Cumbria-based author Karys Frank from Penrith, has taken home the prestigious 2023 Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction, a literary prize which celebrates the outstanding crime and thriller storytelling of those who are from, or whose work celebrates, the North East of England.
Karys Frank’s story Stone Cold Truth was selected by the prize’s esteemed panel of judges, featuring bestselling Newcastle-based crime writer Trevor Wood, BBC Look North presenter Carol Malia, founder of Newcastle Noir crime fiction festival Dr Jacky Collins, and the international bestselling author and founder of the prize, LJ Ross.
Stone Cold Truth follows the story of a daughter who flees her mother’s suffocating love, only to run into her mother’s net from which she can’t escape. Karys says the story came about by magnifying characteristics she found in herself both as a daughter and mother and hoped it would resonate with others. The judges praised Karys for her ‘clever storytelling’, ‘fantastic character development’ and ‘terrific writing’ in her ‘fresh, new and different’ submission exploring the relationship of a narcissistic mother and daughter.
As the winner of the prize, Karys will receive a £2,500 cash prize to support the development of her work, alongside funding for membership of the Society of Authors (SoA) and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).
Karys, whose stage and screen work has been seen at the National Theatre Studio, Liverpool Everyman and Southwark Playhouse is a wheelchair user, and says she enjoys writing about ‘underdogs, overdogs and all the mutts in the middle.’ Her work is inspired by all the places she has lived, including many addresses in and around Newcastle.
Commenting on winning the prize, Karys said:“I’m so thankful to win this incredible prize after finding myself on a shortlist of such talent. I can’t wait to read the other shortlisted authors’ work. It’s fascinating to me that I didn’t set out to write a ‘crime story’, but I wanted to look at a person driven to criminality. Reading the generous comments from the judges is a surreal experience and I have to pinch myself to remember that they’re talking about my work. Huge thanks to LJ Ross and the Lindisfarne Prize team for all their valued support.”
Now in its fifth year, the Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction was founded by author LJ Ross and is sponsored by her publishing imprint Dark Skies Publishing. The aim of the prize is not only to provide financial support, but to help build and maintain creative confidence for new, emerging and established writers in the crime and thriller genre.
LJ Ross said: “I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Karys Frank for winning the prestigious Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction in 2023. Karys's exceptional storytelling talent and her unique exploration of the complex mother-daughter relationship in 'Stone Cold Truth' truly captivated the judges. Her ability to shed light on contemporary themes with a surprising storyline is commendable. I look forward to witnessing her future literary achievements."