Tomorrow the winner of the Young Crime Writers' Competition, today the Isle of Wight and a germ of an idea for the next Inspector Andy Horton

Tomorrow is the awards ceremony for the southern area Young Crime Writers' Competition, organised by the Crime Writers' Association and supported by the Library service, and which I have had the pain and pleasure of judging.  I say pain because the entries were so  good and two in particular brilliant that I have been agonising over which one will go forward for the national finals. And I so hate to disappoint  nine of the young people who I have shortlisted and who along with their families will be at Portsmouth Central Library tomorrow morning to receive their certificates and learn which of them has won the area award.

Each shortlisted entrant will receive a certificate while the area winner will be awarded a certificate and a £10 book token and will go forward for the national prize. The national winner will receive an engraved pen, a selection of signed books, and a weekend pass for the winner and one accompanying adult, including one night’s accommodation, and tickets to the Gala Dinner at Crimefest 2011 (19-22 May 2011) an annual convention which draws top crime novelists from around the world. I am at CrimeFest  on 21 May 2010 on a panel at 10.10 and hope also to be one of the speakers in 2011.

Tomorrow I hope to post the photographs from the awards ceremony here and announce the winner.

Today, though, was spent soaking up some sea air on the beautiful Isle of Wight, where two of my novels are set: the stand alone thrilller, In For The Kill and the latest Inspector Andy Horton Marine Mystery crime novel, Blood on the Sand.

It was a perfect day, azure blue sky, a sparkling sea, clear fresh air (a welcome dose after Earl's Court, the London Book Fair and London).  My husband and I walked from Whitecliff Bay to Shanklin and then up to the top of Shanklin Down where we had a picnic lunch.  You can see practically the entire island from there and across the Solent in the distance to Portsmouth. Then it was back to Shanklin railway station, the train to Ryde and home on the Hovercraft. And what's more I got a germ of an idea for the next Andy Horton. What more could I ask?

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