Jacob M. Appel published three books before his first trip to Killer Nashville, but wasn’t satisfied with the direction of his literary career. It was Killer Nashville’s growing reputation as THE place to make literary dreams a reality that brought him to Music City and the annual Claymore Award competition. He had one singular lofty goal in mind — to find his dream agent. Mission accomplished. Jacob M. Appel was a Claymore Finalist with "The Man Who Trounced God at Chess" in August 2013. And at the writers’ conference, he connected with an agent who is helping him take his literary career to the next level. How influential is Killer Nashville and the Claymore Award? Publisher’s Weekly has recognized Killer Nashville and its founder Clay Stafford as playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” throughout “the nation’s book culture.” (PW 6/10/13) Jacob M. Appel was aware of this. “Being a Claymore finalist was a game-changing event in my literary career. I had already published three books, but thanks to the Killer Nashville International Thriller, Mystery, and Crime Literature Writers’ Conference, I landed the agent of my dreams and my newest manuscript has received attention I never thought possible,” Jacob said. This doesn’t include the other perks that separate Killer Nashville from other writing contests: over $1,500 in prizes to winners, getting an advance, getting a book published through a traditional publisher, maybe even a movie deal. “That’s what Killer Nashville is all about,” says Clay Stafford, the founder of Killer Nashville. “It’s about making connections for authors.” “Most importantly, individuals whom I met at Killer Nashville have helped generate a buzz for my most recent novel, "The Biology of Luck," that I could never have managed to create on my own,” states Jacob. “All in all, Killer Nashville is one of the best experiences for an aspiring writer available today.” THE DEADLINE FOR THE NEXT COMPETITION IS APRIL 30, 2014. Rules and registration are available at http://www.ClaymoreAward.com. Winners will be announced during the award ceremony at Killer Nashville on Saturday, August 23, 2014. All it takes is the first 50 pages of an unpublished manuscript not currently under contract. The manuscript does not even need to be complete. Not everyone’s Killer Nashville success story will match Jacob’s, but there’s always that dream - and that possibility! Since its inception in 2009, the writing contest has led to publication for many authors and to agent representation for still more. Judges will consider any subgenre of mystery, thriller, and suspense, including action, adventure, children’s, comedy, cozy, CSI, detective, dystopian, erotica, faith-based, fantasy, gangster, historical, horror, legal, literary, middle grade, paranormal, police procedural, political thriller, private eye, romantic suspense, science fiction (sci-fi), spy, steampunk, urban fantasy, western, women’s fiction, and young adult (YA).