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NOIRCON 2012 is going slumming with Out of the Gutter Online to highlight new authors and new crime yarns that hearken back to the era when David Goodis grinded out his grim, moody tales and Jim Thompson introduced the world to psycho noir.

Between July 1 and October 15, one story between 5,000 and 8,000 words will be selected each month for a prime spot in ATOMIC NOIR: Four Dark Original Stories Inspired by Post-World War II Crime Fiction. Winners get $50 and a copy of the book, and even better, they get their work distributed to the biggest names and biggest fans in current crime fiction at NOIRCON 2012, the toughest noir event in America, held every two years in a theater basement in downtown Philly.

Among others luminaries Lawrence Block will be there, chatting with legendary editor Otto Penzler, and should you win, your story, included in this slim, handsome volume, will be placed in these men's hands by the event's organizer and the lead figure in the current David Goodis revival, Lou Boxer.

Lou himself will be in charge of assessing and accepting stories, and helping him to judge and organize the material will be none other than Philadelphia's own crime fiction master, the phenomenal Duane Swierczynski.

It can't get much better so consider that the end of the pitch. Here are the details:

*Submissions for the first round open July 1 and close July 21. Submissions for subsequent rounds open the first of the month and close on the 15th--except for Round 4, which will open and close 1 week early!

*Send original work that has not been previously published.

*Send work as a Microsoft Word document, using the standard manuscript format. To receive your complimentary copy of the book and the prize money, include your real name and a mailing address, as well as instructions to deposit money into your PayPal account if that's how you prefer to receive funds.

*Stories must be no less than 5,000 words, and no more than 8,000 words.

*Send work by email only, to Lou Boxer, here.

*We're specifically looking for work reflecting the style and sensibilities of the geniuses who revolutionized crime fiction between 1950 and 1970. Think Goodis, Thompson, Woolrich, Willeford, Himes, McBain, MacDonald . . . Think of Gold Medal paperbacks containing seedy worlds of cheap murder and cheaper sex . . . Think of a Utopian era darkened by the threat of nuclear obliteration, its shadows haunted by disillusioned vets, mobsters sucking wealth from a booming economy, backstreet tramps, smalltime hoods, desperate schemers . . . Your story doesn't absolutely have to take place in this period, but you must capture the moods and themes that define its crime writing.