The multi-million bestselling author

Meet the Judges

LJ Ross

LJ Ross is an international bestselling author of atmospheric crime and mystery thrillers, whose books are all inspired by and set in the North East and have sold over seven million copies worldwide. She was born and bred in the region, where she continues to live with her husband and young children. Through her own publishing imprint, Dark Skies Publishing, Louise undertakes a number of philanthropic ventures, including founding and sponsoring the Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction to support new, emerging and established authors.

Trevor Wood

Trevor Wood has lived in Newcastle for 30 years and considers himself an adopted Geordie, though he still can’t speak the language.

His first novel The Man on the Street, which is set in his home city and features a homeless protagonist, won the Crime Writers’ Association’s John Creasey New Blood Dagger for best debut and the Crimefest Specsavers Debut Novel of the Year. It was also shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and has been optioned for television by World Productions, the makers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard. It was followed by the highly-acclaimed sequel, One Way Street and the final book in the trilogy, Dead End Street was released in 2022.  His fourth book, You Can Run, a standalone thriller set in a remote Northumberland village, is released in March 2023.

Trevor is one of the founder members of the Northern Crime Syndicate and is a volunteer chef at the People’s Kitchen in Newcastle, a charity that provides hot meals for around 200 hundred people every day.

Dr Jacky Collins

Dr Jacky Collins a.k.a. ‘Dr Noir’, was formerly Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University in Literature, Film & TV and Spanish Language & Culture, and is currently based at Stirling University. In 2014, Jacky established the International Crime Fiction Festival that is ‘Newcastle Noir’, supporting arts in the North East whilst connecting readers with hundreds of crime and thriller authors from around the world. More recently, she has been venturing into local radio, co-hosting a fortnightly crime fiction programme on SpiceFM, hosting on-line literary events with the Honey & Stag events team, and is part of the Corylus Books team, a new indie publisher of crime fiction in translation: from Romania, Iceland and beyond.

Carol Malia

Carol Malia has been a journalist for 35 years, starting in local newspapers, through BBC radio, Tyne Tees and Border Television, to her present role of presenting the regional news programme, BBC Look North. 

She was born in Tynemouth and is now bringing up her family in Northumberland. She regards reading as her essential “de-stresser,” devouring a wide range from crime fiction, biographies and local history to novels of pure escapism.

“I’m looking for an author who can wildly impress my lovely book group friends – they’re a tough crowd,” she says. 

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