On behalf of MWA’s Publication Committee, it is our pleasure to announce that a new original anthology, Odd Partners, edited by Anne Perry, will be published by Ballantine Books in 2019.

Anne’s theme pairs unlikely couples who join forces — sometimes unwillingly — to solve a mystery. From two people meeting each other for the first time, to mortal enemies who must work together to prevent their own destruction, these unlikely partnerships might feature young people working with their elders, or people from very different backgrounds, ethnicities, or religions coming together in pursuit of justice. This idea can also run the gamut beyond two people; a team might consist of a human and an animal. Some stories might touch on the supernatural, with someone teaming up with a ghost. A diary, letter, or even a painting could also be the partner that sends a person sleuthing. As Anne says, “choose your own time and crime.”

The only caveats regarding the stories are to avoid gratuitous violence or sex, violence against children, and violence against animals.

Regarding length and deadlines, stories should be no longer than 6,000 words.

Please note the following: Stories are to be submitted to MWA’s national office no later than December 1, 2017.

As always, a panel of expert judges will receive all stories from MWA headquarters as blind submissions, and will choose the top ten for our editor’s consideration. The submission format [found in the May/June issue of The Third Degree and in the Members Only section of our website] must be strictly followed.



Submissions must be blind.  We prefer electronic submissions, but if you have difficulty submitting electronically, you may submit by snail mail.

If you submit electronically, we will acknowledge your submission usually with 24 hours or the next business day by replying to your e-mail. The stories will not be returned, so do not send a SASE.

Process: Each story will be assigned a number.  The stories will be read by five panelists, who are active status members of MWA and highly regarded short story writers, selected by the Publications Committee. The top choices of the panel will be sent to the editor for inclusion in the anthology. Judging panelists may not submit a story to an anthology s/he is judging.  Stories must be original – not previously published elsewhere.  Stories should be no longer than 6,000 words. Individuals may only submit ONE story for consideration. Manuscript guidelines printed below are required.

Deadline: Deadline for submission is December 1, 2017.  Manuscripts must be received in our office by that date.

Notification: All authors will receive a “thank you for submitting” letter and will also be notified by email as soon as the final selections have been made. An announcement will be made in The Third Degree sometime in early/mid 2018 listing the winning stories.

The Publications Committee and Board of Directors are proud to have Anne Perry serve as the editor for this anthology.  She is unstintingly generous with her valuable time and talents, and we are very grateful for her participation in this exciting project. Please do not contact Anne Perry directly.

If you have questions about the anthologies, please contact the MWA national office: Mandatory Manuscript Guidelines No exceptions whatsoever.

  • Use a legible standard font such as Courier or Times New Roman at 12 pt size; no fancy fonts or formatting, please. Underline words that are to be italicized.  Indent the first line of new paragraphs by five spaces (or one standard tab).
  • Double-space, and use at least 1” margins on all sides.
  • Your electronic submission must be sent as a Word document. Please ensure that no information is included in the manuscript that identifies the author. Do not include your name on the title page or in the header of your manuscript, and check your document properties to make sure that your word-processing program has not embedded your name in the owner, last saved by, or last modified by fields. (If you are uncertain how to remove this information, we recommend doing an Internet search on “how to remove personal information hidden in Word documents.”)
  • If you are submitting on paper, please print on only one side of the paper. You will need to send us 6 copies of your story. Jumbo Metal Paper clips are preferred (smaller paper clips do not hold a larger amount of paper together).  Do not bind, staple, fold, or put your story in a folder.
  • In the email (for electronic submissions) or on the cover sheet only (for paper submissions), put your real name (the one you want a check made out to), and on new lines each: your story title, the name under which your story should appear (if different from your legal name) your address, phone number, e-mail address, and word count for the story. A copy of the story will remain in the office with your information attached to it. The panelists will receive numbered stories only.  The cover sheet should not be part of the story file (for electronic submissions) or the printout (for paper submissions, and should not be attached to any copies of a paper submission.
  • At the middle of the first page of the story, type the full story title in CAPS, go down two lines and begin on the next line (this is for formatting only and not the mandatory title or opening sentence of your story): A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT (for formatting only)

It was a dark and stormy night….

  • Starting with Page 2, put the title of the story and the page number on the top of each page.
  • At the end of your story, type END or ###.
  • To ensure that your stories are promptly routed to the judges: If you are submitting electronically, please use “MWA Anthology Submissions” as the subject line of your email. If you are sending a paper submission, please put all six copies of the manuscript in an envelope marked “MWA Anthology Submissions.”

Send all electronic submissions to:

Send all paper submissions to: Mystery Writers of America, 1140 Broadway, Suite 1507, New York, NY 10001