The CWA was founded in 1953 by John Creasey – that’s over sixty-five years of support, promotion and celebration of this most durable, adaptable and successful of genres. We run the prestigious CWA Dagger Awards, which celebrate the best in crime writing, and which we award every autumn in a glittering ceremony, and we’re proud to be a thriving, growing community with a membership encompassing authors of all ages and at all stages of their careers. We are UK-based, yet attract many members from overseas.
We support our author members (plus literary agents, publishers, bloggers and editors) with a monthly magazine called Red Herrings packed with crime-related articles; a digital monthly newsletter showcasing CWA authors and their books and events that goes to the 11,000 subscribers to our Crime Readers’ Association and Debuts; and Case Files, a bimonthly ezine highlighting new publications of CWA members’ books. We have a vital and dynamic presence on social media.
We run an annual conference in a different UK location every year and hold chapter meetings throughout the UK for regional social get-togethers or to hear speakers. That way, members have the chance to access face-to-face networking and socialising, as well as the online variety.
We support libraries and booksellers, and have three Libraries Champions and a Booksellers Champion. We have links with various festivals and many other writers’ organisations such as the Society of Authors. We’re delighted to have Ian Fleming Publications, ALCS and Sapere Books as CWA Dagger sponsors.
We couldn’t do this without the time, experience and commitment of our officers, committee members and volunteers such as our chapter convenors. Most of all, we couldn’t do it without our members, in whose interests the CWA is proudly run.
Chair Linda Stratmann
Linda Stratmann was elected Chair of the CWA in April 2019. She has a virtually life-long interest in true crime, and a large collection of books on the subject. She is a qualified chemist’s dispenser, having trained in a very old branch of Boots, just before the shop and the course were modernised. After taking a BSc in Psychology she was an inspector of taxes for 27 years, before leaving to pursue her writing. She has a passionate though not uncritical love of the Victorian period, and probably spends more time in the nineteenth century than the twenty-first.
Linda’s research skills are self-taught and over the years she has become a competent amateur genealogist, and archive user.
Linda writes two fiction series: the Frances Doughty Mysteries set in 1880s Bayswater, with a lady pharmacist as detective protagonist, and the latest series, set in 1870s Brighton, featuring Mina Scarletti, a diminutive lady with a twisted spine whose boldness and confidence help her to exposes the activities of fraudulent spirit mediums.
Linda has given many public talks on true crimes. She has been a guest panellist at CrimeFest in Bristol since 2011, has been a guest on radio shows and appeared in two television documentaries on the history of anaesthesia and two editions of the Fred Dinenage Murder Casebook.
Linda gives public talks on true crimes, has been a guest on radio shows and appeared in television documentaries. Linda has also written several non-fiction titles. She was Vice Chair from 2017 to 2019, has had two stints as Membership Secretary and has served on the CWA committee for ten years.
Jean was elected as the CWA’s Vice Chair in April 2019. Under the name J C Briggs, Jean is the author of a series of crime novels featuring Charles Dickens as hero, now published by Sapere Books, and has recently proved her excellent organisation skills and dedication to the CWA with her organisation of the 2019 conference at Bowness-on-Windermere. Jean was formerly a senior teacher at a renowned school on the Fylde Coast and lives in the Yorkshire Dales.
Matthew Booth s the author of When Anthony Rathe Investigates, a two volume short story collection, which began as a radio series on the Imagination Radio syndicate in America. He is also the author of a collection of Sherlock Holmes mysteries called Sherlock Holmes and the Giant’s Hand. He has contributed a number of Sherlock Holmes stories to several anthologies, including stories for Wordsworth Classics Supernatural and Thriller series. One of the convenors of the CWA’s Northern Chapter, Matthew took over as the editor of Red Herrings, the monthly in-house publication of the Crime Writers’ Association, with the April 2020 issue. The previous editor, David Stuart Davies, was in the post for 20 years so Matthew perhaps has long stint ahead of him!
Adrian Muller was born in Canada, and was raised and educated in the Netherlands. After obtaining a degree in Arts Administration from the Reinwardt Academy for Museology, he moved to Bristol in the United Kingdom. Adrian has been an Events Organiser and Freelance Journalist (contributing to award winning books on crime fiction); the Events Manager for the Crime in Store bookshop; in 1997 he helped organise the St. Hilda’s Crime and Mystery Weekend; and the following year he co-founded Dead on Deansgate. Adrian was one of the originators of, and contributors to, the four ‘Masters of Crime’ supplements published by The Times. In 2005 he helped found the International Thriller Writers association, and in 2006 Adrian co-hosted Left Coast Crime 16 in Bristol, England. A member of the CWA, he has served on the committee twice and he has also been the Chairman of the judges for the International Dagger for Translated Crime Fiction. Following the success of Left Coast Crime 16 Adrian and Myles Allfrey founded CRIMEFEST, an international crime fiction convention held annually in Bristol.
Maxim Jakubowski, Honorary Vice-chair, was born in London but educated in France. Following an editorial career in book publishing, during which time, he launched two crime imprints Black Box Thrillers and Blue Murder, he opened the Murder One bookstore in London, which lasted for 20 years. He now writes and edits full-time. He has compiled over 120 anthologies including the Mammoth Book of Best British Crime, Pulp Fiction, Vintage Crime, Future Cops and London, Paris, Rome and Venice Noir. He won the Anthony award for non fiction for 100 Great Detectives. He is the author of 16 novels, some of which are in the mystery field together with others in different areas, several of which have made the Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller list. A director of London’s Crime Scene festival, he was also the co-chair of the Nottingham Bouchercon and is a regular broadcaster on matters literary on TV and radio, and a frequent attendant at crime festivals in the UK and overseas.
Dea Parkin has been an associate member of the CWA since 2012 through her editorial consultancy Fiction Feedback, which specialises in critiquing and editing crime and historical fiction. Sometimes, gloriously, both together. She became Secretary of the CWA in 2016 and very much enjoys her work on the committee and liaising with CWA members. She might not write crime fiction, but she reads as much as her workload allows, which is always more than she fears and less than she hopes.
Sarah Ward is our membership secretary and is the author of four DC Childs novels, In Bitter Chill, A Deadly Thaw, A Patient Fury and The Shrouded Path set in the Derbyshire Peak District where she lives. On her blog, Crimepieces (www.crimepieces.com), she reviews the best of current crime fiction published around the world. She is a judge for the Petrona Award for Scandinavian translated crime novels. Sarah was a 2015 Amazon Rising Star and A Patient Fury was The Observer’s Thriller of the Month in 2017. Sarah has a new series out written under the name Rhiannon Ward.
Treasurer Andrew Subramaniam is a partner in HW Fisher & Company’s media group. As well as advising numerous authors and journalists, he has a vast knowledge in looking after entertainers, actors, broadcasters, producers, musicians and TV celebrities amongst others on accounting and tax issues.
Andrew has a strong interest in writing and is a patron of the Henley Literary Festival as well as sponsoring the Harrogate Crimewriting Festival. Andrew also sits on the board of the Musical Theatre Network as well as that of the Actors Centre.
Outside work, Andrew enjoys watching and playing both football and cricket. He also sits on a fundraising committee at his children’s school which has raised funds for a new school building and is the CWA’s Honorary Treasurer.
Priscilla Masters, one of our Library Champions, was born in Halifax and adopted into a multi-racial family of seven. She has produced more than thirty crime novels and one children’s book. She trained as a registered nurse in the 1970s at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Birmingham. Her first novel to feature DI Joanna Piercy, Winding Up the Serpent, was published in 1995 by Pan Macmillan. She has followed this with a further thirteen titles in the series. In 2004 she created Coroner Martha Gunn, a series set in the medieval town of Shrewsbury and in 2017 revived a previous character, Dr Claire Roget, a forensic psychiatrist. She has also written medical standalone mysteries and is currently published by Severn House, Endeavour and Telos Publishing. She retired in 2014 from her work as a respiratory specialist nurse in the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. She has two sons, two grandsons and lives in a fairy-tale cottage on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border. Cilla’s fellow Library Champions are John Dean and Jan Newton.
Other committee members include Dagger Liaison Officer Mike Stotter, Corinne Turner, Chris Simms (editor of Case Files), Criminal Critiques co-ordinator Leigh Russell, Booksellers' Champion Aline Templeton, Ricki Thomas, Stephen Hayes, former membership secretary Chrissie Poulson, blogger and reviewer Ayo Onatade and CWA social media lead Antony Johnston.
Membership of the CWA is open to writers of crime fiction or non-fiction resident in Great Britain who are published by a bona fide publisher, at the discretion of the committee.
Overseas members are welcomed. Associate membership is available for editors, agents and booksellers who meet our criteria – it’s always worth checking with the membership secretary.
We have represented crime authors since 1953 and launched the careers of many writers though our Dagger awards and writing initiatives.
Members of the CWA come from all areas of the genre and we have categorised them by sub-genre to help you find the member you are looking for.
The Dagger Awards have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over fifty years.
These prestigious awards started in 1955, less than two years after the Association was founded, with the award of a Crossed Red Herring Award to Winston Graham for The Little Walls.