Unleash the inner mystery writer

The Noblesville Cultural Arts Commission and “The Polk Street Review” have created the inaugural Armchair Detective Story Contest. The grand prize winner will receive $1,000.

The Polk Street Review’s co-founder, Bill Kenley, said the competition’s rules include:

1. The story must be an armchair detective story. This simply means your detective must solve the crime you create from a single location. Your detective may have an assistant who investigates or may compile clues in some other way. An example might be a detective who meets friends in a coffee shop and solves the crime by reading the paper or simply gossiping with others. Another example is a detective who sits alone with her cat in a tiny house and uses her prodigious Internet skills.

2. The story must be set in Noblesville. It may take place in any time period. Writers are not required to be Noblesville residents.

3. The story must incorporate four required elements. An example of a required element is, “You must incorporate footprints as a clue.” These will be released every week in February. “Current in Noblesville” will publish each week’s required element. Requirements are also available at www.currentnoblesville.com, www.polkstreetreview.org, and The Polk Street Review’s and Noblesville Cultural Arts Commission’s Facebook pages.

4. The story must be under 5,000 words.

5. A hard copy of the story and an entrance fee of $20 to the Noblesville Cultural Arts Commission must be turned in by March 8. The story and fee may be sent in to The Noblesville Cultural Arts Commission, P.O. Box 291, Noblesville, 46060 or turned in at Nickel Plate Arts on March 8.

An awards ceremony will be held on April 19. Honorable mention stories will be published in next year’s edition of “The Polk Street Review.” For more information, contact Kenley at billkenley@yahoo.com.

First required element

The Polk Street Grasshopper says the first requirement in the NCAC Armchair Detective Contest pays homage to the first armchair detective story. That story was by a Baltimorian you might have heard of – Edgar Allan Poe. It was called “The Mystery of Marie Roget” and came out in 1842. In that story, Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin used newspaper accounts to solve the mystery of a young woman’s disappearance. In honor of Mr. Poe and the fictional Miss Roget, the victim of your story’s crime must be female.

(Notice – The Grasshopper doesn’t say what crime this female is the victim of or even that the female victim must be human.)

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