Tuesday, 16 February 2016
The CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Prize
Calling all short story writers! If you like the short form as much as I do, why not try your hand at submitting an entry to the CWA Margery Allingham short story prize competition? The details about how to enter can be found here. The prize on offer is fantastic - £1000 plus a free pass to Crimefest.
The prize is sponsored by the Margery Allingham Society, and the judges are looking to find a previously unpublished story that conforms to Margery's idea of what makes a good mystery story: for her, it was "box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge", and it had four walls - a crime, a mystery, an enquiry, and a conclusion with an element of satisfaction in it.
The competition is open to established authors and newcomers alike. To give an example, I entered a story myself during the competition's first year, and so did my wife, who at that time had never published any fiction at all. We both finished up on the shortlist of ten, and my story "Acknowledgments" was the eventual winner. It was all very gratifying for us, the more so for being unexpected. And it underlines my message to people who like writing short stories - have a go, and you never know what may happen!
But you'll have to be quick. The closing date is 1 March. However, it's still plenty of time, if you can find an idea that really grabs you. There is an upper limit on the word count of 3500 words, so the story doesn't need to be, and indeed shouldn't be, an epic. Something short, snappy and a bit different is the objective. Good luck!