And then what happened?

Is there any story more fun to read – and to write – than a good crime story?
By Alicia Anstead, editor-in-chief | Published: September 22, 2015


Alicia_25Is there any story more fun to read – and to write – than a good crime story? The best keep you glued to the page or screen because they tap into the most fundamental of human storytelling questions: And then what happened? I’m not an expert on crime fiction, but the samples I’ve read have stayed emblazoned in my book memory.

In this issue, we are delighted to bring you the first, second and third place winners of our CRIME PAYS short story contest. Each month, we provide you with interviews, how-tos and tips about the industry. You will find all of that in these pages as usual. Don’t miss interviews with Mary Karr, queen of the memoir, and with Cynthia Bond, who did plenty of personal soul searching to come up with fiction. But we love taking a break from the analysis of the craft to deliver the thing itself: a story.

I think you’ll be entertained and impressed by “A Deadly Diet,” Wendy Robertson’s lively tale about a marriage gone wrong. She took first place with her story, and we are thrilled (if not chilled) to publish it here. You can also read the runners up here and here. Our guest story judge David C. Taylor is a sharp practitioner of the genre, and you can learn more about his tricks of the trade an interview – and a compelling excerpt from his novel Night Life – in the November issue. His comments about each of the stories are online.

Of course, we believe you’ll find lots to enjoy in this issue, within this website and in our digital edition, where we regularly offer bonus content related to stories in the print magazine.

And now: Are you ready to submit a short story? Great! Click here for more information. Submit your best work and win a shot at being read by guest judge, novelist Colum McCann, and at being published in The Writer. Now’s your chance to offer the world an answer to that question: And then what happened?

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Alicia Anstead
Editor-in-Chief