Do you think you’ve got what it takes to be a hit crime writer? Now here’s your chance to have your work published as a special online book!

Crime drama TV channel Alibi, publisher HarperCollins and the Crime Writing Festival have teamed up with TV Times in a search for the best new crime writer.

Budding writers should submit a short crime fiction story via the website before midday on Sunday, May 16.

Bestselling crime author Stuart MacBride has provided the story’s opening line: “In my experience, those who beg for mercy seldom deserve it”.

Three finalists will get the chance to go to the Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate and the winner will be announced at the event on Thursday, July 22.

HarperCollins will create a special e-edition of the winner’s story, available as a download.

The victor will also win a Sony eReader as well as a library of more than 100 crime novels.

The shortlist of three titles will be made available for public vote from Tuesday, June 1 through to Friday June 25 before being subject to a final round of judging by an expert panel, including Stuart MacBride.

A combination of judges and a public vote will decide the eventual winner.