The First Two Pages: “None Shall Sleep” by Sylvia Maultash Warsh

In April 2015, B.K. Stevens debuted the blog series “The First Two Pages,” hosting craft essays by short story writers and novelists analyzing the openings of their own work. The series continued until just after her death in August 2017, and the full archive of those essays can be found at Bonnie’s website. In November 2017, the blog series relocated to my website, and the archive of this second stage of the series can be found here.

Today’s essay by Sylvia Maultash Warsh concludes a series featuring contributors to In the Key of 13, an anthology by the Canadian crime writers collective The Mesdames of Mayhem. This is the group’s fourth anthology, following Thirteen13 O’Clock, and 13 Claws, and several stories from 13 Claws which earned attention from the Arthur Ellis Awards—a great showing and a testament to this talented group!

Sylvia’s essay had been scheduled this week for the last month or so, but in a timely twist her story, “None Shall Sleep,” was just named a finalist for this year’s Derringer Award for Best Long Story. Sylvia is no stranger to awards; her novel “Find Me Again” won the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original, and she’s been a frequent finalist for the Arthur Ellis Awards, including for stories in previous Mesdames of Mayhem anthologies. You can find out more about Sylvia and her work at her website here.

Sylvia’s essay offers careful analysis of her craft choices and the work that has helped make this story an award contender. Please do also check out the previous essays by Rosemary McCracken and Lynne Murphy as well.

Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay. You can also download the essay to read off-line.