The Crime Writers’ Association

Writers Invited to Enter CWA Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition

Entries are being invited for the CWA Margery Allingham Short Story competition.


This year, the competition has changed the weighting of its scoring system to match Margery Allingham’s definition of a Mystery. Entrants are asked to focus on specific elements to match the definition: “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.”


Entries should therefore feature the elements: the crime, the mystery, the enquiry and at least a partly satisfactory conclusion, ideally in that chronology.


The submissions have a limit of 3,500 words. It costs £12 to enter and the winner walks away with £500, a selection of Margery Allingham books, and two passes for the international crime writing convention CrimeFest in 2021. Being shortlisted for this renowned competition also brings attention and prestige to the writing CV.


The winner will be announced in early June at CrimeFest 2020 – when the longlist of the CWA Debut Dagger and other Daggers are also made public.


For the rules, and to submit, go to Short Story Competition on the CWA website. The deadline is 6pm on 29 February 2020.


Professional feedback on stories before submission at the CWA Mini Critique is also available for any writing up to 4,000 words, including short stories. The service is open until 19 Dec and then from 2 January 2020 and promises a speedy turnaround.


For more details, contact before 19 December 2019 or after 2 January 2020.

Join the CWA

Become part of a thriving community of successful crime writers with invaluable support, expertise and marketing opportunities for all our members.

Advertise with us