A picture of Jamie Groves
Pic: Matt Phillips

The winner of this year’s Bloody Scotland Short Story Competition was announced at an awards dinner held during the Bloody Scotland Festival on Saturday 12th September.

Jamie Groves has won the £1,000 prize fund for his Agatha Christie inspired story The Mystery of the Mallaig Train. A sinister whodunit set on a train journey across the west coast of Scotland, The Mystery of the Mallaig Train gives the classic Agatha Christie style murder-mystery a modern twist.

Speaking about his win, Jamie said:


‘Finding out I was on the shortlist was a massive and very exciting honour. I was particularly pleased as I really loved writing the story – the lochs and glens of western Scotland have always been a special place for me. Finding out I’d won was an incredible surprise, and has given me a real boost in confidence. I’ll be starting the novel soon!’

We are also celebrating the success of the competitions two runners up, Margaret Kirk (Still Life) and Andrew Mitchell (Deceive, Deceive Me Once Again) who received weekend passes for the festival. Margaret said:

‘I feel very honoured to have come second in this highly-regarded competition. No excuse not to get my novel finished now! Congratulations to the winner and to everyone shortlisted. Looking forward to Bloody Scotland 2016!”

Margaret’s story, Still Life, is a haunting revenge tale about one sister’s journey to avenge her sister’s death and Andrew’s tale, Deceive, Deceive Me Once Again, is a cleverly crafted mystery, foregrounding the complex relationship between the writer and their creations.

The six-strong shortlist was selected from over 100 stories from all over the world. The judging panel, which included crime writers Lin Anderson, Gordon Brown and Craig Robertson, as well as Publishing Studies Graduate Laura Jones and the competition coordinator Stevie Marsden, were inspired by the exceptional quality of the stories. Gordon Brown said that:

‘The Bloody Scotland Short Story Competition has grown in stature over the years. The quality and diversity of entries always amazes and surprises me. This year we saw some truly wonderful entries and, as a result, the judging process was harder than ever. Congratulations should go to everyone that entered but especially to the winner in such tough year.’

The festival director, Dom Hastings, also commended the strength of the short list:

“We’re very happy to be able to recognise new talent, and see big things in the future for Jamie Groves, the winner of our short story competition.”

Now in its fourth year, the Bloody Scotland Short Story Competition continues to give emerging crime writers a fantastic opportunity to have their stories read by an international audience. Bloody Scotland would like to thank all of those who submitted stories for this year’s competition and we look forward to reading more entries for the Bloody Scotland Short Story Competition in 2016!