The Crime Wave Flash Fiction Contest has opened, and the winner will get a full scholarship to the annual Maine Crime Wave literary conference plus publication in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

In no more than 500-words, writers are challenged to write a story using this opening line from bestselling author Douglas Preston: "On the thirteenth alligator gizzard she opened with her scalpel, out poured a dazzling array of cabochon-cut star sapphires, mingled with mud, grit, and a rotting human finger.”

Deadline to enter is April 6. For complete details about the contest and event, visit,

Early bird Crime Wave registration will open Friday, Feb. 16, also on the Maine Publishers & Writers Alliance website. This year’s event previews the evening of June 1 with two kickoff panels, followed by the free/open to the public ceremony honoring New York Times No. 1 bestseller and staunch author advocate Douglas Preston with the 2018 CrimeMaster Award.

Maine Crime Wave, a daylong writer’s conference that includes panel discussions, theme-specific craft sessions, book-signings and more, will take place Saturday, June 2. Longtime criminal defense attorney F. Lee Bailey will present the keynote address. Among the talented authors who will be appearing are William D. Andrews, Gerry Boyle, Bruce Robert Coffin, Kate Flora, Elizabeth Hand, Chris Holm, Shannon Kirk and Barbara Ross.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or