Prize-Winning Stories for 2017

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First Place Winner (15+): “Thrilled No More” by Chuck Brownman. Brownman has spent the last twenty years working on becoming an “overnight writing sensation.” Specializing in mystery/suspense short fiction, his work has appeared in the Death Edge 4 and Death Edge 5 short story collections, a Book-of-the-Month club anthology, and on His non-fiction has been published in Mystery Readers Journal, Scripps Newspapers and the ABA Press.

In his “real life,” Chuck is a Houston-based corporate and energy attorney, having worked for some of the country’s most entrepreneurial companies. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law, and has spoken at legal seminars for many years.

Building on his legal and fiction accomplishments, he plans to replace John Grisham atop the best seller lists by the end of this decade.

He thanks Arizona Mystery Writers for their support, and for continuing to present their annual contest which encourages writers to takes chances and improve their skills.

Second Place Winner (15+): “Addiction” by Christi Kreifski. Kreifski is currently a speech writer and blog editor for a technology company based within the DC Metro area, using her free time to complete a second Master’s degree and write about murder and werewolves. Her second place story, “Addiction,” is Christi’s first submission in the mystery genre. When not writing, she can be found on a summit in Shenandoah dreaming of new ways to convey well-worn ideas and thoughts or catering to the whims of her two dogs.


Third Place Winner (15+): “Blue Eyed Bandit” by Lonni Lees. LONNI LEES was writer in residence for 2 months at Hedgebrook, a retreat for women writers on Whidbey Island while living in Washington. Her first published novel, Deranged, won First Place in the PSWA writers competition. Two more novels, The Mosaic Murder and The Corpse in the Cactus, were published in the USA and UK. Her story “The Confessor” won First Place and Grand Prize in the PSWA contest. A collection of short stories, Crawlspace, was published and her stories appeared in Deadly Dames; Battling Boxing Stories; Felons, Flames and Ambulance Rides and other anthologies and appeared in Hard Boiled Magazine, Yellow Mama, Black Petals, A Shot of Ink, Shotgun Honey, All Due Respect and others.

Honorable Mentions (15+):

Eleanor Nelson, “Gentleman in the Garage”

Lonni Lees, “Tumbleweed”

Gerald Martin, “Golf is a Contact Sport”

First place – Youth Contest:The Crime” by Kate Anderson. Kate Anderson, 10 years old, enjoys both reading a writing suspense books. Her love of animals – dogs and wolves in particular – shows in her stories. Kate lives in southwestern Wisconsin with her parents, her twin sister, Molly, and dog Kiko and cat Mia Bella.