Richard Burke is our winner for 'The Black Spring Prize for Best Opening To a Crime Book'.

Richard Burke is our winner for 'The Black Spring Prize for Best Opening To a Crime Book'.

Richard Burke will receive £200, an hour-long online mentoring session with Luca Veste and a publishing contract from Black Spring Press, to encourage him to complete his crime novel.

He says, "It is a great honour to have been chosen for this prize by such an esteemed author as Lee Child. When I submitted my entry eight months ago, I hoped for the best but had no expectation of success, so it is a huge privilege to be nominated as the winner. I only heard the news a few days ago, but it has already given me the impetus to get to work and complete the project. I only hope I can do justice to the concept and impress Lee (no pressure!)."

His winning introduction will be included in CrimeBits; a unique interactive puzzle book that includes the best 100 entries that we received for the best first pages of thrillers. These entries will feature alongside best-selling author of the Jack Reacher series, Lee Child's judging notes and introduction and other writing challenges, crime trivia, brain-teasers, and editor’s notes. The puzzles will be created by L.A Times puzzle setter Robin Stears.

Shortlist
Richard Burke (WINNER) has spent over four decades in the engineering industry, and for the past ten years he has combined a technical career with part-time writing. His first book, The Rage, took three years to write, but since then he has self-published another five novels, including the Decimation trilogy, The Colour of the Soul and Assassin’s Web. In addition to the full-length novels, Richard’s short stories have been published in anthologies by Bloodhound Books, Corona Books and Bridge House Publishing.

Alys Cummings is an investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker and former court reporter. Alys was born in Birmingham, but migrated towards the sea, and now lives on the north east coast of England. Her documentaries include films on avoidable deaths in maternity care, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the world of the UK’s conspiracy theorists. She is currently finishing writing her own first crime novel – inspired by a love of puzzles and learning to do cryptic crosswords during lockdown.

Dahlia Fisher is a published author, produced playwright, seasoned performer, and writing/performance instructor living in Cleveland, Ohio. She holds a BA in theater, an MA in communications, and an MFA in creative writing. She is co-founder of Rebel Readers Cleveland, a monthly book club that builds bridges between cultures and communities through books.

Marek Z. Turner is an English writer whose fiction primarily focuses on those for whom life hasn’t been kind to. His work encompasses the crime fiction, noir, and thriller genres, with a dash of black humour thrown in. He is the author of Killerpede, and The Eighth Hill, as well as several published crime short stories. He has also written several non-fiction articles on Italian film published across a range of magazines and home entertainment releases. In 2021, he was a finalist in the Capital Crime New Voices Award competition.

Lucy Wetherall was born in the United Kingdom and immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1974. She has worked as a freelance law clerk for Toronto-based Criminal Defence Lawyers for over thirty years. She is passionate about social justice and pursuing equality and fairness in the judicial system. A lifetime avid reader, Lucy began her writing career at 50, and published her first short story in 2022.

Longlist
Alan Evans
Alan Peter Gorevan
Alexandra McDermott
Allen Learst
Amy Lyn Kench
Andrew Komarnyckyj
Angela Nurse
Anne Hewling
Antony Dunford
Anwen John
Barry Penfold
C.A. Fulwell
Cailey Barker
Callum Reid
Camilla Macpherson
Catherine Darensbourg
Catherine McDermott
Claire Rozario
Daniel Cox-Howard
Daniel Stewart
David Goodlett
David Potter
Deborah Rayner
Deirdre Mcauley
Dónal Fogarty
Donna Moore
Elizabeth Ann Correal
Fiona Quinn
Graham Wall
Helen East
Iqbal Hussain
James Nisbet
Jamie Brannan
Jason Kerrigan
Jennifer Leeper
Jill Whitehouse
Jim DeFillippi
Joanne Watkinson
John Adamcik
John Cunningham
John Lau
Judith Wilson
Kathryn Hatfield
Katt Hansen
Laurel Nicholson
Leanne Anderson
Lee Dawkins
Leslie Roberts
Linda Millington
Lorah Jaiyn
Lorelai Tarlow
Lorraine Thomson
Lucy Edwards
Marcia Woolf
Marti Leimbach
May Rinaldi
Meg Evonne Dobson
Michael Telfer
Mickey Dubrow
Nathan Coon
Niamh Donnellan
Nicole HoSang
Oliver Marlow
Paul Smitham
Peter Everett
Peter Fryer
Rachael Warecki
Rachael Watson
Randy O'Brien
Reaghan Reilly
Rebecca Wurth
Richard Burke
Richard Valanga
Robin Richards
Rodney Rogers
Rosie Sorenson
S.D.W. Hamilton
Sabine Sapia
Sacha Bissonnette
Samantha Metcalfe
Steven Axelrod
Susie Ellis
Tony Bury
Tracy Falenwolfe
Vicky Garforth
Victoria Chang

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