The Queen’s Cryptographer Award: Part 1

This serial award is due on Sunday 22nd January 2017



Perchance To Dream, Part 1 | Lavinia Simson

Of Black And Red | Sam Aro

Misty Mountains | Morgan Wood

A Painted Map | Jessica Seymour

Part 1Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Writing Prompt

The serial was the gold standard for the publication of new works in the 19th century and many of these tales featured stories set in medieval times and included a number of tried and tested features to keep their eager readers hooked. And this is where we are going with this award. However our serial is going to include something that Dickens or Dumas would never have dreamed of…

Write a four part medieval mystery about a secret code, a love affair and music. Each part must contain an embedded music video. The music may come from any period you choose but must relate to or be part of your story. The first three parts must contain a cliffhanger of some sort.

Things to include in Part 1:

  • A painting
  • A moon rising
  • A mirror


Anything is ok, but actual history rather than fantasy would be best.

Word Count

Up to 900 words per part. No minimum.

Due Date

Part 1 is due Sunday 22nd January 2017. There are no time zone restrictions. As long as it is Sunday somewhere then you can enter.


First prize receives 5000 words feedback from NiTH team on a story or manuscript of your choosing.
All entries receive feedback from judges by request.

Entry Format


A cover image is no longer a prerequisite, but we still love them. All cover images must be in 4:3 format landscape (not portrait). Most photo editing programs give you that option. If you’re using your phone, try the Snapseed app, it has lots of cool features as well. Another recommendation is Pixlr.

If including a cover image, ensure that you own the rights to that image or that you have permission, or that the image carries a free license. Make the filename of the image the name of your story and include a backlink to the source in the body text at the bottom of your story.

Click here for embedding music within your story.

Also include:


Author name

Intro (optional)

You can submit your story here

The Queen's Cryptographer Award - Part One