The Crime Writers’ Association

The CWA Daggers

The premier crime-writing awards in the United Kingdom.

We award eleven Daggers in total. Seven of these are for books and short stories and are judged independently by industry professionals.


The Daggers

Diamond Dagger

The most prestigious Dagger of all, awarded for a lifetime contribution to English-language crime writing.

Gold Dagger

This Dagger is given to the overall best crime novel of the year, from thrillers to mysteries, procedurals to psychological suspense.

Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

Sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications, the Steel Dagger is for the best espionage, psychological, or adventure thriller novel.

John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger

Awarded to the best crime novel by a first-time author of any nationality, first traditionally published in the UK in English.

Historical Dagger

Awarded to the best historical crime novel set in any period up to 50 years prior to the year in which the award will be made.

Short Story Dagger

Awarded to the best crime-focused short story of the year published or broadcast in the UK.

Dagger in the Library

This Dagger is for a writer whose body of work is popular with library users, and who in turn supports libraries and borrowers.

Debut Dagger

A competition for the opening of a crime novel by an unpublished writer. The Debut Dagger is a talent finder, closely watched by the industry.


Nominations & Submissions

From aspiring writers, to seasoned crime authors and publishers, find the right award below.

I am a publisher or author

If you’re a publisher wanting to nominate a title for a Dagger, click here or select a specific Dagger from the list above.

I am an unpublished author

If you’re an unpublished writer wanting to find out more about entering the Debut Dagger, click here.


Winners Archive

The CWA Daggers have enjoyed a long and prestigious history. Search our archive of previous winners, dating all the way back to 1955.

Join the CWA

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