How to enter


Write and format your short story as per the following instructions:

Entry is via online submission only. Postal submissions will not be accepted.

  • Only one entry per writer
- Written in English
• A maximum of 1,000 words

  • Original fiction on a subject involving a mystery. The fiction must not seek to imitate or mimic the work of Agatha Christie in any way.
- Typed on a computer
- Any font, 12pt, black

  • Double spaced

  • Include a front page which details the Title of Story and the Word Count
- Do not include your name anywhere on the story

Save the short story as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) preferably, or as an Adobe PDF, with the Title of the Story in the file name.

Judges will be looking for:

  • Originality, imagination and creativity: you must create your own characters
  • Quality of writing and use of language
  • Inventiveness of plot – in particular how clues are laid for the reader and the plot resolved
  • Your ability to tell a story, capture the reader and hold their attention.


Download and complete the Entry Form.

Please note, on this Entry Form, you must:

  • Provide your name, age, date of birth and nationality. Confirm that you live and/or go to school in Torbay or elsewhere in the county of Devon.

  • If you are under 16: Ask an adult (e.g. your parent, guardian or teacher) to check your entry and agree to the competition Terms and Conditions, by ticking the check-box in the online form. The adult must provide their email address, telephone number and postal address (not the writer’s), as well as the town/city and county in which you live. For the Top 10 shortlisted entries, if permission to enter was given by your teacher rather than a parent or guardian, Agatha Christie Festival Ltd will contact your teacher and ask for confirmation of permission from your parent or guardian.

  • If you are 16 or over: You must agree to the competition Terms and Conditions by ticking the check-box and providing your email address, telephone number and postal address.

The personal data provided will be used for the purposes of administering the prize and in accordance with Agatha Christie Festival Ltd’s privacy policy. Agatha Christie Festival Ltd will use the contact details provided to send general updates about the competition by email. Your personal data, including your contact details, will not be used for any other purpose(s).


Then, send your completed Entry Form, together with your story as a separate File (Word or PDF) to writing Agatha Christie Festival Writing Competition in the subject line.

Judging Panel

The stories will be assessed by an expert panel represented by The Agatha Christie Festival, Literature Works, Libraries Unlimited and Torquay Museum. The judges’ decision is final. Winners will be notified by email by 31st August 2023 alongside any other entries the judges determined to be of special merit.

Writers keep the copyright in their stories. If your entry is selected, you give permission for Agatha Christie Festival Ltd to publish it online at

General queries about the competition can be sent to

Under the Patronage of the UK National Commission for UNESCO

Under the Patronage of the UK National Commission for UNESCO

Kindly Supported by:

English Riveria Bid Company

Rosalind Hicks Charitable Trust

Project Partners: