Brought to you in association with Mayfair Group Investment.

We are delighted to announce the launch of a fantastic new competition to find and nurture the next generation of northern crime writers.

Do you think you could be the next A.A.Dhand? Have you got what it takes to enthrall readers with gripping tales of hardboiled detectives, inscrutable motives, creepy, rain-slicked side streets, and the twists and turns of courtroom drama?

On Friday 29th June at Waterstones Bradford, BLF in association with Mayfair Group Investment, opened the first Northern Noir Crime Writing Competition, a unique opportunity for up to ten budding crime writers to truly get their shot at being a published author.

The competition closing date has been extended; Northern Noir will now close at 11.59pm, on Friday 2nd November 2018.

There will be no further extensions to the closing date.

Judging will take place through the Autumn, and winners will be announced on Monday 17th December.

The 10 Winners will receive:

  • The opportunity to attend a week-long writer’s residential writing course at the highly renowned Ted Hughes Writers Centre, Lumb Bank, in Yorkshire. Lumb Bank is part of Arvon, the home of creative writing.*
  • Personal tutelage from Bradford crime writer A.A.Dhand, WME literary agent Simon Trewin, and another eminent crime writer, name TBC.

How to Enter

  • Writers are asked to submit the first 5,000 words of an unpublished crime novel for review.
  • Submissions should be made to and marked as ‘Crime Competition’ in the subject box.

Please note, no submissions made before the opening date will be accepted, and please read the competition rules carefully before entering.

Competition open date: Monday 2nd July 2018.

The closing date has been extended to 11.59pm, on Friday 2nd November 2018


Competition Rules

*Please note that if you are unable to attend the Arvon course on the selected dates, you will NOT be able to transfer to another course.


Entries must be no more than 5000 words, not including title or chapter headings.

Entries must include a front sheet with name, contact details including full postal address, title and word count (not including title or chapter headings).

Entrants may only submit one entry to the competition.

Entrants may withdraw their entry from the competition by notification in writing to the postal address below, or by emailing the submissions email address.

PLEASE NOTE: Our entry instructions are for ease of administration and we prefer you to follow them. HOWEVER if you forget anything or add details (titles, word or line counts) in the wrong place, your entry will NOT be disqualified.

The deadline date for entries is 11.59pm on Friday 2nd November 2018 (postal entries postmarked 2nd November but received later will be accepted).


The Prize is open to writers of any nationality writing in English,18 years old and over at the time of the closing date.

Definition of ‘northern’ for the purposes of the competition – Entrants must currently reside in the Yorkshire and Humber region, as defined by the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics, which for clarity includes: East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, and West Yorkshire. More detailed breakdown can be found via the Office for National Statistics.

Where entrants reside in areas of ambiguous or conflicting regional administration (e.g. a postcode for an area within the regional boundary, administrated by a council outside of the region) it will be assumed that the entrant DOES reside within the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and by submitting you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.

Entries must never have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast nor winning or placed (as in 2nd, 3rd,, runner up etc) in any other competition.

If your entry has been longlisted or shortlisted in other competitions, and provided it has not won a prize or been published, then it is eligible for the Northern Noir Crime Writing Competition.

You must inform the Northern Noir Crime Writing Competition immediately should your entry be published or win a prize elsewhere.

Entries submitted posthumously will not be eligible.

Entry Format

Entries must be in English.

Postal entries must be typed; single sided, with pages numbered and securely fastened with a staple. Each entry to be on a new sheet.

The filename of online entries must be the title of the entry and it must be either a .doc, .docx, .rtf, .wps, .pdf or .txt file.

Entries are not returned, keep a copy.

Please ensure that you use the correct postage.  If insufficient postage is used, Northern Noir Crime Writing Competition will not pay the additional postage required and the entry will be returned by the Post Office.

Receipt of entry

Receipt of entry will not be confirmed as a matter of course; requests for confirmation of receipt must be sent by email to the submissions email address. Requests made by phone or post will not be actioned.


Due to the high volume of entries we are only able to contact those entrants who have been selected as competition winners. If you do not hear from us by the end of December it means your entry has not been selected on this occasion. 


Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but Bradford Literature Festival as administrators of the Northern Noir Crime Writing Competition, will have the unrestricted right to publish short extracts from the winning entries as part of promotional activity, press and PR.


The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.

Judges are unable to comment on individual entries.

Judging is fair and unbiased.

Northern Noir Crime Writing Competition reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice.


The 10 entries deemed of the highest quality, whose writers show the most promise, will be selected to take part in a 3 night residential writing course (midday Monday- Thursday morning) at the Ted Hughes Writers Centre, Lumb Bank, Yorkshire.

The course will take place early in 2019; winners will be advised of the dates at the same time as the announcement of their win.

The dates of the Arvon course are fixed, and there is no cash alternative to the prize.

It is the responsibility of the winners to ensure that they are able to attend the course on the dates given. If they are not able to attend, winners must inform the Bradford Literature Festival at the earliest possible opportunity. The costs of transport to and from the course will not be covered. Catering and accommodation is included as part of the prize.

Bradford Literature Festival reserves the right to amend these rules where it is deemed necessary to do so.  Any changes to the rules will be posted on the website.