The Margery Allingham Society, together with the Crime Writers’ Association, is once again running its annual competition for best unpublished short story. The main requirements are that entries meet Allingham’s definition of what makes a great story: “The Mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a Crime, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an Element of Satisfaction in it.”
The competition is open to all – both published and unpublished authors from all over the world – and is for short stories of up to 3,500 words.
The prize is £500 and two weekend passes for CRIMEFEST 2019.
Closing date: 28 February 2019, 6pm.
Members of the Society gathered at the Concert Artistes Association facilities to mark the 80th anniversary of the publication of The Fashion in Shrouds.
In the delightfully evocative surroundings, with photos of the stars of yesteryear looking down, we heard Barry Pike give a lecture on Margery’s fictional great actress of the London stage, Georgia Wells, and her resemblance to the real life names of the era such as Flora Robson and Edith Evans, noting parallels between their personalities and careers and the fictional attributes of Margery’s creation.
The Society’s winter lunch will take place on Saturday 1st December at The Union, Sheldon Square, London W2 6EZ. It will start at 12:15pm.
In order that we can let the venue know numbers, please can you contact Susan Cooper and let her know if you are planning to attend: firstname.lastname@example.org
The winner of the CWA/Margery Allingham Short Story competition for 2018 was named at Crimefest in Bristol in May 2018. This year’s winner is Russell Day, for his story ‘The Value of Vermin Control’.
The Society held its AGM at the University Women’s Club in London followed by lunch to celebrate the joint birthday of Margery and her creation Albert Campion.
Mike Ripley introduced the guest speaker.
Ruth Dudley Edwards compared writing Golden Age detective fiction with writing modern crime thriller fiction. One change she highlighted was the effect of the Clean Air Act which has dramatically improved the air quality in London and reduced the instances of the notorious London fogs with consequent loss of opportunity for villains to disappear apparently without trace when hotly pursued through the smog.
Ruth, as honoured guest speaker, cut the birthday cake which was then enjoyed by all attendees.
The programme of events for 2018 and the first half of 2019 is now published on the Events page of the Society’s website.
20th October 2018. A Celebration of 30 years of the Society and 80 years since the publication of A Fashion in Shrouds. There will be a talk followed by lunch at the Concert Artistes Association, 20 Bedford Street London WC2E
1st December 2018. Winter Lunch. (Venue to be decided but will be central London)
12th to 14th April 2019 A Convention at the Holiday Inn, Colchester, located close to several key sites relating to Margery’s life and works. More details and booking to follow.
To reserve your place at any of these events, please contact Susan Cooper email@example.com
The new Spring Collection from the Folio Society includes a third Margery Allingham title, Hide My Eyes, to add to its earlier publications Traitor’s Purse and The Tiger In The Smoke. Featuring illustrations by Alexandru Savescu, this new edition is on sale for £29.95. For more information go to:
(With thanks to the eagle-eyed member Matthew Scott for spotting it.)
Further to last week’s Special Offer of one of the novels written by Margery under the pseudonym Maxwell March, it seems appropriate to mention that there are three novels now available from Ipso Books which appear under that name. All serialised originally in Answers magazine, the three novels first appeared in the early 1930s. All can be obtained direct from the publishers or through Amazon.
For a strictly limited time, Margery Allingham’s novel The Devil and Her Son, published under the pseudonym Maxwell March, is available to download for just 99p.
Christmas, notoriously, arrives earlier every year. In the case of the Margery Allingham Society it arrived, in the shape of the Society’s Christmas Lunch fully a month ahead of the usual schedule. In spite, or perhaps because, of this being for everyone their first Christmas lunch of the year the novelty had not yet begun to pall and the conversation ranged far and wide.
Topics included an article in this morning’s Daily Mail about the Duke of Edinburgh’s Stag Night that included a photograph which may, or may not, have featured Margery’s husband, Pip Youngman Carter. The Society’s own Barry Pike was consulted but was unable to give a positive identification though he was able to confirm that Pip was present. There was also speculation that a novel, set in Essex in the Middle Ages, published under the name of another, little-read author, may actually have been written by Margery.
The event was thoroughly enjoyable, if only to catch up with friends before the festive season gets into full swing, and was made all the more special when Barry produced a portrait of the young Margery, painted by her uncle, for everyone to admire.