The young crime writers, aged between eleven and seventeen, have been shortlisted out of a total of 121 entries. They come from across the region including Southampton, Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight and West Sussex. The competition has been organised by the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) of which I am a member and represents the interests of published crime writers, and library authorities nationwide. Writers aged up to 18 were invited to submit 1000 words of crime fiction through their local library. Out of the 121 entries received by the libraries 62 reached the second selection stage and from these I shortlisted fifteen. It was a tough job!
The winner of the southern region will go forward to the national final, which will be announced during National Crime Writing Week (13-19 June).
At the Awards ceremony on 30 April each shortlisted entrant will receive a certificate while the area winner will be awarded a certificate and a £10 book token and two copies of my DI Andy Horton marine mystery crime novels and will go forward for the national prize. The national winner will receive an engraved pen, a selection of signed books, and a weekend pass for the winner and one accompanying adult, including one night’s accommodation, and tickets to the Gala Dinner at Crimefest 2012 an International annual convention which draws top crime novelists from around the world.
This has been a really tough competition to judge because the entries were so varied, imaginative and of a very high standard. I’m very grateful to the libraries for helping to organise this event and look forward to meeting the shortlisted entrants. Photographs to be posted here after the event.