Winning story 2017

First prize went to Louise Mangos for this touching tale of vengeance.

Blind Love

You learn to adapt when it happens at an early age. You memorise every wall of your flat and each corner of your furniture. Light switches are redundant when he’s not at home.

You hear when he’s a hundred yards from the door. His keys jangle like tiny cathedral bells. His guilt gusts in on the evening chill. She wears no perfume when he’s been with her, but there’s no hiding the musky odour of passion.

You know where all the buttons are on the stove. The radio helps you keep track of time. You smell the oil when it’s ready for frying. At the back of the fridge is a chicken breast, forgotten for a number of weeks. Slathered in your coriander and paprika sauce, you gauge the meat in the pan by the suppleness at your fingertips.

Revenge is best served half-cooked.

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Longlist 2017

Here, in no specific order, is our longlist. Many thanks to all who entered and congratulations to everyone who made it through. Shortlist will be up on or by 21 April. Good luck.

 

Protection

Tragus

Authors Beware

Blind Love

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Fire and Ice

Life Sentence

Masterchef Final

Housekeeping

The Sleepover

Dead Spot

Runaway

Shortlist 2016

Here, in no specific order, is our shortlist. Many congratulations to all who made it through. Winners will be picked by Zoe Sharp and announced live at CrimeFest’s Crime Writing Day on 20 May. Good luck.

Police Issue

Smooth Criminal

Good Fluffy

Weight of Evidence

Friends Reunited

Shortlist 2015

Here, in no specific order, is our shortlist. Many congratulations to all who made it through. Winners will be announced live at CrimeFest’s Crime Writing Day on 15 May. Good luck.

Standing Room Only
Victimology
The Most Important Meal of the Day
Mercy
Gospel Girl
First Day in Court

Longlist 2015

Here, in no specific order, is our longlist. Many thanks to all who entered and congratulations to everyone who made it through. Shortlist will be up on or by 21 April. Good luck.

Standing Room Only
The Cop and the Killer
Victimology
The Most Important Meal of The Day
Sinker
The Silent Attack
Mercy
Single to Gravesend
The Scrapbook
Gospel Girl
Viral
First Day in Court

Longlist 2014

Here, in no specific order, is our longlist. Many thanks to all who entered and congratulations to everyone who made it through. Shortlist will be up on or by 21 April. Good luck.

Secrets
Inkblots
Serial Dating
A Killer Sequel
Zero Tolerance
What You See
Double Whammy
Chipping Away
A Bridge Too Far
Close to Home
Escape Route
A Sawn-off Shotgun Wedding

NEW: Win one of five places on the CrimeFest Crime Writing Day

Great news for five lucky people: that lovely bunch at CrimeFest are once again offering a place on their excellent Crime Writing Day to each author who makes it onto the Flashbang shortlist.

This year CRIMEFEST expands its workshop into a crime writing day made up out of four events. With a mixture of presentations and exercises, authors M.R. Hall and William Ryan present a workshop focusing on character and plot. Two agents and two editors will discuss what services they provide, and how authors might be expected to reciprocate. And with the industry increasingly turning to new media for fresh talent, Joanna Penn offers advice on how to self publish in ebook and print in the current publishing eco-system. Also included, on a first-come-first-served basis, are ten one-on-one assessments of a manuscript. The day starts at 10.30am on Friday 16 May and runs through to 5pm, with lunch included. Tickets cost £150 but will be awarded free to each of our five shortlisted authors. The final winners of Flashbang 2014 will be announced live at the end of the Crime Writing Day.

Full details of the Crime Writing Day are here.

Enter Flashbang 2014 here.

Flashbang 2014: Open for Business

And we’re off. You know the drill, if you don’t check the menu to the left. We’ve excited to have Stav Sherez joining the judging ranks this year – welcome, Stav!

Happy (evil, cunning, stunning) flashbanging, everyone.

Stav Sherez attended Latymer Upper School and the University of Leeds. His first novel, The Devil’s Playground, was published in 2004 by Penguin Books and was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger. Sherez’s second novel, The Black Monastery, was published by Faber & Faber in April 2009.

His third novel, A Dark Redemption, the first in a London-based police procedural series, was published by Faber and Faber in February 2012. It deals with Joseph Kony and the legacy of LRA child soldiers now living in London. The second in the Carrigan and Miller series, Eleven Days, was published in 2013.

From 1999 to 2004 Sherez was a main contributor to the music magazine Comes with a Smile. He has also written for various other publications including The Daily Telegraph, Zembla and the Catholic Herald.

Gearing up for CrimeFest’s Flashbang 2013

Are you ready to knock our hats off with your fantastic 150 words? We’ll be announcing full details of CrimeFest’s Flashbang 2013 contest in the next few weeks, but to whet your appetites it’s likely to look something like this:

1. You write an amazing crime story in 150 words

2. Our judges decide which ones they like best

3. Shortlisted writers are invited to the Crime Writing Seminar on Thursday 30 May 2013

3. Winners are announced at CrimeFest 2013. Top prize will be a pair of passes to CrimeFest 2014 Second prize is a single pass to CrimeFest 2014. Third prize is a selection of Italian crime books plus other goodies

4. Winning stories are published here and on CrimeFest’s website

If you’re looking for inspiration, read 2012’s winning and shortlisted stories.

CrimeFest 2013 runs from May 30th to June 2nd in Bristol, UK. Details of the programme are being finalised and will be published shortly, but delegates can expect another year of exciting panels and sessions with international crime authors.

Results

Flashbang’s first contest attracted over 120 entries, from right around the world. The standard was exceptionally high for a first-time contest. Our judges had a tough task coming up with a longlist and then a shortlist, before handing over to our headline judge, Zoë Sharp, for her choices. The full results are published below. Thanks to everyone who entered, huge congratulations to the winners and runners-up, and well done to all those who made the shortlist, and the longlist. We’ll be publishing the winning stories here in due course.

 

1st Prize

Search History by Iain Rowan

2nd Prize

Mirror on a Stick by Frances Gapper

3rd Prize

The Magician by Nettie Thomson

 

Runners-Up

Jez’s Promise by Stu Haven

Firearm by Janet O’Kane

One More Stroke by Lesley A. Rowe

Brig and Steam by Lindsey McLeod

We Changed Our Minds by Jason Whittle

 

Shortlist

Mirror on a Stick by Frances Gapper

Jez’s Promise by Stu Haven

The Magician by Nettie Thomson

Firearm by Janet O’Kane

Brig and Steam by Lindsey McLeod

Search History by Iain Rowan

The Boy Who Cried by Keith B. Walters

One More Stroke by Lesley A. Rowe

Paper, Scissors, Stone by Michelle Davies

We Changed Our Minds by Jason Whittle

 

Longlist

Mirror on a Stick by Frances Gapper

Jez’s Promise by Stu Haven

The Domestic by Scott Williamson

Local Hero by Jerry House

The Magician by Nettie Thomson

Firearm by Janet O’Kane

Red and Yellow, Kill a Fellow by ER Slansky

Waiting in the Window by Sal Page

Impaired Vision by Sally Jenkins

Dark Arts by Dan Waite

All That Remains by Paula Ward

Caught by James R. Tuck

Brig and Steam by Lindsey McLeod

Search History by Iain Rowan

The Martyr by J.C. Martin

Sergeant Sara Clarke, 28, Shopping in City Centre by Barbara Leahy

The Boy Who Cried by Keith B. Walters

One More Stroke by Lesley A. Rowe

Paper, Scissors, Stone by Michelle Davies

Body Number Four by D.J. Paterson

The Trojan by Dean O’Connell

Falling by Benjamin Judge

We Changed Our Minds by Jason Whittle

Shooting Stars by Bernardine Kennedy

Final Cut by Peter Coley

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