CrimeBits Returns!

CrimeBits is back for a second shot!

After the popularity of our first competition we are excited to announce a sequel our CrimeBits series. The first was judged by best-selling Jack Reacher author Lee Child and the second will be judge by another best-selling author... the one and only Val McDermid!

The beloved best-selling Scottish "Tartan Noir" crime author and CWA Diamond Dagger winner - will read and judge the best final 100 entries, and leading crime writer Luca Veste will be the sifting judge for the first stage of the competition.

The same criteria applies for the this one as our first CrimeBits. We are looking for the best 50-250 words of an ‘opening’ for a crime-mystery-thriller novel. 

  • The work must be never-before-published (including online), original to the author, and ideally written for this prize.
  • The competition is open to anyone 18 or older anywhere in the world who wants to write in the English-language and has an interest in crime, thriller or mystery novels.
  • It need not be connected to a completed book. Indeed, we very much hope the prize encourages people to start a novel, with this first page – and maybe go on to complete it. 
  • Writers can enter as many times as they want.

The contest opens on June 11, and closes September 3, 2024. Our early bird entry fee is £10 in June, and then will rise to £20. As with the last CrimeBits competition winner, they will receive; 

  • £200 cash prize
  • A one-off, hour-long online mentoring session with Luca Veste and be offered a publishing contract if they ever decide to complete the novel

All longlisted, shortlisted, and winning entrants agree to let their submitted work, biography and photo be included in any publicity organised by the press, including granting a license for the work to appear in our anthology of crime opening gambits that may be created, in exchange for a free copy of the work; copyright and ownership of the characters and situations remains with the entrants.

Submit to our second CrimeBits competition HERE

Terms & Conditions. 
  • Note that immediate family members of those on the BSPG team, and the team themselves, are ineligible to enter.  
  • The contest may be cancelled at the discretion of the organisers for any reason at any time; all monies will be refunded.
  • Should any of the judges be unavailable due to force majeure other judges of equal calibre will step in.
  • This contest series and format is copyright of The Black Spring Press Group, and is a way to fundraise to support a small press facing challenging times in the UK cost of living crisis.

Read our article in The Times below. "Small press signs up Lee Child and Val McDermid to help it survive."