The Crime Writers’ Association

The Daggers Shortlists Have Been Announced!

On 10 May, the shortlists for the 2024 Daggers were announced to much fanfare at CrimeFest in Bristol.  You can see the shortlists by clicking on the individual Daggers below. Congratulations to all of our shortlisters, and best of luck moving forward!

The winners will be announced at the annual Dagger Awards’ Dinner in London on 4th July at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, 8-14 Cooper’s Row, London, EC3N 2BQ.

Book your tickets here

(Please note: to purchase CWA member tickets, you will need to be logged in to the website.)


Nominations for the 2025 Daggers are now open!

The Daggers

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

Starting in 2024, in addition to the coveted Dagger trophy, Dagger winners will receive a one-year membership in the CWA.

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.

Whodunnit Dagger

The Whodunnit Dagger celebrates books where the sex, swearing, and bloodletting take place offstage–books that focus on the intellectual challenge at the heart of a good mystery, and which revolve around often quirky characters. Books in this category include cosy crime, traditional crime, and Golden Age-inspired mysteries.

Twisted Dagger

The Twisted Dagger celebrates psychological thrillers, dark and twisty tales that often feature unreliable narrators, disturbed emotions, a healthy dose of moral ambiguity, and a sting in the tail. Books in this category include psychological thrillers (set in any period), suspense thrillers, and domestic noir.

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.

Debut Dagger

This international competition, open to anyone in the world writing in English, is for the opening of a crime novel (max. 3,000 words) and synopsis (max. 1,500 words). The crime novel – of any subgenre; including but not limited to thriller, noir, cosy mystery, suspense, police procedural; spy story and crossover of any kind – should be suitable for adults or young adults.

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.

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.

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