The 2001 CWA Short Story Dagger
The Macallan Short Story Dagger
in association with the Crime Writers Association
Winner: Marion ArnottMARION ARNOTT won the 2001 The Macallan Short Story Dagger and a cheque for £1500 for her Prussian Snowdrops from Crimewave 4 (TTA Press).
It is a subtle tale set in mid-thirties Germany where a young journalist is holed up in the country after making fun of the Nazis and gradually discovers what has happened to the occupants of the local mental hospital. This sad and subtly told tale impressed the judges with its author's obvious devotion to the form of short story writing. Marion Arnott teaches English and History at St Andrew’s Academy, Paisley. Her work has been published in a wide variety of magazines.
The Macallan Daggers are sponsored by The Macallan, distillers of the finest Single Highland Malt Whisky, in association with the Crime Writers' Association.
The Short Story Dagger was instituted in 1995 and has been sponsored by The MACALLAN from the outset.
All the shortlisted stories this year came from two publications, the historical anthology Murder Through the Ages (ed Maxim Jakubowski, Headline, £6.99, ISBN 0 7472 7253 0) and Crimewave 4 (ed Andy Cox, TTA Press, £5.99, ISBN: 0 95269 474 3 which the judges singled out for its consistent high quality) The judges were looking for originality, freshness and promise. Though not perhaps a bumper year for entries, the shortlisted stories all stood out as excellent. The other shortlisted stories were:
Leaving Seven Sisters, by Simon Avery, from Crimewave 4
A story rich in London argot and a vivid sense of place. An ex-con investigates the murder of a Tory Minister's daughter in a tongue-in-cheek tale which cunningly avoids expected clichés. The judges admired the 'getting rid of the body' episode, one of the finest expositions of this vital ingredient that they had read.
The Trebuchet Murder, by Susanna Gregory, from Murder Through the Ages
Set in a Cambridge college where the Provost dies; one of three candidate - including a 'plant' - must be chosen to succeed. The judges praised the author's wit and dark cynicism in a story full of good observation which had a superb twist at the end.
Dark Mirror, by Lauren Henderson, from Murder Through the Ages
A stylish and elegant story of identical twins. Told in minimalist style, it is based on a famous Olivia de Havilland film, but contains its own extremely prolonged and well teased-out twist.
Miles to go before I Weep, by Brian Hodge, from Crimewave 4
After a roaring introduction which involves a fight between two women, a pair of damaged characters describe the abusive relationships in their past lives - leading to a fine twist and, ultimately, a sense of hope.