Mysterious crime writing contest open for entries

This year’s Unsolved Festival’s writing competition is now open.

The competition is open to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire s5 and s6 pupils. Writers can send in a mysterious crime story of up to 2000 words.

Entrants are given the opening scene of 500 words which is set at the newly reopened Leith Hall, near Huntly. The story is then completed by the writer using at least 1000 words.

The lucky winner will receive £100 of book tokens, the chance to report on real news and crimes by spending one week with a journalist at the Press and Journal newspaper and a National Trust for Scotland family membership.

Aberdeenshire Council Arts Education Officer, David Atherton said: “In 2012 the quality of the entries we received was excellent and I am hopeful that this year we will attract an equally high calibre of work.”

Local crime writer, Bill Kirton, wrote the opening scene for this year’s contest.

He said: “Writing the opening scene to this year’s crime story was a real pleasure and I am looking forward to seeing how each entrant develops the characters of Duncan and Lizzie and where their plots will go.”

Entrants can download the opening scene at Stories should be emailed to or posted to Leith Hall Crime Competition, Marketing Department, Hermiston Quay, 5 Cultins Road, Edinburgh EH11 4DF. Entries close on December 6 and the winner will be announced next year.

The Unsolved Festival runs on October 19 and 20. Events include CSI: Leith Hall, Operation Espionage, crime writers talks, storytelling and crime and mystery tours and take place at Leith Hall, Castle Fraser, Fyvie Castle and Haddo Country Park.