The Crime Writers’ Association


The Daggers

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

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.

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.

ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

Non-fiction is important to the genre, from true crime and biography to critical studies and literature. This Dagger is for the best such book.

Dagger for Crime Fiction in Translation

This dagger is awarded to a crime novel not originally written in English, and translated into English for UK publication during the judging period.

Sponsored in honour of Dolores Jakubowski.

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A competition for the opening of a crime novel by an unpublished writer.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.

Sponsored by ProWritingAid.

Self-Nominate your Books

Don’t forget our eligibility criteria now allows traditionally published authors to nominate their own titles for a Dagger. Self-published authors who are members of the CWA are also welcome to do so. Titles must be published and nominated in 2023 for the 2024 Daggers. Please see this page for full details, including eligibility criteria and deadlines.

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.

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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