The Debut Dagger Award
CWA Debut Dagger – Terms & Conditions and Submission Guidelines
Terms and conditions
Please note: Current and former members of the CWA are not allowed to enter the Debut Dagger competition.
The competition is for those who have never had a publishing contract for a full-length novel.
Only unpublished authors are eligible to enter for the CWA Debut Dagger. Self-published authors are welcome to enter as long as they have never had a traditional publishing contract for a full-length novel.
Online entry is a two-stage process. First you must pay the £36 (inc VAT) submission fee. Once your payment has gone through you will receive an automatic email with your submission number and a link to the submission form.
Manuscripts should preferably be 12pt, double spaced, in an easily readable font such as Times, Arial or Helvetica.
They must fall within the prescribed word limit and not exceed it, not even by a few words.
Manuscripts must not include the author’s name or contact details, only the title of the work. This will be allocated a unique CWA reference number.
The 2017 competition opens on 1st October 2016, closing at midnight GMT on 28 February 2017.
Entries may be submitted at any time between the opening and closing dates.
Entries received after the closing date will not be considered.
Please note the dates below are advisory and may be changed.
The longlist will be announced at CrimeFest in May 2017 and published on our website.
The shortlist will be announced during the summer and published on our website.
The winner will be announced at the glamorous CWA Dagger Awards Gala Dinner which is usually held in London in October.
COST OF ENTRY
£30 + VAT = £36 Please note we can only accept payments via PayPal and via the website submission process except in special circumstances.
1. Entrants should submit the opening of a proposed crime novel (up to an absolute maximum of 3,000 words) together with a synopsis (500 to 1,000 words) of its further development.
2. Please do not submit the full novel rather than the opening as described above.
3. Entrants can be self-published, and have self-published any number of books, including the novel submitted, or part thereof. You must not have a publishing contract for a full-length novel at time of submission or have ever had such a contract.
4. An entry fee must be paid before you are able to send your submission. After payment you will be directed to the submission page.
5. Submissions must be in English and we prefer double-line spacing. Pages should ideally be numbered, sequentially from the opening page of the novel to the last page of the synopsis, with the title of your story included on each page.
6. You must not include your name or a pseudonym on the document.
7. All entries must be submitted as a single file containing both the opening 3000 words and the synopsis. The file should preferably be saved with the text double-spaced and the margins set for A4 paper (210 x 297mm)
8. The file must be in the following formats: doc, docx, txt or pdf. The entrant is responsible for ensuring that the file is readable and uncorrupted.
9. The file cannot be amended or changed in any way once it has been submitted.
10. Any entrant who submits a file or email containing a virus will be immediately disqualified and will forfeit their entry fee.
11. We will acknowledge receipt of entries and payment by automated e-mail.
12. At our discretion, and only where practicable, we may notify an entrant of an unreadable file and invite them to resubmit the entry.
A shortlist of entries, selected by professional readers, will be forwarded to a final judging panel chaired by the CWA Manuscript Assessment Coordinator and composed of crime fiction editors from major publishing houses and authors’ agents.
The judges’ decision is final and we will not enter into any correspondence about the result.
The winner will receive a prize of £500.
Shortlisted authors will receive a brief professional assessment of their entry.
Shortlisted entries are sent to all publishers and agents who are happy to receive it.
Exposure in the national media and publishing industry.
Full coverage on the CWA social media network.
There is no commitment to publish the winning entry.
Copyright will remain with the entrant.