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Press Release:
For immediate release, August 11, 2003


Winners announced for Scene of
the Crime short story contest

Not surprisingly, an islander has won the inaugural Wolfe Island, Ont., short mystery story contest. The plot twist: The first-time author is from Prince Edward Island.

The contest, part of the Scene of the Crime Writers Festival set to take place on Saturday August 23 on Wolfe Island, attracted entries from across Canada.

"We were delighted to see Canadians from the Maritimes to British Columbia turning to crime," jokes contest co-ordinator Violette Malan. "Since Canadian crime writing started with a Wolfe Islander, it seems fitting the Island be a centre promoting new writers from across the country."

First-place finisher Lorraine Buck won for her story "Hannibal." Buck is planning to travel from her home in Charlottetown to attend the festival. Other finishers are both from Kingston, Ont.: Nicole P. Florent, with "Shadows on the Wall," in second place; and Terence Cottrell, "The Seduction of Jasper Levir," in third place.

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

The annual Scene of the Crime Festival is dedicated to celebrating Wolfe Island's heritage as the birthplace of Canada's first crime writer, Grant Allen. Born on the Island in the mid-19th century and the first Canadian to write crime fiction, Allen invented one of the most popular plot conceits of the genre, the thief who is actually the hero of the story. He was also a good friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

Set for Saturday, Aug. 23, on land Grant Allen's family donated to the Island around the time of his birth, this year's Scene Of The Crime includes:

  • A public lecture on Grant Allen by a noted literary historian and bibliographer;
  • A writers' workshop and literary lunch with published authors;
  • A panel discussion of the Canadian crime writing scene;
  • Awarding of short story contest prizes;
  • Author book signings.

Among the authors expected at this year's event are:

  • Rick Mofina, an Arthur Ellis award-nominated author whose fourth psychological thriller, No Way Back, is being released in June of 2003;
  • Merilyn Simonds, the author of The Convict Lover, was nominated for both the Arthur Ellis and Governor General's awards. Her book The Sower's Rhyme will be published by McClelland and Stewart in spring of 2004.
  • Wayne Grady has written eight books and countless articles for Canadian magazines, mainly in the fields of science and nature. A long-time fan of crime fiction, Wayne recently published his first short mystery story.
  • Peter Sellers, a nationally known short story writer and editor, was last year's winner of the Ellery Queen Reader's Choice Award.
  • Jake Doherty, former Kingston Whig-Standard publisher, is the author of The Rankin Files, a crime novel with action criss-crossing Ontario.

The festival will also continue its popular old-fashioned church supper, where some of Canada's top crime writers join festival goers at the dinner table for a home-cooked meal, home-made pie, and readings by professional crime writers and local celebrities. There will be an open mike for budding writers who wish to pen their own opening paragraphs to a mystery story set on Wolfe Island.

It's all done with a home-style flare that emphasizes the small-town feel of Wolfe Island, the largest of the Thousand Islands and home to 1,300 full-time inhabitants. Festival events take place in the Island village of Marysville, and are all within walking distance of the free ferry from Kingston.

For more information contact Violette Malan at 613-272-3591