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Craft the perfect crime

While we don't want you to commit a crime, we want your characters to. Read on to learn how to win $1,000 and publication in The Writer.


Crime. In practice, it’s bad. But sometimes, it can be good. Take, for example, Robin Hood who stole from the rich to give to the poor.

And then there’s our writing contest Crime Pays. We don’t want you to commit a crime. We want your characters to. And we’re giving cash prizes and publication to the top three 1,000- to 2,000-word stories.

David TaylorDavid C. Taylor, author Night Life, a New York City crime thriller set in the McCarthy era, will pick the winner. Also known for his writing for TV and film, Taylor recently stopped by Scott Cluthe’s Positively Incorrect radio show. Tune in at minute 32:45 to hear Taylor discuss Night Life, his favorite authors and the best part about being born into a family of writers.

Not sure how to craft the perfect crime for your entry? Check out this roundup of our best crime-writing articles to help you come up with a motive and learn a few insider tricks to nailing the plot.

Ready to submit your story? Click here to enter our Crime Pays short story contest. The deadline to enter is July 31.

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