Deadline: February 28, 2023

Entry fee: $15

About the competition

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Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery, and not only that, but one which fits into Golden Age crime writer Margery Allingham’s definition of what makes a great story.

Entries are invited from all writers, published or unpublished, writing in English.

The 2023 competition is now open. The deadline is 28 February 2023.

Competition guidelines

  • This award is for a single, previously unpublished short story of up to 3,500 words by an author aged 18 years or over on 1 January of the competition year.
  • Entries must be submitted in English but the author does not need to be resident in the United Kingdom. Translations of short stories originally published in languages other than English are not eligible.
  • Entries will not be eligible where the author is a member of the judging panel, anyone involved in the administration of this award or a close family relative of any such person.
  • The submitted story must not have been previously published on any platform including digital.
  • A story submitted will not be eligible if the author dies prior to 1 January of the competition year.
  • The story must not exceed 3,500 words.
  • The story may be on any theme but must satisfy the Margery Allingham’s definition of a mystery (above) and its chronology.
  • The format of the story must adhere to the following rules:
    * The name of the author must not appear anywhere within the story
    * The name of the story and word count (excluding title) to be included within the header on every page.
  • We prefer stories to be typed in an easy-to-read font such as Arial or Times New Roman and in no smaller than 11pt. We also prefer page numbers to appear, but not adhering to these recommendations will not disqualify the entry.
  • One writer can enter any number of stories provided each is accompanied by the entrance fee. However, no more than one story by the same writer can be longlisted.
  • Stories which previously have been shortlisted are not eligible for re-entry, even if they have been substantially revised.
  • Read the whole guideline and enter the competition here.
VoW Research
Author: VoW Research

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