Judges complete their ‘epic’ task!

It’s been a mammoth task for the three shortlisting judges who have each read a total of 745,334 words. To put it into context, War and Peace has 587,287 words!

All the stories have been read and everyone who entered will have been told if they are on the shortlist or not.

The judges all agree that the overall standard this year was excellent. Top judge Martyn Waites will make his final decision on or before 20 April and we’ll post the three winning stories on the website before the Festival begins on 27 April.

Martyn Waites is one of crime fiction's leading writers of neo-noir. He is the author of the Joe Donovan thrillers that include The Mercy Seat, Bone Machine, and Speak No Evil and he also writes the internationally bestselling Brennan and Esposito series under the name Tania Carver. We’re absolutely delighted that he is able to judge our competition. At last year's ChipLitFest, he was a speaker at our annual writers' day-long workshop, Trade Secrets, where he really enjoyed working with writers in the early days of their careers. 

Whether you have been successful or not, we hope you enjoyed taking part. We know that short story writers are also great short story readers, so please go to the wonderful Penny Shorts website to find short stories of every genre from writers all over the world – all available for free download or to read on screen.

Last year's competition winner was The Equalizer by Anna Livia Johnston, read it here.

And if you'd like to participate in this year's Trade Secrets, follow this link. The writers who will be sharing their experiences this year are debut novelist Hannah Kohler and award-winning spy novelist, Mick Herron. Delegates will also get the chance to pitch to literary agent, Caroline Wood from the Felicity Bryan Agency.