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TCF will be open for submissions of short fiction and narrative non-fiction during January 2022. Selected stories will be published on the website and recorded for simultaneous publication on the podcast.

The practical stuff

We are looking for fiction and narrative non-fiction stories of no more than 2000 words.

Please send in a Word document, font no smaller than 12pt and Ariel. An accompanying biography of 100-200 words with links to previous work and/or social media is required. A photograph for those that are successful would be nice.

Please submit to with the subject line Your Name: Short Story: Title.

Any submissions outwith January will be deleted without reading.

What we are looking for

If you listen to the podcast and read the blog you will get some idea of what TCF is interested in. We are open to anything inventive, seen through an unusual lens, which plays with and questions the borders of crime, genre bends or tells us something about the human experience. Crime needs to be part of the story, but we believe in a broad interpretation, and whether crime is the centre, the side, in the background or subtext is up to you.

Write a crime story that makes readers ask questions. Write a crime story which is also a ghost story, body horror, fantasy, sci-fi or mashed up with anything else. Write about that thing no one is talking about, look at famous crimes from a different angle, write about two unrelated crimes and find the common thread which opens up something completely new in both of them.

We enjoy the dark and mysterious, and do not want to shy away from the realities of crime. However, we will not be accepting anything we deem racist, homophobic, sexist, ablest or discriminatory in nature. This is down to the discretion of the editors.

Mairi is dyslexic and we welcome entries from disabled and neuro-divergent writers and those who inhabit other communities which often find themselves marginalised in publishing.

If your story is selected it will be recorded for the podcast and published on the blog. Please read your story out loud before submitting as it will need to work for more than one medium to be selected.