The CWA was founded in 1953 by John Creasey – that’s over sixty years of support, promotion and celebration of this most durable, adaptable and successful of genres. We run the prestigious 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 that also goes to our Crime Readers’ Association and Debuts subscribers and is full of news about CWA members and their events, books and musings; 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 for regional social get-togethers or to hear speakers.
We support libraries and in 2017 appointed a Libraries Champion.
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 proud to be run.
Chair Martin Edwards
Martin Edwards’ latest book is the 1930s thriller Gallows Court. His The Golden Age of Murder won the Edgar, Agatha, Macavity, and H.R.F. Keating awards. He has published eight other non-fiction books and edited thirty eight crime anthologies. He has also won the CWA Short Story Dagger, the CWA Margery Allingham Prize, and the Red Herring award, and received the Poirot award from Malice Domestic for his contribution to the genre. In 2018, he was shortlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library, and has also been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction and for an Anthony award. Since 2015 he has been series consultant for the British Library’s Crime Classics, and is the author of The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, which was nominated for five awards.
Martin is the author of eighteen novels, including the Lake District Mysteries and the Harry Devlin series. The Coffin Trail was shortlisted for the Theakston’s Prize for Crime Novel of the Year, while All the Lonely People was nominated for the John Creasey Memorial Dagger for best first crime novel, and The Arsenic Labyrinth was shortlisted for Lakeland Book of the Year.
In 2015, he was elected eighth President of the Detection Club, an office previously held by G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers. In 2017, he also became Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, and is the only person to have held both posts at the same time. He is also archivist of both the Detection Club and the CWA.
Linda Stratmann, our Joint Vice-chair with Maxim Jakubowski, 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 19th century than the 21st. She will dress up in the appropriate costume at every possible opportunity.
Linda gives public talks on true crimes, was a guest panelist at Crimefest Bristol in 2011, 2012 and 2013, has been a guest on radio shows and appeared in television documentaries. She writes several fiction series featuring Victorian lady sleuths, one based in Brighton with a strong element of the supernatural.
David Stuart Davies
David Stuart Davies worked as a teacher of English before becoming a full-time editor, writer, and playwright. Davies has written extensively about Sherlock Holmes, both fiction and non-fiction.He is the editor of Red Herrings, the monthly in-house publication of the Crime Writers’ Association.
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, Joint Vice-chair with Linda Stratmann, 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.
Ruth Dudley Edwards
Ruth Dudley Edwards is an historian and journalist. The targets of her satirical crime novels include the civil service, Cambridge University, gentlemen’s clubs, the House of Lords, the Church of England and literary prizes. She won the 2010 CWA Non-fiction Gold Dagger for Aftermath: the Omagh bombings and the families’ pursuit of justice, the 2008 CrimeFest Last Laugh Award for Murdering Americans and the 2013 Goldsboro Last Laugh Award for her twelfth novel, Killing the Emperors, a black comedy about conceptual art.
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. 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.
Chrissie Poulson is our membership secretary and an author with a strong fanbase.
Before she turned to crime, she was a respectable academic with a PhD in History of Art and had written widely on nineteenth-century art and literature. Her book, The Quest for the Grail: Arthurian Legend in British Art 1840-1920 (Manchester University Press, 1999) was short-listed for a Mythopoeic Award for non-fiction. During her career as an art historian, she worked at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and at the William Morris Society at Kelmscott House, London. Later she was a lecturer in Art History at a college in Cambridge.
The city of Cambridge and the surrounding Fens, with their unique and sinister atmosphere, provides the setting for both her series of crime novels.Her short stories have appeared in CWA anthologies, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and elsewhere. ‘A Tour of the Tower’ was nominated for a Short Mystery Fiction Derringer Award in 2011 and ‘Faceless Killer’ was shortlisted for the 2016 Margery Allingham Prize.
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 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 up
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 six 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.
Other committee members include Dagger Liaison Officer Mike Stotter, Corinne Turner, Chris Simms (editor of Case Files), Deputy Treasurer Peter Crangle, Leigh Russell, Bookseller's Champion Aline Templeton, Ricki Thomas, Jean Briggs and Stephen Hayes..