Are you an aspiring young author aged between 8 and 18 years of age living or studying in Torbay or the county of Devon?

Write a short story involving a mystery or a plot to win a golden Apple © iPad plus a chance to meet crime writer Sophie Hannah and to read your winning story to a live audience.

Submit your work to our competition judges by 10 August 2019.

Winners will be announced at a showcase event during the International Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay on Saturday 14 September 2019.

Find support by visiting your local library. There will be creative writing workshops running throughout the summer to help you get started and book suggestions set to inspire you.

The competition is open to all young people who live or go to school or college in Torbay or the county of Devon. There are two categories of entry:

Category One: if you are aged between 8 and 13 years of age in August 2019

Category Two: if you aged between 14 and 18 years of age in August 2019

You are invited to write and submit a short story of no more than 1,000 words which involves a mystery.

It is free to enter.

Judges will be looking for:
• Originality, imagination and creativity
• Quality of writing and use of language
• Characterisation
• Inventiveness of plot – in particular how clues are laid for the reader and the plot resolved
• Your ability to tell a story, capture the reader and hold their attention.

Entry is via online submission only. Postal submissions will not be accepted.

Write and format your short story as per the following instructions:

  • Only one entry per writer
  • Written in English
  • A maximum of 1,000 words
  • Original fiction on a subject involving a mystery. The fiction must not seek to imitate or mimic the work of Agatha Christie in any way.
  • Typed on a computer
  • Any font, size 12, black.
  • Double spaced
  • Include a front page which details the title of the story and the word count
  • Do not include your name anywhere on the story
  • Save the short story as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) preferably, or as an Adobe PDF, with the Title of Story in the file name.

If you are under 16: Ask an adult (e.g. your parent, guardian or teacher) to approve your entry and agree to the Award Terms and Conditions, by way of a check-box in the online form. The adult must provide their email address, telephone number and postal address (not the writer’s), their relation to you and the town/city and country in which you live.

For the Top 10 shortlisted entries, if permission to enter was given by your teacher rather than a parent or guardian, Literature Works will contact your teacher and ask for confirmation of permission from your parent or guardian.

If you are 16 or over: You must agree to the Award Terms and Conditions by way of a check-box and provide your email address, telephone number and postal address.

The personal data provided will be used for the purposes of administering the Award and in accordance with Literature Works’ privacy policy. Literature Works will use the contact details provided to send general updates as to the progress of the Award by email. Your personal data, including your contact details, will not be used for any other purpose(s).

Complete the Entry Form online, including uploading your short story document.
Please note, in this Entry Form, you must:

Provide your name and age. Confirm that you live and/or go to school in Torbay or elsewhere in the county of Devon. To check a list of postcodes in Devon click here.

  • Please enter a value between 8 and 18.
  • Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx.