Write A Colourful Crime Story & Win Patricia Cornwell Tickets – COMP CLOSED

To celebrate the upcoming publication of Patricia Cornwell’s brand new Scarpetta novel, Red Mist, on 24 November we’re giving away the chance to win a pair of tickets to see Patricia Cornwell interviewed live on stage by BBC Radio Four’s Mark Lawson in a special event presented by the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate.

The prize

‘An Evening with Patricia Cornwell’ will take place on Saturday 26 November 2011, 7.30pm at the Barcelo Majestic Hotel in Harrogate.
For full details of the event, click here.
Ticket Hotline: 01423 562303. Book Online

The Competition

Inspired by the title of Cornwell’s new book, we’re setting aspiring writers the challenge of writing a short crime story. Your story must include the words “Red” and “Mist” and be no more than 100 words.

To enter the competition, just post your finished story as a comment below this post – making sure to provide your name and a working email address – before midnight on Sunday 20 November.

The Winner

The winning entry will be the one the judges think manages to incorporate the words into the story in the most original way. The winner will be notified no later than 5pm on Monday 21 November. Please make sure you read the full competition terms and conditions below before entering.

Terms and Conditions

  • Closing date is midnight on Sunday 20 November 2011.
  • One winner will be notified of their prize via email no later than 5pm on Monday 21 November 2011.
  • The prize is not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash or any alternative tickets.
  • The prize includes two tickets only. Travel or any additional extras are not included.
  • Seating for the event is unreserved. The winner and their guest will receive priority entrance to the event, a benefit also available to Festival Friends.
  • The competition is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over.

To enter simply post your story, name and email address in the comments below.

This competition has now closed. A big thank you to all who took the time to compose and submit their short story, giving the judges a selection of very strong entries. The judging panel have chosen the story they think manages to incorporate the words into the story in the most original way and are delighted to announce that the winner of a pair of tickets to see Patricia Conrwell live in Harrogate is…Eleanor Cornford. Congratulations!

16 thoughts on “Write A Colourful Crime Story & Win Patricia Cornwell Tickets – COMP CLOSED



    Red Mist…Mist Red?

    Claire Cozens glared at the scrap of notepaper and groaned through clenched teeth.

    Two words. Total inspiration bypass.

    She turned her back on the corpse, peeled off her latex gloves and stepped outside. That crumpled note in your fist was meant for me Jane Lightbody…so spill.

    Cozens lit up, firing lavender plumes over Jane’s immaculate rose bed.

    After two drags, she stubbed out the butt and beckoned her assistant.

    Boss? said Jones.

    Red mist equals red herring. Get me everything on that hippy-yippy granola community on the hill. And briefing’s at four – sharp. It’s pigging Sacred Mists.

  2. Neil Barker

    Upon entering the room he hated to see the forensics team descend like a fine mist over the corpse, partially blocking his view as they scoured the scene for evidence to point them toward the murderer. The murderer who was standing behind them, wearing his police badge and feeling himself tremble with fear. He just knew they would find some little shred of evidence he had forgotten to clean up, like the piece of red fabric torn from his shirt he had hastily shoved in his pocket. He never meant to kill her but he wasn’t sorry that he had.

  3. Joan Reed

    Red drove her convertible with such speed that her auburn hair was drawn back revealing her delicate features. She looked at the passenger seat, checking that her gun was still there.
    “God dam it,” she said “Where’s the gun?”
    As Red reached down to retrieve the small pearl handled gun the car swerved. Quickly she pushed it into her pocket. The howl of a siren sounded in the distance. Putting her foot down the car revved and soon she was putting distance between her and the cops.
    When suddenly a mist appeared in front of Red’s car.

  4. Carla Vermaat

    The irony still strikes him. The significance of the rose bed in the centre of their garden. Anna, gently touching the red petals, a drop of blood on her fingertip.

    She knew, raged, killed, buried. A misted wish to save. From him. Roots entangling the body, a skeleton by now.

    Nothing matters anymore. His girl is long dead. Anna too, still warm. She never understood his love, his need, for that lovely little body.

    A rose petal lands on his shoe. A cruel reminder of young lips. He kneels. His tears sink in the soil of the grave.

  5. judith brown

    Skipping through the cemetery in a red dress, Rhiannon stopped every few yards to chat with unseen people. Her mother, following behind with the dog, said “Pretend friends are very well Rhiannon, but this is carrying it too far”. Approaching the river at the back of the cemetery Rhiannon commented that the people were real and described their clothing but what concerned her mother more were the words; “They said, beware of the mist, bad things happen”. Her mother quickened her step changed direction pulling the dog and Rhiannon behind, as the mist swirled in from the river…


      This is intriguing and made me want to read more. It reminded me of Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book.” with the child being psychic.
      Good Luck.

  6. Tony Cornford

    He was a strange man, very few people understood him. He always seemed preoccupied, his mind elsewhere. Some clues however were visible, if you had the time and patience to look closely, but nobody bothered. Then things started to get a lot worse, people were scared and looked suspiciously at each other. It was probably the amount of blood everywhere. This very fine cloying liquid covering everything. The smell defied description, but hinted at much.
    They were used to the rain, but who or what had created this fine red mist.

  7. Eleanor Cornford

    She never replied to my pencilled love notes.
    She preferred texting. I couldn’t understand textese.
    I wrote a note to her, it was an ultimatum really, her last chance, reply or die.
    She did not reply.
    As I wiped up her blood, my mobile trembled, as did my heart, she had texted me.

    ‘Red ur note sorry I mist u’

  8. Janet Williamson

    The red mist was upon me. Anger I could not explain enraged me and coloured my thoughts as well as all I saw. I sneered at the lights shining onto the pavement from houses and small shops, scoffing at the people behind the closed doors. Fools. They believed they were safe from me. Me!
    I despised every one of them, especially the lying whoring women. Relishing the feeling of power from the long blade I carried, I watched and waited in the silent shadows. A lone woman staggered into the street, I sprang, I struck. Blood flowed, the mist cleared.

  9. Daniel J Kennedy

    Red missed. He lay his head on the green felt of the snooker table that was the focal point of every eye in Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre and stared venomously at the black ball that had just cost him the World Snooker Championship. Back in his seat Red’s renowned fury rose as he watched his crown, his cheque and his adulation stolen by that young upstart. Rising for the final friendly formalities his vision was clouded by a mist that bore his name and when the cue in his left hand swung towards the new champion’s face Red’s aim was true.

  10. Martin Galdas

    He stumbled across the floor striding over debris and bodies, squinting through dust filled air. Arriving too late to stop this carnage and the theft of The Eagle. She had left a rushed message, her husband in the shower, her concern palpable, her guilt for this betrayal evident in her voice. Forcing open the fire exit he peered through the downpour. The black Cadillac sped away, beyond his reach and as it turned the corner he saw her looking back, a thin red line of blood running down her lip, as she disappeared, ironically, by “their” restaurant – “Mist of Thyme.”

  11. Ellie Pallett

    The house shook with its unease of another intruder. Easing my way across the landing as downstairs stood silent. I heard a mutter, it was a man’s voice, too soft to me to catch. I peered down the stairwell and saw the top of a mans head, dark hair and cut short, the light caught a scar drawn across his face, the hall mirror confirmed this with a shadow of the other half of his face sketched into the darkness. His dark eyes flicked about, giving him the air of a twitchy animal. I had to get out…

  12. Phil Uniacke

    A man of routine, Callahan slowly wiped away the congealed remains of cranial tissue before ceremoniously folding his trusted Louisville Slugger back into the case, made from the highest quality Italian Leather and lined with the finest crushed red velvet.
    Choosing his latest victim on a flip of a coin, he hit a home run, spraying a hot sticky mist of crimson that lingered above him like a cloud.
    “Got the M.O figured yet Chief?” Speaking to his Superior officer, Sgt. Moxley via hands free, Callahan pulled on his jacket, then tucked his LAPD badge into his breast pocket.

  13. Sally Howard

    He hurried through the side streets, fearing to check over his shoulder, praying to catch the train he could feel hurriedly approaching the station, keen to get home, desperate to wash the day away in a hot shower. He dodged the mist of people in their homeward march, cursing the time, feeling the red hot breath on his neck, fearing they would catch him before he reached salvation. Taking the stone steps two at a time, the relief melted away his fears as he got onto the train. “So this is what getting away with murder feels like?” He smiled.

    1. Phil Uniacke

      Nice one Sally, I like your use of ‘mist’ and the instant tension of the killer.

      Have you been reading Patricia for long? I’ve only got three books but was addicted after Postmortem.

    2. Sally Howard

      Thanks Phil, you’re very kind! I have adored the Scarpetta series since I read Postmortem sometime 1995/1996, and have them all lined up in order on a special shelf! You get hooked straight away with them, fantastic books!