The Glencairn Glass – the world’s favourite whisky glass produced by Scottish glassware company Glencairn Crystal – has today revealed the winner and runner-up of its Scottish-themed crime short story competition.
Having supported and celebrated Scottish crime writing talent with its ongoing sponsorship of the prestigious McIlvanney and Bloody Scotland Debut crime-writing literary awards since 2020, the Glencairn Glass first launched its very own crime short story competition two years ago. Since its inception, the competition has attracted a huge number of gripping entries from both novice and experienced crime writers all over the world.
The theme for this year’s competition – in partnership with Scottish Field Magazine and the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival – is “A crime story set in Scotland”. Over 100 stories were entered into the competition – each one comprising of no more than 2000 words.
The winner and runner-up were selected by a panel of three judges including Tariq Ashkanani, whose debut novel Welcome to Cooper won last year’s Bloody Scotland Debut Award 2022, and Sharon Bairden, an established book reviewer and author of psychological thrillers; Sins of the Father and You Need Me. The third judge was Glencairn Crystal’s marketing director and experienced crime writer Gordon Brown.
The judges can now reveal the winner and runner-up as follows:
Winner: The Dummy Railway by Frances Crawford.
A captivating tale of a disturbing discovery through the eyes of a young Scottish girl.
Frances is a passionate advocate of lifelong learning. In 2022, she graduated at the age of 60 with an MLitt (First) in Creative Writing from Glasgow University. Having published a number of short stories with disabled protagonists she is particularly interested in characters traditionally overlooked in fiction. Frances lives in Glasgow with her family,
Frances said; “I was inspired to enter the Glencairn Glass Crime Short Story Competition because it is open to writers at all stages of their journey, from published authors to novices. It is an honour to win such a prestigious prize and I am absolutely chuffed! The theme, ‘A crime story set in Scotland,’ inspired my Glasgow setting, and having a child who finds a murder victim as the narrator, I hoped to show the way violent crime has far-reaching consequences.”
Runner-up: The Last Tram to Gorbals Cross by Allan Gaw.
Set in a Glasgow police station in 1928, the police try to unravel a series of gruesome murders.
Allan Gaw is a pathologist by training but now writes full-time. He writes short stories, novel-length historic crime fiction and poetry. He recently won the UK Classical Association Creative Writing Competition, the International Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize and the International Globe Soup 7-day Writing Challenge. Allan lives and works near Glasgow.
Allan said: “I am delighted to be placed in such a prestigious writing competition. The Glencairn Glass Short Story Competition was a great opportunity to write in my favourite genre — a historic crime with just a touch of madness”.
Competition judge, Tariq Ashkanani, commented: “The quality of this year’s stories was incredibly high which made choosing two winners even more difficult. Both The Dummy Railway and The Last Tram to Gorbals Cross stood out from the rest. The Dummy Railway was a particular highlight. From its opening line to its final reveal, it tells a dark tale using wonderful language and sharply-written dialogue. A fantastic story and well-deserved winner!”.
Commenting on The Dummy Railway, judge Sharon Bairden said: “brutally raw authenticity – it ticked all my boxes and gave me all the feels”. In relation to The Last Tram from Gorbals Cross, she commented: “it packs a massive punch into 2000 words.”
Glencairn’s marketing director Gordon Brown said: “’ Now in its second year, the standard of entries for the Glencairn Glass Short Story Competition has been wonderful. With so many good stories to choose from, the judging process has been tough and I’d like to take the opportunity to say a huge thanks to everyone who entered.”
The first prize winner, Frances Crawford, receives £1000, and the runner-up, Allan Gaw receives £500. Both writers will also receive a set of six bespoke engraved Glencairn Glasses. The winning story will be published in the May issue of Scottish Field Magazine (on shelf Friday 7th April). Both stories will also be published from 11th April on Scottish Field Magazine’s website; www.scottishfield.co.uk and the Glencairn Glass website: www.whiskyglass.com.
Last year’s inaugural competition was won by Brid Cummings, a fiction writer and occupational therapist, based in South Australia. Her winning story – Halmeoni’s Wisdom – was a dark tale of human trafficking, illegal trade and a desire for freedom.
Finally, for further information about this year’s McIlvanney and Bloody Scotland Debut crime-writing prizes, as well as the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival taking place in Stirling, Scotland, from the 15th to 17th September, please visit www.bloodyscotland.com.