The Crime Writers’ Association

CWA Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition 2018 Now Open

The Crime Writers’ Association are once again running the prestigious Margery Allingham Short Story Competition in 2018. The international competition is for an unpublished story in under 3,500 words that fits into the famous Golden Age crime writer’s definition of what makes a great mystery:

“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.”

The Margery Allingham Short Story competition is open to published and unpublished writers alike, although the story itself must be unpublished on any platform. The winner receives £500 and two passes to CrimeFest, the annual crime-writing festival in Bristol, for 2019. Full details are on the website:

The competition is a joint initiative between the CWA and the Margery Allingham Society and the judges are drawn from both bodies. The winning entry will be announced at a reception at CrimeFest in May and is published on the CWA website and in the Margery Allingham Society’s journal, The Bottle Street Gazette.

The maximum word count for the short story is a generous 3,500 and the competition deadline is midnight GMT on 28 February 2017.

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