The world’s favourite whisky glass – The Glencairn Glass – has been celebrating Scottish crime writing talent over the past two years as headline sponsor of the prestigious McIlvanney and Bloody Scotland Debut crime-writing prizes.
To support this creative collaboration, The Glencairn Glass launched its first very own crime short story competition, inviting all budding crime writers to curate their stories around the theme: ‘A Crystal-Clear Crime’ in no more than 2000 words.
The competition has been in partnership with Scottish Field magazine and Bloody Scotland.
The winner and runners-up were selected by a panel of three judges including Deborah Masson, 2020 winner of the Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Novel of the Year with her book ‘Hold Your Tongue’ and Peter Ranscombe, Scottish Field’s drinks columnist and author of the historical thriller ‘Hare’, along with Glencairn’s marketing director Gordon Brown who is also an author, writing under the name Morgan Cry.
The competition attracted entries from all over the world and the judges can now reveal the winner and two runners up as follows:
Winner: (£1000 prize) – Halmeoni’s Wisdom – a dark tale of human trafficking, illegal trade and a desire for freedom. Written by Brid Cummings, a fiction writer and occupational therapist, based in South Australia.
Brid said: ‘When I heard I’d won the Glencairn Glass crime short story competition, I was absolutely delighted. With such an intriguing theme, I enjoyed the challenge of writing the story, but had no expectation of winning. The news has given me a huge confidence boost and the encouragement to complete my psychological suspense novel. Many thanks to Glencairn Crystal and the Bloody Scotland team for this fantastic opportunity.’
Runners up: (£250 prize for each runner up) –
Teardrops – a story about a confession to murder and a need for retribution, born of revenge. Written by Jennifer Harvey, a Scottish author based in Denmark.
Jennifer said: ‘I am delighted to be a runner-up in the Glencairn Crystal crime short story competition. Many thanks to the judges for selecting my story ‘Teardrops’. I will raise a glass to the winners and all the entrants in celebration. Cheers!’
Auld Bride – a story about a lost soul returning to the island of her birth, where more than a new job awaits her. Written by Judith O’Reilly, author and former political producer with BBC and ITN and correspondent with The Sunday Times, based in Northumberland. Judith was also a ‘Crime in the Spotlighter’ at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2019.
Judith commented: ‘I’m thrilled to be named as a runner up in this great crime writing short story competition run by Glencairn Glass. The story itself is a cross between The Wicker Man and Kinky Boots, with a flash of Whisky Galore thrown in for good measure. I really wanted to add a touch of the supernatural to a story about whisky and the comeback of a ghost distillery. Whisky with all its history and traditions is a very evocative thing to write about. I hope readers enjoy it.’
Describing the winning story Halmeoni’s Wisdom by Brid Cummings, Peter Ranscombe commented: ‘I was gripped from the excellent start all the way through to the satisfying finish”. Peter selected Teardrops by Jennifer Harvey because; ‘the theme was very well chosen – a really “of-the moment” story. The structure was interesting with a suitably unsettling ending too’. He described Auld Bride by Judith O’Reilly as: “an old-fashioned blend of suspense and mystery that led up to a chilling climax.’
Deborah Masson said: ‘Halmeoni’s Wisdom was unique. The imagery was expertly drawn and it had a satisfying end with redemption realised. Teardrops was a fascinating tale, and an all too real danger in today’s modern world. Then in Auld Bride – masterful descriptive writing is displayed in setting the scene in this tale and a surprise twist brings not only past and present together, but also good and evil.’
Glencairn’s marketing director Gordon Brown, who is also a founding director of the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival and has written eight crime novels with his latest, Thirty-One Bones, under the pseudonym Morgan Cry said: ‘The quality of entries was outstanding. With entries from all over the planet it demonstrates the continuing fascination with crime writing. This is why Glencairn is delighted to continue their sponsorship of both the McIlvanney and Bloody Scotland debut crime prizes which will be announced at this year’s Bloody Scotland Festival in September.’
Prizes and where to read the stories:
Three prizes are awarded to the winning authors: the first prize winner, Brid Cummings, receives £1000, whilst the two runners up, Jennifer Harvey and Judith O’Reilly, each receive £250. All three winners also receive a set of six bespoke engraved Glencairn Glasses. The overall winning entry will be published in the May issue of Scottish Field Magazine (on shelf Friday 8 April).
The runners’ up stories will also be published from 8 April online on Scottish Field Magazine’s website www.scottishfield.co.uk.
You will also be able to read the winning story and the runners up stories on the Glencairn Glass website: www.whiskyglass.com from Monday 11 April.
Finally, for further information about this year’s McIlvanney and Bloody Scotland Debut crime-writing prizes, as well as the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival taking place in Stirling, Scotland, for four days from the 15 to 18 September, visit www.bloodyscotland.com.