Do you write short stories? I didn’t until recently. I soon discovered writing murder mystery short stories is great fun.

It was a Goodreads invitation that set me off. It was from Support Indie Authors (SIA) who appear to run short story competitions with differing themes on a regular basis.

I guess it was this part of the rules that hooked me right in:

We’re looking for Murder Mysteries!

Your short story MUST INCLUDE the following:

“When I saw the bouquet of 7 roses, I knew exactly who had murdered Mrs. O’Connell.”
Failure to include this sentence of dialogue will result in your story being disqualified.

It went on to say submissions must be between 1000 – 2000 words. Multiple submissions are permitted. After I submitted my first, I couldn’t stop. There are now three altogether for the moderators to consider.

My biggest takeaway from all this is short stories can be a great foundation for a future novel. Indeed, the beta reader/fan club I operate gushed over the first submission and many said, “It would make a great novel.” That is the plan!

The second takeaway is this: there seems to be a market for short stories. I invite any author reading this to get in touch to explore the possibility of publishing an anthology of themed short stories. [see foot of post for more details]

Call For Submissions Now Closed

Sorry, the three short stories have now been removed as they are now part of a multi-authored murder mystery short story anthology, Death Among Us.


If you got to here, I guess you must have enjoyed them.

Please consider joining my Readers’ Club for monthly updates and news about my books. There’s a FREE book for you as a gift for joining.

[wd_hustle id=”emails-embed” type=”embedded”]

You may recall I mentioned my beta readers group early in this post. You are welcome to come check us out and please feel free to join us.

You will be the first in the know about developments, promos, free gifts, and giveaways by joining the group. At the moment, I have sufficient beta readers but fans are always welcome 🙂


Beta Readers & Fans of Stephen Bentley Books
Closed group · 17 members

Join Group


A closed group for beta readers & fans of Stephen Bentley books.
1. To beta read new books by SB if so desired
2. To read ARCs and review new b…

Proposed Submission Requirements For Authors

  • Ideally, I’m seeking about five or six authors with about three or more short stories each running about 1k-3k words per story.
  • All stories must fit the ‘murder mystery’ theme
  • Please no excessive or graphic violence or sex scenes
  • Try to make the stories on a similar theme. For example, mine all use the ‘7 roses’ line.
  • The theme need not be a line of dialogue. It might be winter, snow, beach or whatever the author thinks of as a linking theme.
  • All authors would be credited in the Amazon ‘by’ section with links to their Amazon Author Pages
  • Any royalties.payments due (screenshot every month) would be divided equally among the final number of contributing authors
  • All authors retain copyright
  • Publication rights are vested in me for 12 calendar months from the first date of publication. After that, each and every author is free to publish their own work wherever they choose
  • The initial Kindle cover image costs will be met by me, Stephen Bentley
  • The cost of editing will be shared equally
  • I will bear the cost of formatting the ebook professionally
  • Initially, the book will be released as Kindle only, through my KDP Dashboard, and enrolled in Kindle Select
  • If, at some stage, there is an overall consensus the book should be published as a paperback, all authors would contribute an equal share to producing a paperback cover
  • The mechanics of obtaining an ISBN, and the POD platform (Ingram or KDP) to be agreed upon before any paperback launch

I hope that clear up any queries you may have. Contact me at the email address shown at the top of my web page if you need any clarification or have further queries.

I look forward to reading your submissions.

Follow Me On Facebook, other Social Media, or Amazon, Goodreads or BookBub