Judging entries for the Young Crime Writers' Competition a tough job

I’ve finished reading the entries for the Young Crime Writers’ Competition organised by the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) of Great Britain, (of which I am a member).

I am one of the judges for the Southern Area Awards to find the South’s best young crime writer who will go forward for a national prize to be announced during National Crime Fiction Week, June 14-20.

The competition was aimed at writers aged up to 18 and stories were submitted via participating libraries across the UK in January and February with a word limit of 1,000.

Participating libraries for my area in the south of England were libraries in Portsmouth, Southampton, the Isle of Wight, and the larger branches in West Sussex, which included: Bognor Regis, Burgess Hill, Chichester, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Littlehampton, Shoreham, Storrington and Worthing.

I’ve had the difficult task of drawing up a shortlist and choosing the winning entry and it has been difficult because there were some great entries and fascinating stories. Now the shortlisted entries for the south and the winner will be announced at an Awards Ceremony taking place on Saturday 24 April at 10.45 am at Portsmouth Central Library.

Each shortlisted entrant will receive a certificate while the area winner will be awarded a certificate and a £10 book token 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 2011 (19-22 May 2011).

I look forward to meeting the shortlisted entrants and congratulating them but would also like to congratulate all the young entrants for taking the time to participate and for their energy and enthusiasm. I’d also like to thank the libraries for their help in organising this and the Crime Writers’ Association.

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