“On the Edge” Short Story Contest


Can your writing keep a reader on the edge of their seat? If  you are up to the challenge and you write mystery, suspense, thrillers or horror, you are invited to enter the 2015 “On the Edge” short story contest hosted by the Redwood Writers.



First prize: $100
Second prize: $50
Third prize: $25


The contest is open to residents of Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Marin, Lake and Solano counties.


Submission dates:

Open: February 20
Close: March 31, 2015, at 9 p.m.

Winners announced:

Sunday, June 14, 2015,
at the Redwood Writers general membership meeting
2:30-5 p.m.
Flamingo Hotel, Santa Rosa


Click here to print a contest flier.


California Writers Club




(Not a member yet?
Click here to find out why you should join the Redwood Writers.)

NOTE: Meet the judges at Aqus Literary Speakeasy Saloon
Jan. 29, 7-9 p.m.
Aqus Cafe, 189  H. Street (at 2nd Avenue), Petaluma.

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J.J. Lamb

J.J. Lamb

J.J. Lamb is a former journalist, pilot and news photographer who began writing short stories during his spare time in the Army. His stories led to a PI series featuring Zachariah Tobias Rolfe III who specializes in gambling crimes, working both sides of the table. No Pat Hands, the fourth book in the series, was a nominee for a 2014 Shamus Award from Private Eye Writers of America (PWA).


Cindy Sample

Cindy Sample

Cindy Sample is a national bestselling and award-winning author of the Laurel McKay Mysteries. Her first humorous romantic mystery, Dying for a Date, was released in 2010. The sequel, Dying for a Dance, was a finalist for the 2012 LEFTY for best humorous mystery, and winner of the 2011 NCPA award for Best Fiction. Dying for a Daiquiri, released in October 2013, was a finalist for the 2014 Silver Falchion Award for Best Traditional Mystery, and awarded as a  2014 LEFTY finalist for best humorous mystery. Dying for a Dude was released November 2014.


Simon Wood

Simon Wood

Simon Wood is an Anthony Award-winning author of a dozen books, as well as more than 150 published stories and articles. He writes thriller and mysteries, and also writes horror fiction under the name of Simon Janus. His previous books include Working Stiffs, Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper, Terminated and We All Fall Down. His latest thrillers are Did Not Finish and its follow-up, Hot Seat. His next thriller, The One That Got Away, is due out in February.

Our judges are members of:
The Northern California Chapter of Sisters in Crime
The Mystery Writers of America.


Please follow the following contest rules, otherwise, your entry may be disqualified.

  • DO NOT place your name anywhere on your story submission. This is a blind judging.
  • Manuscripts must be double-spaced and use 12-point Times New Roman font in a Word document.
  • Only ONE submission per entrant.
  • Please use the online form (going live on Feb. 20) to submit your entry. Only submissions uploaded via the online form will be accepted for judging.
  • Only previously unpublished work will be considered. No online or self-published work is acceptable. Submissions must be complete stories.
  • Word count: a maximum of 2,500 words. Excerpts from larger works will not be accepted.
  • Upon submission, if you choose to write a check for your entry fee, please write “On the Edge” on the note line.

Questions should be addressed to Contest Chair Marian Lindner: [email protected].


 Please fill out the following form: