Ruth Dugdall wins 2005 Debut Dagger
The winner of the Crime Writers’ Assocation 2005 Debut Dagger is Ruth Dugdall from Felixstowe. Her entry, The Woman Before Me, beat twelve other shorlisted entries, sifted from over 400 entries received by the closing date of 3rd September 2005.
Susan Runholt was Very Highly Commended by the judges for her entry The Mystery of the Third Lucretia.
Ruth Dugdall was presented with her prize, the dagger and a cheque for £250, at the Daggers Luncheon held at the Brewery in the City of London on November 8th. She also won a night for two at the Rookery Hotel in London.
Ruth Dugdall was born in 1971. She holds a BA honours degree in English Literature (Warwick University) and an MA in Social Work (University of East Anglia). She qualified as a probation officer in 1996 and has worked in prison with offenders guilty of serious crimes, including stalking, rape and murder. This has informed her crime writing. Since she started writing, Ruth has won awards in several writing competitions, and has had short stories published in the Winchester Writers' Conference and the Eva Wiggins Award anthologies.
Ruth is also the news presenter on Felixstowe tv: "probably the smallest tv station in the world".
Follow this link to read her winning entry.
The Debut Dagger, sponsored by Orion, is open to anyone who has not yet had a novel published commercially. Contestants had to submit the first chapter — up to 3000 words — and a short synopsis of their proposed crime novel. We take a broad view of what constitutes a crime novel, and welcome as wide a variety of styles, subjects, settings, time-periods and genres as possible.
The entries were read by professional writers. A record high-quality entry demanded a longer-than-usual shortlist of thirteen entries that was considered by a judging panel composed of leading editors and literary agents, chaired by CWA Chair Danuta Reah. The other shortlisted authors were:
Shakuntala Banaji for The Truth Lake
Karen Beck for Gilded Lives
Gary J Byrnes for Pure Mad
Elena Forbes for Die With Me
Nick Forbes for Namarrkun
Regina Harvey for Taking the Village
Gabriella Herkert for Animal Instinct
Rebecca Snape for Splinter
Otis Twelve for Dead Man Dancing
George Winter for Dogs of a Low Degree
S J Woodham for You Think You Know Someone
Ruth Dugdall received a £250 cash prize plus a night for two at the Rookery Hotel in London, for the prize-giving at the Dagger Awards Lunch. All shortlisted entrants received a generous selection of crime novels and professional assessments of their entries, and were invited to the Dagger Awards Lunch.
Winning the Debut Dagger doesn't guarantee you'll get published. But it does mean your work will be seen by major publishers and agents who have signed up over a dozen new authors as a result of the competition. All previous winners of the Debut Dagger have gained publishing contracts and are now on their way to becoming successful crime writers. Barbara Cleverly, shortlisted in 1999, won the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger award last year, while 1998's winner Joolz Denby was short-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction and was highly commended for the CWA's own Dagger in the Library.
The Judging Panel for the 2005 competition was:
Carolyn Caughey - Senior Commissioning Editor, Hodder & Stoughton
Kate Jones - Literary Agent, International Creative Management
Thalia Proctor - Editorial Assistant, Orion
Danuta Reah - crime fiction author and Chair of the Crime Writers' Association
Selina Walker - Publishing Director, Crime and Thrillers, Transworld Publishers
Rowland White - Publisher, Michael Joseph