Michael Bracken

Anthony, Edgar, and Shamus nominee




Submission Guidelines


In the tradition of The Best American Mystery and Suspense and The Best Mystery Stories of the Year, The Best Private Eye Stories of the Year will honor—what else—the best private eye short stories published in 2024.


For the purposes of this project, we use the Private Eye Writers of America’s definition of private eye: “a private citizen (not a member of the military, federal agency, or civic or state police force) who is paid to investigate crimes. A Private Investigator can be a traditional private eye, a TV or newspaper reporter, an insurance investigator, an employee of an investigative service or agency (think Pinkertons), or similar character.”


To be considered for inclusion, a story must have first been published in English during calendar year 2024. Translations previously published in another language, regardless of when originally published, will be considered if the English-language version was first published in 2024.


Stories must be complete in and of themselves and not an excerpt from a longer work.


Editors are encouraged to submit on behalf of their writers. Writers are encouraged to submit their own work. Readers are encouraged to suggest stories they enjoyed. It is far better for the anthology editors to receive multiple copies of a story than to receive no copies. What we don’t see we can’t select.


Submissions: Send a PDF of the published story (including the copyright page) or a URL if the story appeared online to BestPI@CrimeFictionWriter.com. In the subject line, write: Best PI submission.


In the cover letter, include the author’s name, the title of the story, the publication, the publisher, and the publication’s editor. Example: Michael Bracken, “Death in Camelot,” Groovy Gumshoes: Private Eyes in the Psychedelic Sixties (Down & Out Books), edited by Michael Bracken. Also include contact information for the writer.


If unable to provide a PDF, write to the series editor at the above email address to request a mailing address.


Deadline: December 31, 2024. This is a hard deadline. Absolutely no stories received after this date will be considered.


Payment: $100. No royalties. Paid via PayPal (preferred) or check.


Publication date: Fall 2025.


About the series editor: Michael Bracken https://www.CrimeFictionWriter.com


About the guest editor: Matt Coyle https://mattcoylebooks.com/


About the publisher: Level Short, an imprint of Level Best Books https://www.levelbestbooks.us/






Also, keep an eye on the Black Cat Mystery Magazine website (https://wildsidepress.com/submissions/) for information on when the magazine will be open for submissions.