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The Drop

The Drop
  • Author(s): Michael Connelly
  • Location(s): Los Angeles
  • Genre(s): Crime
  • Era(s): Late 20th Century

When evidence links a brutal murder in 1989 to a convicted rapist named Clayton Pell, the case should be water-tight. Pell’s DNA was found on the victim – but he was only eight years old at the time. This...

The Fragile Ones

The Fragile Ones
  • Author(s): Jennifer Chase
  • Location(s): California
  • Genre(s): Fiction, Crime, Thriller
  • Era(s): Contemporary

When the bodies of eleven and twelve-year-old sisters, Tessa and Megan, are found at the bottom of a ravine—dressed in matching pastel summer outfits, their small bodies broken from the fall—Detective Katie Scott is called to one of the...

The Gangster We Are All Looking For

The Gangster We Are All Looking For
  • Author(s): Lê Thi Diem Thúy (Le Thi Diem Thuy)
  • Location(s): San Diego
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Era(s): 1970s

In 1978, six Vietnamese refugees were pulled from the sea just off California. In San Diego, a little girl’s matter-of-fact innocence masks the ghostly traumas that still haunt her: the cataclysm that engulfed her homeland: the memory of a...

The God of War

The God of War
  • Author(s): Marisa Silver
  • Location(s): The Salton Sea
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Era(s): 1970s

The year is 1978. Ares Ramirez, age 12, lives with his mother, Laurel, and his younger brother Malcolm in a trailer at the edge of the Salton Sea, an unintentionally man-made body of water in the middle of the...

The Golden Gate

The Golden Gate
  • Author(s): Vikram Seth
  • Location(s): San Francisco
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Era(s): 1980s

The Golden Gate is a brilliantly achieved novel written in verse. Set in the 1980s in the affluence and sunshine of California’s Silicon Valley, it is an exuberant and witty story of twenty-somethings looking for love, pleasure and the...

The Last Pilot

The Last Pilot
  • Author(s): Benjamin Johncock
  • Location(s): California, Houston, Mojave Desert
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Era(s): Mid 20th Century

Set against the backdrop of one of the most emotionally charged periods in American history, The Last Pilot begins in the bone-dry Mojave Desert during the late 1940s, where US Air Force test pilots are racing to break the sound barrier....

The Lemon Orchard

The Lemon Orchard
  • Author(s): Luanne Rice
  • Location(s): Malibu
  • Era(s): Modern

Julia is in California at her aunt and uncle’s lemon orchard house sitting for them while they are in Ireland. The author pays superb attention to detail, with the vivid descriptions, and characters who are dealing with love, loss,...

The Samaritan

The Samaritan
  • Author(s): Mason Cross
  • Location(s): Los Angeles
  • Genre(s): Crime, Thriller
  • Era(s): Modern

When the mutilated body of a young woman is discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains, LAPD Detective Jessica Allen knows this isn’t the work of a first-time killer. She’s seen this MO before – two and a half years...

The Sea Sisters

The Sea Sisters
  • Author(s): Lucy Clarke
  • Location(s): Bali, California, Western Australia
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Era(s): Modern

Two sisters, one life-changing journey… There are some currents in the relationship between sisters that run so dark and so deep, it’s better for the people swimming on the surface never to know what’s beneath . . . Katie’s...

The Sheep Walker’s Daughter

The Sheep Walker’s Daughter
  • Author(s): Sydney Avey
  • Location(s): California, The Basque Country
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Era(s): 1950s

A Korean War widow’s difficult mother dies before revealing the identity of her daughter’s father and his cultural heritage. As Dee sorts through what little her mother left, she unearths puzzling clues that raise more questions: Why did Leora...

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021