Moth Publishing announces winners of its Northern Crime Competition

Northern-Crime-ONE-coverNorthern Crime One, a short story anthology of prize-winning entries, is out today

20 writers from the North of England are today announced as winners of the Northern Crime Competition.

Leeds-based writer Kathleen McKay has won £1,000 and the publication of her contemporary crime novel, Hard Wired, by Moth Publishing in summer 2016.

A further 19 northern writers have won the Northern Crime Short Story Competition and their prize-winning short stories are published in an anthology, Northern Crime One, out today.

From rural noir to urban horror, Northern Crime One promises to bring a chill to your winter nights. The wide-ranging collection showcases some of the best emerging talent in UK crime, proving that short stories are the perfect form to introduce fresh blood to the crime-writing scene.

The Northern Crime Competition, run by the crime imprint Moth Publishing, was founded to recognise and to publish talented new crime writers from the North of England.

It proved highly successful in 2013, its inaugural year, discovering then-debut novelists Helen Cadbury (To Catch a Rabbit, Bones in the Nest) and Rebecca Muddiman (Stolen, Gone), both of whose books became bestsellers. Today’s winners, therefore, are ones to watch.

Moth Publishing is the crime imprint of Mayfly Books, a partnership between New Writing North and Business Education Publishers Ltd, a trade publisher.

Andrea Murphy, director of Business Education Publishers and publishing director of Mayfly Press, said: “It has been an exciting journey working with all twenty writers to create this wonderfully raw and eclectic mix of story-telling that is Northern Crime One; an anthology that has something for all readers of crime fiction.”

Claire Malcolm, chief executive of New Writing North and editorial director of Mayfly Books, said: “Kathleen McKay’s novel in progress, Hard Wired, is a socially aware, contemporary novel with crime at its heart. Her writing is thoughtful and her understanding of character development and the lives of real people at the margins of society make this a really exciting work of crime fiction.”

For all media enquiries, please contact Laura Fraine, Marketing and Communications Manager of New Writing North at or 0191 204 8854.


Mayfly Books
Mayfly Books is a publishing partnership between New Writing North and Business Educational Publishers Ltd (BEP). The partnership publishes crime fiction under the imprint Moth Publishing and literary fiction under Mayfly Press.

New Writing North
New Writing North is the development agency for creative writing and reading in the North of England. It works in partnership with regional and national partners to produce a range of literary and performance activities including flagship projects such as the Northern Writers’ Awards, the Gordon Burn Prize and Durham Book Festival. As a producer of new work New Writing North commissions a wide range of writing from topical essays and publications to award-winning dance theatre productions, short films, live literature and broadcast projects. New Writing North specialises in developing and investing in writers of all ages and act as a dynamic broker between writers, producers, publishers and broadcasters across the creative industries. Current partners include BBC Radio 3, Channel 4 Drama, Faber and Faber, Northumbria University and Durham University. For more information about New Writing North’s work, go to

Business Education Publishers
North East-based company Business Education Publishers has been established since the 1980s, and has recently expanded from academic publishing into several new ventures. Alongside Mayfly Press and Moth Publishing, BEP also runs My World, a books and greetings card imprint that launched in 2011.


KARON ALDERMAN grew up on Anglesey but studied English at Newcastle, where she now lives and works. The Millionaire’s Wife is her second published short story, following The Golden Fur (The Journal, 2011). Currently writing a crime novel, Karon has also written four children’s novels, including The Story Thief (Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Fiction Award runner-up, 2010) and For Keeps (second in the same award 2011 and Northern Promise Award 2012).

PAT BLACK is a journalist and author who lives in West Yorkshire. His short stories have been published in several anthologies and have won prizes including the Daily Telegraph’s Ghost Stories competition. He has also been shortlisted for the Red Cross International Prize and the Bridport Prize (twice), and longlisted for the Fish Short Story prize. His most recent work will appear in the Momaya yearly anthology, and Chase The Moon magazine. He finished in second place in the prestigious Bloody Scotland international short story competition in 2014, and was longlisted for the William Hazlitt essay prize for 2015. He is currently working on a crime novel, I’m The One.

LYNNE M BLACKWELL writes crime fiction, set in atmospheric Yorkshire/Derbyshire locations. She was brought up by Ilkley Moor, close to disused tunnels, mossy remains of bleaching mills, and ponds. After a stint in the Special Constabulary, she moved into a Victorian mansion on the edge of the Peak District to begin nurse training. Lynne has worked mainly in acute general and psychiatric hospitals. She co-ordinated day-care for people with dementia before attending an Arvon course to pursue a writing career. She has a BA in Social Policy from Sheffield Hallam University, where she studied Psychology, Sociology, Politics and Criminology.

BEN BORLAND was born in Blackpool and grew up in Chorley, Lancashire, where he learned the correct term for a bread roll (barmcake) and inherited a love of crime fiction from his dad. He later chose to go down the mean streets of journalism (although he is not himself mean) and pursued a career in newspapers in Sheffield, Congleton, Blackpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. He has written a spoof walking guide, Britain’s Worst Walks, and self-published two crime novels, Sharko and LA 3-Way. Ben is married with two children, aged seven and 10.

MICHAEL CONNON hails from Wallsend and while having lived in London and Ireland amongst other places, currently resides in his native North East. His short fiction has won several competitions and awards, including Most Highly Commended in the 2013 John Howard Short Story Competition, and been published in the 2014 anthology, Speak! Michael has also written for stage, TV and radio and is currently looking to develop some of his stories for TV while working on a novel.

ADRIAN P FAYTER is the author of the Larry Di Palma series of crime novels. Death Benefit was published in August 2013, and further titles are in production. Larry short stories feature online in the Words from a Bench joint project between writers in York and Reykjavik. Adrian is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at York St John University. As well as the Larry series, he writes poetry and short stories and has been published in online magazine Indigo Rising UK. Working for the Employment Service Jobcentres in the 1990s, he was described by his boss as ‘the best damn box clerk ever,’ and the experience has allowed him to create an authentic setting for the Larry stories. Adrian is married, with two grown up children. Find him at

BRADLEY LANGHAM grew up in Haltwhistle on a heady cocktail of movies and Bruce Springsteen, and started writing from a young age. He went on to receive a BA in Media Production and an MA in Creative Writing from Northumbria University and has since developed his writing for a number of different mediums including short stories, film and biographies. This is his first published work and it’s a pretty big deal for him.

DANNY MARSHALL lives in Halifax, where he was born and raised. He has been an avid reader since pre-school age, but didn’t start writing until 2014. He enjoys writing crime fiction with elements of horror and is currently working on two mystery thrillers. His debut horror novel, Ferine, is out in early 2016. He works for a bank, and spends any free time (when not writing) tinkering with old cars, walking with his dogs in the nearby countryside, or trying in vain to keep his old house weatherproof.

KATHLEEN MCKAY’s publications include two poetry collections: Collision Forces (Wrecking Ball, 2015) and Anyone Left Standing (Smith Doorstop 1998); one pamphlet, Telling the Bees (Smiths Knoll, 2014); and a novel, Waiting for the Morning (The Women’s Press, 1991). Stories feature on, in anthologies Migration Stories (Crocus), Light Transports (Route), Mountains of Mars (Fish), and Arc Short Stories; and in magazines such as Red Ink,, Moving Worlds and Metropolitan, and have been broadcast on Radio 4.

TOM MOODY lives in a village in rural Northumberland. He was born on Tyneside, but lived for some years in the high Pennines. As a Registered Nurse, he had articles, and short stories published in the nursing press. He has written a prize-winning script for BBC local radio and had poems published in literary journals. He is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

EMMA OXLEY lives in Sheffield with her husband and daughter. After leaving college, Emma worked in sales. A storyteller at heart, she would spend her weekends eagerly scribbling down her ideas. After the arrival of her first child, she decided to stay at home to devote her days to writing and has not looked back since. When she is not working on her first novel, Emma divides her time between taking care of her daughter and studying psychology at the Open University.

PAM PLUMB was inspired to write Memento Mori, her short story in this anthology, after attending the 2014 Crime Story weekend held at Northumbria University. Some of her other work, in the form of short stories and flash fiction, has been published both traditionally in anthologies and on a variety of websites and online magazines. Recently Pam won the Cockermouth Crime Short Story competition which was judged by crime writer Mark Billingham.

BASIL RANSOME-DAVIES has been writing and publishing for over 40 years, along with teaching American Literature & Film Studies. A regular winner of New Statesman and Spectator literary competitions, he has published widely (short prose and verse) in various collections and magazines as well as critical works on fiction and film, but crime fiction is his primary interest. Winner of the Newcastle Lit & Phil crime story competition 2007, and shortlisted for Moth’s Northern Crime Competition 2012, Basil was born in Metroland and lives in Lancaster with a wife and two cats.

ALEX REECE ABBOTT is an award-winning writer, working across genre and form. Her short work has been nominated for Short Story of the Year and is regularly published around the world. Alex’s stories have been shortlisted internationally in competitions including Fish, Mslexia, Lorian Hemingway, and the Bridport Prize. Her first three novels have won or have been shortlisted for prizes and her latest crime novel, Last of the Lucky Country, was shortlisted for the 2015 Northern Crime Awards. She barely blogs at

MARTIN ROBINS grew up in rural North Yorkshire and currently resides in Gateshead with his wife and two small children. He spent several years as a freelance music journalist and photographer, reviewing and shooting acts as diverse and Arctic Monkeys, Eels, and Snoop Dogg, published in music blog and Newcastle-based zine NARC. He is guitarist, singer and songwriter for rock band Ten Degrees Of Pitch. May Tricks is his first published work of fiction.

NICK TRIPLOW is the author of the crime novel Frank’s Wild Years and social history books Family Ties, The Women They Left Behind, Distant Water and Pattie Slappers. Originally from London, now living in Barton upon Humber, Nick has recently completed his biography of Brit-noir pioneer Ted Lewis, whose landmark 1970 novel, Jack’s Return Home, was filmed as Get Carter. He is also working on a sequel to Frank’s Wild Years, provisionally titled The China Hall.

BETTY WEINER has focused on writing since her retirement from social work. She has had a short memoir published and her stories have appeared in small press anthologies, on the net, in the Newcastle Journal and read on BBC 4. Two full-length plays have been runners-up in competitions and a short comedy performed. One of her plays will be performed next March by the amateur theatre group at The Theatre Royal.

BELINDA WEIR is a leadership development consultant, an academic teacher and researcher (at the Universities of Birmingham and Lancaster) and a writer. The first prize she won for writing was in 1970: 10 shillings from Puffin Post, presented by Alan Garner. 25 years later she was a winner in a national children’s short story competition and she continues to write short stories, blogs and magazine articles as well as research papers. She lives in Lancaster with her husband and has two grown-up children.

MJ WESOLOWSKI is a horror writer from Newcastle upon Tyne. His first ever book, written and illustrated at age 11, was entitled Attack of the Killer Flytraps and whilst his writing style has possibly matured since then, his themes and content almost certainly haven’t. His short fiction has appeared in a number of UK and US horror anthologies and his debut novella, The Black Land, set in the Northumberland countryside was published by Blood Bound Books in 2013. Matt blogs about horror, the supernatural, books and other strange things at You can follow him on twitter @ConcreteKraken.

SUE WILSEA retired early from teaching to write and in 2010 was selected by Arvon as one of nine New and Gifted Writers. In 2012 Valley Press published her short story collection, Staying Afloat. Sue also performs as part of a spoken word duo. She teaches part-time at Hull University and recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle. For the last 20 years Sue has lived on the banks of The Humber.