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Press Release:
For immediate release, February 5, 2003


Wolfe Island short story
contest honours Canada's
first mystery writer

Wolfe Island's Scene of the Crime Festival is launching a new short story contest to mark the birth date of Canada's first crime writer. Organizers say the competition is both a celebration and a promotion of the crime fiction genre in Canada.

"Canadian crime writing has a proud history," says contest co-ordinator Violette Malan. "We want to celebrate that and to encourage more Canadian writers to turn their pens to crime."

The contest opens Feb. 24 — the birth date of Grant Allen, Canada's first crime writer, born on Wolfe Island in 1848 — and is open to writers previously unpublished in mystery or crime.

Deadline for entries is April 30, 2003.

Winners will be announced on Aug. 1, 2003, and will be presented with their prizes at the annual Scene of the Crime Festival on Saturday, Aug. 23.

First prize is $50 and publication in the event program. Second and third prizes are $25 gift certificates from Kingston's Novel Idea bookstore and publication on the Scene Of the Crime website.

The Scene Of The Crime Festival was launched to honour Canada's first crime writer, Grant Allen, born at his family home on Wolfe Island, the manor of the Baron de Longueuil family. The first Canadian to write crime stories, Allen invented one of the most popular plot conceits of the genre and was a good friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Allen went on to become one of the most prolific writers of the Victorian period and invented a plot staple, the thief who is actually the hero of the story.

For more information about the short story contest, contact Violette Malan at 613-272-3591.