Thursday, March 20, 2014


To honor the memory of the recent loss of writer AJ Hayes, we announce the first AJ Hayes Memorial Writing Contest.
AJ was a no-nonsense crime writer who flourished in the field of short stories and flash fiction. His goal was to get to the essence of a story without wasting a word. His dedication to the writing community and his stalwart support of other writers is what inspires a contest in his name. AJ would have loved the idea of people writing with him in mind and probably would have been first in line to submit a story.
The rules are this: 
– Flash fiction (under 1000 words)
– Crime fiction, mystery, noir, suspense are all accepted
– AJ loved to write poetry, so that’s good too
A panel of writers and agents will read the stories and award prizes. 1st place $100, 2nd place $50, 3rd place $25.
Winning stories will be published at Do Same Damage and Thrillers, Killers N Chillers and the winning story will appear in print in the next Needle magazine.
One more rule – as many of you may or may not know, AJ was a pen name for Bill Hayes. So your story must feature a character named Bill. Doesn’t have to be the main character, doesn’t even have to appear on screen in the story. But Bill has to be a presence in the tale, just as he was a presence in so many of our lives, whether we met the man in person or not.
The deadline is June 1. Send your completed story in Word format, along with a bio and a memory of AJ if you have one (not a requirement) to
So get to writing, and when the stories are out, tell someone to read them like AJ would have. Go be tireless promoters for our genre and be good to each other. Let AJ Hayes be an inspiration on the page and off.
To fund the prizes we are seeking donations. Any amount will do. Payments can be made via the donation button below.  Anything we receive over the $200 will be donated to Bill’s family.
Donate Button with Credit Cards


K. A. Laity said...

A terrific idea.

Al Tucher said...

Great idea.

Blind submissions?

Sabrina E. Ogden said...


Unknown said...

Hat tip for doing this. Let's make Bill proud.

Liam Sweeny said...

Bill supported the hell out of us. I agree with Col.

Elizabeth said...

Are reprints eligible?

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

That's a fine fedora tip. Do Some Damage is doin' a mighty lotta good.

~ Absolutely*Kate,
I'm in -- but wonderin' if you'd like the tale we were co-authoring together as well . . .