ShortbreadStories: The Blog

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The ShortbreadMorgue Competition: Million for a Morgue

What goes into your crime fiction? A dead body? A bloody weapon? A crazed serial killer? Or are your crime fictions based on the wise detective solving the mystery of the vicar and the poisoned teapot?

There’s all different types of crime fiction, and I know that ShortbreadStories have quite a few crime fiction writers in its midst. I know this because of the number of excellent detective and crime fiction short stories on the site. Additionally, a lot of our Shortbreader Readers (those of you who don’t submit work, but continually support us by reading the work on the site) download stories of the crime fiction genre.

Which is why we’re here to tell you about a campaign called Million for a Morgue. The Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) at the University of Dundee is a world-leading centre lead by Professor Sue Black and the team (you’ll probably have seen her on BBC’s History Cold Case). The Centre specialises in human identification, forensic anthropology, cranio-facial reconstruction and the study of the human body.

Researchers at CAHID have developed groundbreaking techniques in areas such as hand identification. This has directly led to the successful prosecution of a number of paedophiles identified from images of their hands found in obscene photographs and films. The team also work very closely with police and government organisations across the world to train officers in human identification in case of major disasters such as earthquakes.

However, the team needs your support… They need a new morgue. Yes, a morgue. A new state-of-the-art morgue will allow them to remain at the forefront of forensic teaching and research, and thus help them to catch more bad guys.

In order to raise money for this morgue, they have enlisted several of Britain’s top crime writers. Professor Sue Black has often assisted Val McDermid with the forensic details required for her crime stories, and together they have come up with the Million for a Morgue campaign.

Everyone who donates to the Million for a Morgue campaign will get to vote to determine who will have their name on the Thiel Centre of Excellence at the University of Dundee. Donations can start from as little as a pound and all the money goes to the centre.

Val McDermid said of the project, “All crime writers rely on the help of forensics experts like Professor Sue Black to make sure we get the details right. Giving a bit of help back in return is the least we can do. I’ve known Sue for many years and the work she and her team do is absolutely fantastic. This is a great project and one which I hope you – as readers who also benefit from the great help the forensics people give us – can generously support.”

We here at ShortbreadStories are pitching into to help as well. We’re running a contest for all of our ShortbreadStories writers and readers, and the prize is signed copies of crime writer Russel McLean’s The Good Son and The Lost Sister. Plus, Russel will personally choose the final winner.

But remember this isn’t just about the prizes; the ShortbreadMorgue Competition is about helping the Million for a Morgue campaign, so in order to enter the competition you must donate. Here’s how:

1. Click here to donate to Million for a Morgue.
2. Once you’ve donated you will receive a confirmation email, which will have directions for submitting your crime fiction short story of no more than 2000 words. (So please don’t ignore this email.)
3. You have until 11 March to upload your work.
5. Public voting starts on 12 March and closes on 26 March.
6. Russel will read the top three stories (as voted by our members) and he will decide the final winner.

Good luck, get writing and get donating.


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