London detective wins writing competition with debut novel

News - Prizes Thursday, 05 July 2018

Vicki Bradley's Before I Say I Do takes inaugural Write Here, Right Now competition and wins S&S deal

Simon & Schuster, Darley Anderson Literary Agency and the Bradford Literature Festival have announced the winner of 2018’s inaugural Write Here, Right Now open submissions writing competition. The judges were Tanera Simons and Camilla Wray of Darley Anderson, and Jo Dickinson and Anne Perry of Simon & Schuster.

Vicki Bradley's novel Before I Say I Do won the competition meaning Bradley has received an offer of representation from Darley Anderson and a publishing contract with S&S.

According to the winning announcement: 'When her husband-to-be goes missing on the morning of their wedding day, Julia Talbot knows something terrible must have happened to him. DC Alana Loxton isn’t so sure, though – grooms do occasionally skip out on their own weddings, after all. But then a body washes up on the shores of the Thames… a body wearing the missing man’s watch. Loxton would be willing to take Julia’s story at face value now, but something’s simply not adding up. A tense psychological drama of love, loss and revenge, Before I Say I Do introduces a host of brilliant new characters and features insight into detective work that only an expert could provide.'

Vicki Bradley is a detective constable in the Metropolitan Police but her passion is reading and writing crime fiction. She has a MA in Creative Writing from City University of London.

The judges said: "We all loved Before I Say I Do from the moment we started reading it. We were particularly impressed by the way Ms Bradley wove Julia’s past story into the present-day narrative. Similarly, Alana Loxton is more intimately connected to the crime she is investigating than she’d like to be. And there’s a gorgeous friendship at the heart of the novel, one which really makes it stand out from the crowd. There are so many carefully connected strands within the story, which the author brings together so cleverly. We’re hugely excited to welcome Ms Bradley to Darley Anderson and Simon & Schuster UK!"

Of the competition, the judges said: "We were blown away by the exceptional quality, ambition and scope of the entries into the Write Here, Right Now competition. Narrowing the hundred submissions into a shortlist of five was no easy feat; narrowing that down to a single winner proved almost impossible. We debated until the very last minute. But we finally agreed that we were all drawn to Before I Say I Do for its polish, its suspense, and most importantly, for the huge potential that Ms Bradley has demonstrated."

Pictured: Vicki Bradley

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