The Crime Writers' Association


The Crime Writers’ Association is one organisation with around 700 ambassadors. Our entry criteria is simple and wide ranging. We offer full membership for those in the UK and overseas who have had published a full length work of crime fiction or non-fiction, and provisional membership for those who have a contract from a recognised publishing house but have not yet had their work published. If you are an author based outside the UK you are equally welcome.

For those who work primarily within the industry – publishers, editors, agents, bloggers and reviewers – we also have associate and corporate membership categories.

It’s been over sixty years since John Creasey founded the CWA with the remit of promoting and supporting the genre. The association has gone from strength to strength without losing sight of our original mission, and our membership is diverse with authors at all stages of their writing careers, writing within a multiple of crime genres and sub-genres, including non-fiction and true crime.

Why should you join?

Are you a crime writer, reviewer, editor or agent? Or is your business concerned with publishing, bookselling or representing crime writers?

Click here to read all the benefits of becoming a member

Join us today and you can benefit from:

  • Meeting and networking with other crime writers – both at our events and virtually via our members-only Facebook page
  • The pleasure of attending our annual conference, exclusively for CWA crime writers
  • Discounts and special offers; for example 20% off your first year’s CWA membership for members of the Society of Authors
  • Meeting publicists, journalists, bloggers, editors and other associate members
  • Our wide range of contacts in libraries and festivals, to help you organise and publicise your author events
  • Our monthly magazine, Red Herrings, and regular e newsletters full of news, events, and opportunities for crime writers
  • Selling your books and engaging directly with thousands of crime writing fans through our Crime Readers’ Association. As well as the website, where you can post blogs and have your books – complete with Amazon and Hive links – and profile featured in Find An Author, we send a regular newsletter featuring members’ news, and a bimonthly ezine with details of members’ new books, to a database of over 10,000 – all of which help our members to reach new audiences.
  • Access to a dedicated free tax helpline for members, kindly provided by HW Fisher & Company.

Who can join?

Membership of the CWA is open to published crime writers, with associate membership also open to those in the publishing industry and provisional membership to writers who have a contract but whose book is not yet out.

Please note that:

* Self-published works do not qualify you for membership.

* Nor do works where you have contributed to the cost of publication.

Corporate membership of the CWA is open to publishers, literary agents, booksellers and others connected with the production of individual CWA members’ work, whether in print, on stage, in film, radio or television.

Categories of membership

Category Who is it for? What does it cost?
Full Membership is open to writers resident in the UK who have published at least one full –length novel or non-fiction book with a crime theme; or published serials, short stories or feature articles with a crime theme, equivalent in total to a book-length work; or a feature film script or a number of shorter screenplays with a crime theme, approximating to a book-length work; or a full-length play with a crime theme, produced in the professional theatre; or radio or television scripts, which have been broadcast, and which approximate to a book-length work. £65 per year.
Provisional Membership is open to crime writers with a valid contract, whose first book will be published within the next two years. Provisional membership is open to those, who when their book is published, will qualify for full membership. If the book on the basis of which provisional membership has been granted is not published at the end of two years, then this membership will automatically expire. Provisional membership will automatically convert to Full membership when your book is published. £65 per year.
Associate Membership is open to those who, in their profession or occupation, are associated with the genre – including publishers, editors, literary agents, crime reviewers, booksellers and those connected with the production of members’ work, whether in print, online, on stage, in film, radio or television. £75 per year.
Digital Open to Full and Provisional categories. Digital members receive all communications including the association’s monthly journal Red Herrings and the annual members’ directory digitally.
Note: From February 2017, this is the default position for Overseas members whether they are Full or Provisional.
(Overseas members wishing to receive printed communications can do so, but will need to pay a higher rate that takes into account postage costs. If this is of interest to you, please mention this on application or renewal.)
£55 per year.
Corporate Membership There are three levels for corporate membership of the Crime Writers’ Association. This depends on the number of staff members, including owners and directors.
Up to five staff members: £100 per calendar year, and receive up to five copies of Red Herrings.
From six to ten staff members: £250 per calendar year, and receive up to ten copies of Red Herrings.
Eleven or more staff members: £500 per calendar year, and receive up to fifteen copies of Red Herrings.
£100, £250 or £500 dependent on staff numbers.

Apply for membership

If you are applying as a Full or Provisional member please also indicate, using the dropdown list, which publisher you are with.

Eligible publishers also include those listed in the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook (excluding any self-publishing imprints). If your publisher does not appear on this list please do get them to contact so they can be included.

If you are applying as an Associate member please use ‘n/a’

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  5. The CWA has reciprocal agreements with the Society of Authors, the Historical Writers’ Association and Crime Writers of Canada to give a 20% discount on the first year’s CWA subscription to members of those organisations. This discount will be applied after your membership has been approved.
Publisher (if applicable)
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Renew your membership

We are delighted that you wish to renew your membership. To do so please contact