COMP CLOSED: Win 16 books in our crime and thriller short story competition

Dear readers, are you ready for a challenge? Our competition is a little bigger than usual this month – in terms of the prize AND the word count – and we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

The crime and thriller short story competition
We challenge you to introduce us to a character of your creation.

Using your brilliant imagination (obviously), your entry must:

  • be 149 words or fewer
  • include the words birthday, softly and umbrella
  • feature your character having committed a crime.

Introduce a character? Easy! AWC, this is Harold. Harold is an Aries and a car thief…
Hold on! That’s not quite what we meant. When we say “introduce” we don’t mean networking at a conference – we mean that your entry should show us some key details about who this character is to help us build them in our minds.

The crime your character has committed could be a tiny infraction (parking past the permitted 2 hours or even jaywalking) or something a little more… murderous. It’s entirely up to you and your character!

Your entry doesn’t necessarily have to be dark or scary – don’t feel you have to stick to dark themes just because you’re writing in the crime and thriller genre.

So… what can I win?
We have TWO eight-book packs to give away, filled with crime and thriller goodies by authors such as Ruth Rendell, Nathan Besser, James Phelan, Jeffery Deaver, Kate Saunders and Bram Connolly.

We’ll also feature the two winning entries on our blog, with a short commentary on each. We’re really looking forward to reading the entries and giving an insight into the AWC judging process. (If you don’t want your entry shared publicly, make a note with your entry.)

Have questions? We have answers!

  • How many times can I enter?
    You’re welcome to enter up to three times.
  • When (and how) will the winners be announced?
    Winners will be announced on the blog and in our newsletter at the end of September.
  • What will you be looking for in the winning entries?
    Inventiveness, quality of writing and individuality are key. The winning entry will be one that captures our imaginations and interest, and follows the prompt.
  • I’m not sure where to start – help!
    Never written in the crime and thriller genre before? We have a free Murder & Mayhem pop-up podcast and ebook to help you get in the mind of some successful authors in this genre.

Need some help with character building? Check out our favourite ways to find character inspiration.

This competition has now closed – thanks for your entries!

To read the winning entries and list of notables, check out our blog post.

Browse posts by category
Browse posts by category

Courses starting soon


Nice one! You've added this to your cart