We are delighted to announce the winners of our very first Crime Writing Short Story Competition. Congratulations to:

1st Prize: Bella D’Arcy Reed for Rogue
2nd Prize: Cheryl Greyson for The Lessons of Jack Raymond
3rd Prize: Mark Bibby Jackson for A Slow Death

To celebrate the life and work of Essex literary legend, crime writer Margery Allingham who lived in Tolleshunt D’Arcy, Essex Book Festival launched its first competition in collaboration with BBC Essex. Essex has a long tradition of nurturing some of the UK’s best-loved crime writers, including renowned Witham-resident Dorothy L Sayers, and more recently, No. 1 bestselling author Martina Cole, born in Aveley, Essex.

We invited entries from published and unpublished writers based in the UK, and the winners were announced at a special Award Ceremony in August 2016, hosted by Essex Book Festival Patron and BBC Essex presenter, Dave Monk, in conversation with Jim Kelly, award-winning crime novelist and Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Essex (pictured above).


The winning entries are available here to read online:

Bella D’Arcy Reed: Rogue

Cheryl Greyson: The Lessons of Jack Raymond

Mark Bibby Jackson: A Slow Death

The views and opinions expressed in these stories are those of the authors. These are works of fiction: Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or/and used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


Thank you to all those who sent in stories this year, and to our shortlisted authors:

David Guy: A Mistake of Identity
Victoria Sands: Him.
Matthew J Hockey: Imposter Syndrome
Neil D’Arcy-Jones: On Whitehouse Beach
Roy Harrington: Ten Years On
Gary Kittle: The Invitation
Benjamin James Barnard: The Letter
Sue Dawes: The Out
Kevlin Henney: Three Billion Heartbeats, Give or Take
Susan Hibberd: (Untitled)


Seona Ford, Chair of Dorothy L Sayers Society, & Essex Book Festival
Camilla Shestopal, Trustee of Essex Book Festival, & Agent for Estates and Backlist at Peters, Fraser & Dunlop
Dave Monk, BBC Essex Presenter, & Patron of Essex Book Festival


1st £250, 2nd £100, 3rd £50