The William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants Program for Unpublished Writers will award one grant to an unpublished writer in the Malice Domestic genre at each year’s convention. Founded in 1993 by Beth Foxwell, a former Malice Domestic Board Chair, it was later named for the late William F. Deeck, a long-time supporter and friend of Malice Domestic, Ltd. and an advocate for unpublished writers. The Grant program is designed to foster quality Malice Domestic literature and to assist mystery authors on the road to publication.

Malice Domestic, Ltd. awards the Grant based on a demonstrated commitment to the Malice Domestic genre. The Grant 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. In the case of nonfiction, the grant may be used to offset research expenses. The grant includes a $2,500 award plus a comprehensive registration for the upcoming convention and two nights’ lodging at the convention hotel, but does not include travel to the convention or meals.

DEFINITION OF THE MALICE DOMESTIC GENRE: The genre is loosely described as mystery stories of the Agatha Christie type—i.e. “traditional mysteries.” These works usually feature no excessive gore, gratuitous violence, or explicit sex.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: Writers must not have published a book, short story, or dramatic work in the mystery field, either in print, electronic, or audio form. Members of the Malice Domestic, Ltd.’s Board of Directors and their families are ineligible to apply. Previous winners of the Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers are ineligible to reapply for the grant. Malice Domestic, Ltd. encourages application from minority candidates.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND DEADLINE: Candidates must submit an email attachment containing the following required materials to the Grants Chair at by the deadline: a letter of application explaining the writer’s qualifications for the Grant and the conference or workshop to be attended o the research to be funded; a short bio; the candidate’s address, email and telephone number; a plot synopsis of no more than 300 words; three consecutive chapters of the writer’s Malice Domestic genre work-in-progress, preferable the first three chapters. In addition, an applicant must be prepared to submit a copy of his/her entire work-in-progress if requested by the Grants Chair.

Materials will be accepted between May 1 through November 1 annually

APPLICATION REVIEW: Applications will be reviewed and a winner chosen by Malice Domestic Ltd.’s Board of Directors or its designated representatives. The Board reserves the right to reject any incomplete, inappropriate, or late applications. In the event there are no qualified candidates, the Board reserves the right to make no award at all. The decision of the Malice Domestic Ltd.’s Board of Directors is final.

NOTIFICATION: The winner and all other applicant for the grant will be notified in March of the status of their submissions.

GRANT PRESENTATION: The grant winner will be announced at the Malice Domestic convention. The winner will be required to submit within one year a report to the Board (via the Grants Chair) on the use of the grant award.

Harriette Sackler
Malice Domestic Grants Chair

Previous Grant Winners

1994: Jeffrey Marks, The Scent of Murder
1995: LeeAnna Lawrence, A Cousin Once Removed
1996: Joan C. Curtis, The Internet Murderer
Sujata Massey, The Salaryman's Wife
1997: Carol Hauswald, Avenging Angels
1998: Marcia Talley, Sing It To Her Bones
Matt Witten, Breakfast at Madeline's
1999: Claire M. Johnson, Murder Underfoot
Anne White, An Affinity for Murder
2000: Susan Wrona Gall, Canvas Shroud
Carolyn Kourofsky, Through a Shooter's Eye
2001: Terry Hoover, Sweet Alice
Kyle Z. Bell, George Washington Died Here
2002: Elizabeth Berry, Inn Sight
2003: Thomas E. Bonsall, Lilac Time
Martha Crites, She Who Listens
G.M. Malliet, Death of a Cozy Writer
2004: Shirley Folwarski, Blood is Stickier Than Holy Water
Heidi Vornbrock Roosa, Hypothesis for Murder
2005: Hilary McGowan, A Cottage with a View
Stacy Leigh Juba, Sign of the Messenger
2006: Joseph W. Richardson, Gideon's Inn
Elizabeth Duncan, Dead Posh
2007: Dawn Dixon Cotter, Faux Finish
Gigi Morrissett Pandian, Artifact
2008: Robin Hewitt, One Sweet Pickle
Linda Reeder, Bricks and Murder
2009: Kimberly Gray, Ghost of a Chance
2010: Patricia A. Gouthro, Lies My Professor Told Me
Stephanie Evans, Standing on the Promises
2011: Robin Templeton, Double Exposure
2012: Sarah E. Bewley, Florida is Burning
Cynthia M. Sabelhaus, Trite but True
2014: Ellen Byron, Reality Checked
Rosemarie and Vince Keenan, Design for Dying
2015: Cynthia Kuhn, Lectured to Death
Keenan Powell, Deadly Solution
2016: K.G. Whitehurst, Unquiet Justice

2017: Mia Manansala, Death Comes to Comikon

2018: Sandra L. Marshall

2019: Bess Carnan