The winner of the inaugural Lindisfarne Prize for Debut Crime Fiction is Cressida Downing.
Her novel, The Roll Bearer’s Daughter, which is set on Holy Island at the turn of the 15th century, greatly impressed the judges and wins her a £2,500 cash prize to support the completion of her work, as well as free editorial and mentoring from Cheshire Cat Books and the funding towards various industry memberships worth hundreds.
Cressida, who is half-Australian, lives in Cambridge with her husband John and two teenage children. She was on holiday in Northumberland when she says she was “really taken by the stark beauty of the area” and felt it was the perfect place to base her novel.
The Lindisfarne Prize for Debut Crime Fiction was launched at the beginning of this year by bestselling crime author LJ Ross in a bid to find and encourage new literary talent as well as celebrating the North East.
Named after the place which inspired LJ Ross’ own first novel, the prize was open to unpublished writers either from, or whose work celebrated, the North East.
After being overwhelmed by the response LJ Ross along with a panel of industry experts, narrowed down the pool to a shortlist of four: Frank Hutton - Winter’s Gibbet; Keith Dickinson - Miss Bloom’s Final Summation; Harry Wright, writing as Wes T. Mead -Evens, Evens, Evens and the eventual winner Cressida Downing.
Entries for next year’s competition will open again from May 2019 and close on March 31, 2020.