The CWA Debut Dagger
Fancy a stab at Crime Writing?
For 15 years the CWA has been encouraging new writing with its Debut Dagger competition for unpublished writers. The submissions are judged by a panel of top crime editors and agents, and the short listed entries are sent to publishers and agents.
The 2014 Competition opened on Friday 1st November 2013 and runs until Friday 31st January 2014. The shortlist will be announced at Crimefest in May and the overall winner will be announced at the CWA Dagger Awards Dinner shortly after.
The Debut Dagger is open to anyone who has not yet had a novel published commercially. The first prize is £700, kindly sponsored by Orion, and all shortlisted entrants will receive a professional assessment of their entries. Winning the Debut Dagger doesn’t guarantee you’ll get published. But it does mean your work will be seen by leading agents and top editors, who have signed up over two dozen winners and shortlisted Debut Dagger competitors.
How to enter the CWA Debut Dagger?
The 2014 Debut Dagger competition runs from 1 November 2013 and closes on 31 January 2014. The fee for entries is £25.
Full rules can be found here but in brief:
- Submissions must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and must include
- The first 3000 words (or fewer) of your novel
- A 500-1000 word synopsis of its further development
- Please confirm your word count for both parts of your submission
- Both files must be double spaced and be numbered
- We only accept entries in Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx) or PDF
- Submissions must not include your own name anywhere on the documents
These must be sent to email@example.com and you will be invoiced for the £25 entry fee. This can be paid by PayPal or BACS transfer.
Note: Payments for submissions must be received before the closing date. Submissions will not be sent to the judge unless an entry fee has been received.
Want more advice?
- STYLE GUIDE: Members of the CWA have produced a style guide which will help you with formatting and presentation.
- WHAT TO WRITE: Judges and members consider what they are looking for in a submission
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Everything you could ever need to know about the Debut Dagger.
For 2014 we have also launched a Facebook Group which gives aspiring writers the opportunity to ask questions of CWA members and forms a community for those who are planning on entering.
As well as our Debut Dagger mailing list – a free bi weekly email covering the different stages of putting together an entry, reminders of the approaching deadline and other helpful tips.
We also have our Manuscript Assessment Service which will help you polish your writing and prepare your submission. This service is provided by members of the CWA and costs just £100.
Winning the CWA Debut Dagger does not guarantee you’ll get published but it does mean your work will be seen by leading agents and top editors.
Director, Crime Writers’ Association