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I’ve just learned that the current edition of Good Housekeeping Magazine contains the opening of Margaret Morton Kirk‘s winning entry, Shadow Man, a gritty Scottish crime novel. Margaret has won a publishing contract with Orion worth £10,000 and will now be represented by Luigi Bonomi of LBA.

The first runner-up, who won an Acer Switch laptop, was Giovanna Iozzi, who impressed the judges with a domestic noir thriller, Black Worms.

Both books could well be gracing our bookshelves in the not-too-distant future and prove that entering competitions can make that all-important difference. If nothing else, they really help your productivity: pushing for the competition deadline had me churning out over a thousand words a day at one point, which wasn’t a bad consolation prize.

Well done to these two talented ladies, and to all those who made it onto the short list! Good Housekeeping Magazine is on sale now.