in a proscribed way. 

            All the members of the group enjoy active lives with plenty of responsibilities and interests.  But when we come together, it’s all about writing. That’s our focus and we stick to it.

            Group members enjoy an easy camaraderie.  We joke.  We laugh.  We like being together.

            Speaking for myself, when I submit a story for critique, I truly value the group’s input.  And that’s because my colleagues are all terrific writers and I respect their talents.  They provide me with suggestions and diverse points of view that enrich my writing.  If I don’t want to integrate suggested changes into my story, I’m under no pressure to do so.

            We have eight group members-four women and four men.  We come from different professions, different life situations and write in several different genres.  Mystery/suspense, literary fiction, and science fiction.  Some of us are traditionally published, some self-published, and some not yet published. Some write short stories, others novels.  The diversity works for us.

            In May, I’ll be celebrating my second anniversary with the group.  And I’m the newest member.  I know that over the years of its existence, members have come and gone.  But, at this point in time, the chemistry is right.

            Here’s to the Rockville Writers’ Group!

Try It. You’ll Like It

I’m very proud to be on the Board of Directors of Malice Domestic, Ltd.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this organization, let me tell you about it.

            Malice Domestic was established in 1989 to provide a venue to celebrate the traditional mystery—books typified by the works of Agatha Christie.  Each year, over 500 authors and fans gather in the Washington, D.C. area for three days of author panels, interviews, signings and a host of other enjoyable activities.  The convention is known for its air of camaraderie, diverse programming, and excellent planning.

            At a Saturday night banquet, Malice Domestic presents the prestigious Agatha Awards for the best books published the previous year that conform to Malice’s rules for eligibility.  Categories covered are: Best Novel; Best Historical; Best First Novel; Best Short Story; Best Children’s/Young Adult; and Best Non-Fiction.  All registrants have the opportunity to nominate their favorite books in each category several months prior to the convention.  Attendees vote for their choices on site.

            Each year, the Malice Domestic Board of Directors elects a very special group of individuals to be honored at the convention for their considerable contributions to the genre: Guest of Honor; Toastmaster; Lifetime Achievement; Malice Remembers (a posthumous award) Fan Guest of Honor; and in some years, several additional honors.

            If traditional mysteries are your cup of tea, please consider joining the festivities.  The 2013 Malice Domestic convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bethesda, Maryland, May 3-5 and marks Malice’s 25th anniversary.

            For more information, please visit: www.malicedomestic.org.

                                                                        —-Harriette Sackler