As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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The Glencairn Glass Crime Short Story Competiton deadline fast
approaching (you've got until just Saturday 31st December 2022, folks!),
we thought we'd take the time to chat to Bloody Scotland board member and
competition judge, Gordon Brown to find out more about the prestigious
short story contest.
was the competition set up?
"The Glencairn Glass sponsors both the McIlvanney Prize and the
Scottish Crime Debut of the Year and were looking for ways to enhance the
sponsorship. Short stories are such a great format, but they're often
seen as the poor cousin to the full novel and we wanted to change that.
The Glencairn Glass is sold around the planet, so it made sense to launch
a truly global short story competition. By partnering with Scottish Field
and Bloody Scotland, and using the reach of Glencairn Crystal (the
company that makes The Glencairn Glass), the competition was launched
last year to a great reception. That first contest attracted over 130
entries from every corner of the globe - with the winner coming from
year Gordon is one of the judges alongside fellow crime writers: Tariq
Ashkanani and Sharon Bairden. I ask Gordon what the judges are looking
"Each year we have a theme - this year it's simple - ‘A Crime Story
Set in Scotland.’ In the first instance the story must reflect this
theme. From there, the judges are looking for a number of things -
engagement, enjoyment, skill in writing, the ability for the story to
surprise and delight. Short stories are not an easy format, I should know
I’ve had to write quite a few! It takes real talent to tell a complete
story in two thousand words."
you have any top tips for entering the competition?
"There are a few obvious but sometimes overlooked tips, that I would
you able to sum up the story in a single powerful sentence? A really
tight, intriguing idea is the best base to build a story upon.
the reader from the get go. A great opening line and paragraph is a must.
Although not a necessity, a twist at the end of the story can often pay
hard about the title. Does it sum up that killer idea?
stray from your story - short stories cut to the chase and stay there.
a more practical basis thoroughly check the entry for typos and
grammatical errors. Ensure the layout looks neat and professional. Get a
few other people to read it (not friends - ask people who will give you
unfiltered, honest feedback).
the story out loud to someone - it’s amazing how much you can improve a
story when you do this. Once you’re happy with the story put it away
for a week or so, then come back to it with a fresh eye – you are often
able to make the story better with some time away.
last, but certainly not least - have fun!"This
competition can really give authors a publicity boost. The winning entry
will be published on the Scottish Field website, on The Glencairn Glass whiskyglass.com website and will receive a lot of
publicity - so it's a great opportunity. There's also a wonderful cash
prize of £1,000 to the winner. So, I'd definitely encourage people to get