The Crime Writers’ Association

The Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition

The Mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a Crime, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an Element of Satisfaction in it. Margery Allingham

Every year since 2014, the CWA and the Margery Allingham Society have jointly held an international competition for a short story of up to 3,500 words.

Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery, and not only that, but one which fits into Golden Age crime writer Margery Allingham’s definition of what makes a great mystery story.

Entries are invited from all writers, published or unpublished, writing in English.

All announcements will also appear on this website.

Please address any queries to the CWA Secretary: or Competitions Coordinator:

2024 highly commended

2024 shortlist

2024 longlist

Author Title
Tim Adler Premonition
Cailey Barber Smoking Dogs
Steve Beresford Marlie Malin’s Murder
Susan Breen Olga Popova
Tim Butterworth Kara Boska
Nandini Doreswamy Coronation Night
Kirsten Ehrlich Davies The Pact
Emma O’Driscoll A Quarrel Between Friends
Meeti Shah The Ladies’ Tailor
Camilla Smith Horses for Courses
Yvonne Walus Right Place Wrong Time
Nicole Wells Rock Lobster Red

How to write a winning story

We asked Martin Edwards, the inaugural winner of the CWA/Margery Allingham Short Story competition for 6 great tips and here they are:

Find out more about Martin here and about Crafting Crime, his online crime-writing course here.

Read winning stories

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