The Crime Writers' Association


Troubleshooting in the Run-Up to Deadline

Deadline’s coming up. And to make things worse, it’s on a Saturday when people aren’t around. What happens if you press send and it won’t, or the submission fails in some way, or PayPal gets temperamental, or – horrors! – you send the wrong version of your entry.

The first things to ensure are that:

a) you do everything you can to enter and pay on time

b) but if you fail, and you experience the kind of clothes-rending issue outlined above, you let us know – before the deadline. That’s 6pm GMT on Saturday 29th. Email

I won’t be manning the inbox all the time but of course I can see when your email came in, and wifi permitting, I will be keeping an eye on the inbox on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and early evening.

Payment problems

We have alternative ways you can pay; notably bank transfer. Please try to pay by PayPal as it lifts the admin load at our end, but if you can’t, don’t worry. But let us know you’ll be doing this before 6pm Saturday. If I pick up your email, I’ll send bank details asap. Otherwise it will wait until Monday. On your entry form, where it asks for the PayPal id, write PAYINGBYBANKTRANSFER. You must enter before the deadline even if you’re unable to pay.

If you have a problem with the website, and the entry won’t go, then email me to say so and send it to me on the email address above as an attachment. We can sort it out on Monday. But send it before the deadline.

If you’ve sent the wrong version, then we’ll help if we can and substitute a new version you send. But you’ll need to send the new version via the portal before the deadline and email me to say what’s happened. Maybe attach it to the email too so we definitely have it, but if so tell us you’ve done it both ways.

If you only realise after the deadline that you’ve sent the wrong version, then I’m afraid we can’t automatically help with this. For example, we couldn’t help if you realised a few days after the deadline you’d sent the wrong entry. Until the deadline, you always have the opportunity to send and pay for a second version if you can’t reach me, but do tell us you’ve done this. If we can prevent both versions getting read, we might be able to refund you for the first entry sent in error (no guarantees!)

If you don’t get an email to say thank you for your submission, don’t worry. Sometimes the system fails and they aren’t sent, especially when a lot of submissions are being made close together. Just keep a note of the day and time you submitted your entry and send us an email as soon as possible to say you didn’t get a receipt. We’ll check we received the entry in the week following the deadline; almost always it’ll be the case that we did. Do tell us about this as soon as possible – but remember as deadline approaches the system might get overloaded and it could take some time before your receipt email is sent. If you email us to say you’ve had no receipt, and then get one, email us again – no problem and it saves us work this way. Do check your junk folder first just in case.

If you have a query about eligibility, just about everything is covered in the T&Cs Do read them thoroughly first. If you’re still not sure, email. If you don’t get a reply before the deadline, submit anyway. We can deal with the query afterwards and withdraw if necessary, but we can’t accept entries after the deadline if you were simply unsure about whether to enter or not. Nor can we automatically refund unless you ask before the deadline.

Don’t worry if you email us from Friday lunchtime onwards about a problem and don’t get a reply before the deadline. We’ll deal with it Monday. Just make sure you’ve done everything you can to pay and submit. Submit by email before the deadline rather than not submitting at all.

All the above also applies to the Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition.

I hope none of these problems beset your entry and wish you the best of luck!


Dea Parkin
Secretary of the CWA

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