Northumberland author wins Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction 2022

A Northumberland author has won a £2,500 cash prize for her crime novel in a literary competition that celebrates the North East.

The 2022 Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction, which celebrates the work of crime and thriller writers who hail from the North East, or whose work celebrates the region, has been won by Bedlington writer Jacqueline Auld. His submission, The Children of Gaia, was selected by the prize jury, which included mystery writer Nicky Black, last year’s winner Robert Scragg and author and prize founder LJ Ross.

Jacqueline’s submission The children of Gaia is about a dysfunctional group of adult survivors of childhood abuse. They want to “unmask” their attackers on social media and save a young child in the process, without involving the police.

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The novel was praised by the jury for its “claustrophobic and atmospheric” nature, while emphasizing the story’s strong concept and its page-turning potential.

Jacqueline, born in Gateshead, now living in Bedlington, is a keen detective novelist and started writing ten years ago after graduating from the Open University. She also worked for three decades in the pub business and two more in the charity sector, drawing inspiration from counseling people in debt, helping the unemployed find jobs and working with delinquents.

Although she won the prize, Jacqueline almost didn’t apply because she only heard about the contest when she retrieved an unread email newsletter from her deleted emails and thought it was too much. late to apply. However, she changed her mind at the last minute and before being shortlisted she spoke of having been given a much-needed dose of confidence in her writing ability – which the award will have further boosted.

On winning the award, Jacqueline said, “I am so excited to have won this award. It has been so empowering to know that the judges found my work worthy of being this year’s winner.

“When I read about all the other shortlisted authors and their submissions, I was so impressed that I honestly didn’t think I had a chance – I will definitely be reading their work when it comes out. I intend to shoot make the most of this wonderful opportunity by sitting down and writing, every day, without apologies, because now I know I can actually do it.”

Now in its fourth year, the Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction was founded by author LJ Ross and is sponsored by his publisher Dark Skies Publishing, in association with the Newcastle Noir Crime Writing Festival and Newcastle Libraries. The aim of the award is not just to provide financial support, but to help build and maintain the creative confidence of new, emerging and established writers in the crime and thriller genre.

Author LJ Ross said: “Each year I am amazed at the quality of submissions we receive for the Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction, and this year has certainly not disappointed. It is heartening to see so many talented writers emerge in the North East and such fantastic work draws inspiration from our special part of the world.

“I would like to congratulate Jacqueline on her well-deserved success. We all look forward to reading more of her work.”

What’s your favorite novel set in the Northeast? Let us know!

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Lola R. McClure