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Here are a couple of crime competitions to work on for early 2016.

First Drafts competition, organised by Myriad Editions/West Dean College is open to writers who have not had a novel or collection of short stories published, or self-published. They are looking for 5,000 words of a work-in-progress (a novel or collection of short stories) in the crime/thriller genre. They also need a synopsis, a covering letter and an entry cheque for £10. Deadline is 31st March.

Unusually, they look to encourage writers who have not yet finished their work – offering the prize of a week-long retreat at West Dean College, near Chichester, and six months of mentoring. Find details at: http://www.myriadeditions.com

The Margery Allingham Short Story Competition organisers are looking for a story that fits Margery’s own definition of what constitutes a mystery. For details check out http://thecwa.co.uk/debuts/short-story-competition

They want up to 3,500 words. The prize is £1,000 and a full pass to CrimeFest 2017. Entry fee: £15. Deadline: 1st March.

Bearing in mind our recent posts, maybe you should book yourself a stay in Oxford to inspire you…