Michael Bracken

Edgar-nominated Writer/Anthony-nominated Editor


21st Century Noir

Vol. 5

Call for Submissions


The Mickey Finn series isn’t watered-down mysteries for dilettantes—the annual anthologies are crime-fiction cocktails that will knock readers into a literary stupor.


This series—released each December beginning in 2020—continues with Mickey Finn: 21st Century Noir, Vol. 5, which will pick up where the first four Mickey Finns left off, pushing hard against the boundaries of crime fiction. Contributors are encouraged to push their work into places short crime fiction doesn’t often go, into a world where the mean streets seem gentrified by comparison and happy endings are the exception rather than the rule.


All, or a significant portion, of each story must be set in the 21st Century. (That’s 2001 to the present day.) The ideal submission is approximately 5,000 words—less than 3,000 is likely too short, more than 7,000 is likely too long. Originals only. No reprints.


Mickey Finn: 21st Century Noir, Vol. 5 is scheduled for release December 2024.


Submissions: Use standard manuscript format. Include name, address, telephone number, and email address on the manuscript. Save as a Word document (.doc preferred) and send as an attachment to Submissions@CrimeFictionWriter.com. In the subject line, write: Mickey Finn submission.


Submission Window: Submissions open February 1–February 28, 2023. No early submissions; no late submissions. Though rejections may occur at any point during the process, do not expect acceptance decisions until late April 2023.


Payment: A pro-rata share of royalties.


About the editor: In addition to editing Black Cat Mystery Magazine, Michael Bracken has edited several crime fiction anthologies, including the Anthony Award nominated The Eyes of Texas: Private Eyes from the Panhandle to the Piney Woods, Jukes & Tonks (co-edited with Gary Phillips), and the three-volume Fedora series. Additionally, he co-created and co-edits (with Trey R. Barker) the novella anthology series Guns + Tacos. Stories from his anthologies have received or been short-listed for Anthony, Derringer, Edgar, Macavity, and Shamus awards, and have been named among the year’s best by the editors of The Best American Mystery Stories, The Best American Mystery and Suspense, and the editors of The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories.


Additionally, Bracken is the author of eleven books and more than 1,200 short stories, including crime fiction published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, The Best American Mystery Stories, and The Best Mystery Stories of the Year. In 2016 he received the Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer Award for lifetime achievement in short mystery fiction. Learn more about the editor at CrimeFictionWriter.com.


About the publisher: Founded in 2011, Down & Out Books is an independent publisher of crime fiction based in Tampa, Florida. Their novels, anthologies, and stories published in their anthologies have received Anthony, Macavity, Shamus, Thriller, and many other awards. Over the last several years, Down & Out Books has published more than 400 books and includes Shotgun Honey, All Due Respect, and ABC Documentation among its imprints. Learn more about the publisher at DownAndOutBooks.com.


Black Cat Mystery Magazine


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.