Mystery Short Story Contest

Apr 1, 2012 - May 4, 2012

Mystery Short Story Contest

As part of the inaugural Key West Mystery Fest, the Waterfront Playhouse is excited to announce a Mystery Short Story Contest.  Entries must be submitted by May 4 and winners will be announced at a brunch on Sunday, May 13 at the Westin Key West Resort & Marina.

Hy Conrad (writer/producer of the hit TV series Monk and White Collar) has written a brief cliff-hanging introduction called “Check-Out Time.”  Contestants must complete the story in 500 words or less.

Prizes will awarded for Best Story, Most Creative and Best Student Entry.  Some of Key West’s most prominent mystery writers will act as judges for the contest.

No writing experience is necessary – just an active imagination and a devious mind.


  • Best Story:  $200 + trophy + 2 tickets to awards brunch on May 13 + 2 tickets to Home Exchange at the Waterfront Playhouse
  • Most Creative:  $100 + 2 tickets to awards brunch on May 13 + 2 tickets to Home Exchange at the Waterfront Playhouse
  • Best Student Entry: Most Creative:  $100 + 2 tickets to awards brunch on May 13 + 2 tickets to Home Exchange at the Waterfront Playhouse


  • Entries due via email by May 4, 2012
  • Winner announced in Solares Hill and at awards brunch (Westin Key West Resort & Marina) on Sunday, May 13, 2012.


  • Please email your entry (500 words or less, not including the introduction) to [email protected]along with:
    • Name
    • Email address
    • Phone number
  • Indicate whether or not you are a student

“Check-Out Time”


Alan sat on the bed, biting his nails.  He had checked in using a fake I.D. and hoped the clerk wouldn’t remember his face.  A minute later, Jordan arrived in sunglasses, hair tucked under a baseball cap.  They closed the motel room door and exchanged quick, nervous smiles.  “Did you bring…  you know?”  Alan pointed to the bag in Jordan’s hand.

“It’s in there.  What did you tell your boss?”

“I said I had a doctor’s appointment.  Your family?”  It seems that Jordan, too, had used the excuse of a doctor’s appointment.  They chuckled at the coincidence.  “You still want to do this?”

“Of course.  We’ve been planning it for weeks.  But if anyone finds out…”

“They won’t find out.” Alan said.  He eyed Jordan’s bag, thinking about what was inside.  “I need to use the bathroom.”

Jordan stood by the bed and was startled a moment later by Alan’s cry of shock.  “What the…”  Alan was at the bathroom door, staring inside, his mouth hanging open.

Jordan joined him and looked inside the bathroom.  “Oh, no.”

It took them a second to fully realize the horror of their situation.  “What do we do now?”



 EMAIL ENTRY TO [email protected]




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