A local writer, Tristan ap Rheinallt, has won a national 50-word crime writing competition, which was judged by best-selling crime writer, Sophie Hannah.

The competition, which was held locally at Stornoway Library, was part of a special promotion for Ruth Rendell’s latest collection of short stories, A Spot of Folly (Profile Books).

One of Rendell’s stories in the collection is a chilling 50-word ghost story and so participants at the promotional events were invited to write their own 50-word crime stories.

Events were held all over the UK, but out of all the submissions, Tristan’s story was voted the winner by Sophie. Participants were only given a short time to come with a story, making it even more difficult, but Tristan rose to the challenge with a wonderfully sinister story.

I always hated that animal. Now it was dead, I hated it even more.

It should have worked, a glass of milk before bedtime, waiting on the kitchen table, same as always.

How was I to know the cat was there? And my wife, still sitting by the fireside, oblivious.

Tristan said: “I’ve always been a great fan of Ruth Rendell and was grateful for the opportunity to find out more about her latest book at this special event organised by my local library.

“I’d never tried my hand at a 50-word story of any kind but in the short time available, I tried to come up with something whose meaning might not be entirely obvious at first reading. The last thing I expected was to find that I’d written the winning entry.”

Tristan is a keen writer and a member of Stornoway Writers’ Circle, a group which meets every Tuesday evening at An Lanntair.

Since being set up two years ago, the group has published two anthologies as well as encouraging members with their individual writing projects. For more information visit www.stornowaywriterscircle.uk/