The Lindisfarne Prize for Debut Crime Fiction (‘The Lindisfarne Prize’) is a literary prize which recognises outstanding writing in the genre of crime or thriller fiction, sponsored by the author L J Ross and in association with the Newcastle Noir Crime Writing Festival. It is open to all new writers who are from, or whose work celebrates, the north of England and who have not previously had a crime or thriller story published in any form. Entrants must submit a short story of no more than ten thousand words or the first two chapters and a synopsis of their work in progress, to be considered.

The winning entry will be awarded a prize of £2500 to support the completion of their work, as well as free editorial and mentoring services from a local independent publisher and funding towards a year’s membership of industry associations. Entries are open from 31st May 2019 – 31st March 2020 and the winner will be announced at a ceremony forming part of the Newcastle Noir Crime Writing Festival in May 2020.

Terms and Conditions

Please read the competition rules (“The Rules”) in full before entering. By submitting an entry, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to be bound by these Rules, the decision of the judges and that you satisfy the criteria for entry.


This competition is open to individuals who are eighteen years of age, or older, at the time of entry and who are resident in, or whose work celebrates, the North of England in the genre of crime or thriller fiction. They must not have had any of their crime or thriller work published before, traditionally or independently (including self-published).

The competition is not open to any of the following: employees or independent contractors, or immediate family members (spouses, domestic partners, parents, grandparents, siblings, children and grandchildren) or those living in the same household as the Sponsor, any entity involved in any aspect of the Competition (including funding, judging or administration).

How to enter

The competition entry begins at 00:00 on 31st May 2019 and ends at 00:00 on 31st March 2020. Eligible candidates should submit a short story of no more than ten thousand words, or the first two chapters and a synopsis of a full length novel written in the English language as an attachment to the competition e-mail address:

Candidates should mark the subject of their e-mail, ‘Lindisfarne Prize 2020’ and will receive an acknowledgement.

Entrants assume all risk of lost, late, misdirected, incomplete, or unintelligible entries. The Sponsor’s (or its contractor’s) servers and clock shall be deemed the official clock for all phases of the Competition, and entrant’s proof of a submission does not constitute proof of receipt by the Sponsor. The Sponsor is not responsible for (i) lost, misdirected, late, incomplete, or unintelligible Entries or for inaccurate entry information, whether caused by the entrant or by any technical or human error that may occur in the processing of entries; or (ii) any printing, production, human or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Competition.  The Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and unfettered discretion to disqualify at any time any entry containing obscene, offensive, pornographic or sexually explicit material, or libellous, disparaging, infringing or other inappropriate content or subject matter (as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion).

Please note, it is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure their submission is submitted according to these rules. If an entrant requires assistance to convert their work into digital format, they may seek assistance from their local library service.

Conditions of entry

Each entrant must meet the following conditions:

  • They must be the legitimate author of the work they are submitting.
  • The submission must not currently or previously have been the subject of a publishing agreement or option with any publisher or have been previously published in any format (including self-published) or in any other language. This includes magazines and newsletters.
  • The competition is open to residents of the North of England and the winning entrant will be asked to provide proof of residence. Alternatively, entrants need not live in the North of England if their submission celebrates or is set in the region.

Each entrant, by accepting these Rules and by entering this Competition, represents and warrants that he/she is the legitimate author of the work submitted for entry; he/she owns all right, title and interest in and to the content of the work, including all patent, copyright, trademark, service mark, mask work, moral right, trade secret or other intellectual property or proprietary right, and such content is not defamatory, libellous, obscene, or otherwise illegal; and he/she has received the written consent of any person (or parent or legal guardian if such person is a minor) who appears or is identifiable in any Entry. If an entrant appears or is identifiable in his/her Entry, such entrant consents, by virtue of submitting his/her Entry to the Competition, to the Sponsor’s use of the entrant’s name, likeness, photograph or image, whether in writing, audio, and/or video, for any purpose, in any media, without compensation or additional consideration to entrant. Failure to obtain or provide such consent will disqualify the Entry. The Sponsor may at any time during the Competition request proof of such consent and disqualify any Entry for which such consent cannot be provided. The Sponsor may disqualify any entrant whose entry the Sponsor determines, in its sole discretion, at any time does not to comply with any requirement described in these Rules or the foregoing representations and warranties. Entrants agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Sponsor, the Prize Providers, any person or any entity involved in any aspect of the Competition (including funding, judging or administration), for any action or claim brought by a person whose consent the entrant did not obtain.

Personal Information

Personal Information submitted by entrants may be processed for purposes of administering the Competition, conducting publicity about the Competition and such additional purposes consistent with the Competition. All information submitted in connection with this Competition will be treated in accordance with Sponsor’s privacy notice, located here. The Sponsor will share your information with third parties that have a need to know, such as the judging panel and third parties the Sponsor retains to assist in administering the Competition.


Assuming entries meet the eligibility criteria listed above, they will be considered on the basis of their overall storytelling and potential. The judging panel will consist of a panel of industry experts and their decision will be final; no discussion about their decision will be entered into.


The winner must be available to attend a small ceremony as part of the Newcastle Noir Crime Writing Festival 2020, where the prize will be announced. They must make themselves available as far as reasonably possible for any PR or related media which might arise as part of the competition.