The Crime Writers’ Association

CWA Daggers
Terms and Conditions of Entry

Three categories of people can nominate a title for the CWA Daggers.


Only publishers who are on the CWA List of Approved Publishers will be eligible to enter the CWA Dagger Awards – if you are not listed please contact to confirm your eligibility and to be added to the list.

Relating to the CWA Dagger Awards for: Gold; Ian Fleming Steel; John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger; Historical Dagger; Twisted Dagger; Whodunnit Dagger; ALCS Gold for Non Fiction; Crime Fiction in Translation and Short Story: Any UK publisher may enter titles provided that the work is relevant to the appropriate award, as defined under Eligibility (section 2), and the first UK edition was published within the specified dates of the Judging Period (section 1). Publishers in the Republic of Ireland who distribute in the UK via trade channels but do not have a presence in the UK will be accepted if the book is priced in pounds sterling or was dual priced £/€. The definition of “work” is a novel, short story or non-fiction book.

A 50% discount of the fee (refunded retrospectively) applies to titles by CWA members.

Traditionally published authors

Any author, published by an Approved Publisher in the UK, can self-nominate their book or story provided that the work is relevant to the appropriate award, as defined under Eligibility (section 2), and the first UK edition was published within the specified dates of the Judging Period (section 1). They do not have to be CWA members, but if they are they will be entitled to a 50% discount of the fee (refunded retrospectively).

Self-published authors

Self-published authors can self-nominate their book or story if they are a CWA member, provided that the work is relevant to the appropriate award, as defined under Eligibility (section 2 below), and the first UK edition was published within the specified dates of the Judging Period (section 1 below). A 50% discount of the fee (refunded retrospectively) applies. Please note that hard copies and digital copies are expected to be sent.

Publication date

For the purposes of these Terms and Conditions, the date of publication of a work is defined as follows:

Where a work is published in both digital and physical formats, the publication date is the date of publication of the first physical copy of the work.

Where a work is published in digital format only, the publication date is the date on which the download is first made available to the purchaser.

No work, however many formats and editions in which it is published, may have more than one publication date for the purposes of entry to the Daggers.

  1. Deadlines

The 2025 Daggers are for works published from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2024 inclusive.

Publishers and authors are encouraged to send their books to the judges as soon as copies
are available. The cut-offs for delivery to the judges are as follows:

Books published within the first 6 months of the year: 31 July 2024 deadline for the books to reach the judges.

Books published within the second 6 months of the year: 15 November 2024 deadline for getting them to the judges.

This is to prevent a backlog of titles arriving in the final weeks. To help facilitate the judging we suggest that works might be submitted in advance of true publication date by supplying judges with proofs if available.

  1. Eligibility

For publishers to be eligible to register to enter books for the CWA Dagger awards they must comply with the following:

That they offer an author a contract with a full service publisher who pays royalties and does not require the author to pay any part of the cost of publication. This includes the costs of producing and marketing their book and any editorial services. If the publisher is located outside the UK it must also be registered in the UK; books from distributors only are not eligible.

For traditionally published authors to be eligible, their publisher must comply with all the above.

For self-published authors, they must be members of the CWA and the book must be published within the UK.

Only one title per author per award. may be submitted. Titles may be entered for any other literary award, including the other CWA Daggers. Translated works are also eligible for the Ian Fleming Steel, Historical and John Creasey (New Blood) Daggers, the key date being that of UK publication and not the original foreign language publication.


  1. Submissions

An online nomination form must be completed for each title entry submitted and the appropriate processing fee paid with nomination. Once the details entered have been checked and the processing payment received, you will be emailed details of where to post the books.

For Short Stories which have been broadcast but not published, please contact the Dagger Liaison Officer for information on how to submit.

  1. Processing fee

In order to offset some of the Association’s costs, a processing fee will be charged for each submission per dagger award, and is non-refundable. The fee is £75.00 per title (£90 incl. VAT).  A collection of short stories will also be £75.00 (£24.00 per individual short story; £30 inc. VAT). The title of a fully paid-up CWA member can be submitted for half the regular fee. Fees should be paid in full and the DLO will refund the over-payment where the nominated title is by a fully subscribed CWA member. All processing fees are subject to VAT.

The nomination process is now linked to an online shop. The processing fee is due and payable at the same time as the nomination. The fee can be made via Paypal or Stripe payment processors, either using a credit or debit card linked to that processor or an account. After the nomination(s) and processing fee(s) are received, you will be sent the judges’ details. Please note that if a nomination is withdrawn for any reason, the processing fee remains due and payable. It is the publisher or nominating author’s responsibility to ensure that all payments are safely received by the CWA by 1 December 2024. Beyond this date the book could be disqualified.

It is also the publisher or nominating author’s responsibility to ensure that the nominated title is eligible for the Dagger(s) for which it is submitted. If it is not, the title will be withdrawn from the relevant Dagger(s) and the nomination fee(s) forfeit.

  1. Sending books

You will be sent a PDF file which will provide you with a set of cover sheets containing the judges’ contact details.

The CWA takes the privacy and security of individuals and their personal information very seriously and takes every reasonable measure to protect and secure the personal data that we process. Therefore we require that you respect the private details of the judges, not share them with third parties and not enter into direct contact with them beyond the delivery of your submission. If you abuse this rule we reserve the right to withdraw your book from the competition and the processing fee will be forfeited. Should you wish to discuss any issues, then it must be via the DLO.

One copy of each book should be sent to ALL judges including the chair of judges (unless otherwise instructed on page 2 of the PDF). Please enclose the cover sheet with each book; this will assist the judges identifying the name of the Dagger for which the book is being submitted. It would be a great help to the judges if you ensure that the label on each parcel bears the name of the Dagger for which the book is being submitted. Please do not send books to the papers or magazines for which the judge reviews, unless otherwise instructed. Please use Royal Mail to deliver books where possible, as it can be hard for judges to rearrange deliveries of missed packages with other couriers.

Where a book has been published in digital format only, this section should be complied with by providing print-outs of a pdf file of the work.

  1. Further T&C

It is a condition of entry that publishers, self-nominating and self-published authors:

Submission of any entry will be taken as complete acceptance of these conditions. The CWA will run a campaign promoting the shortlisted titles for all Daggers through social media and other communications. In common with most other similar awards we do not give advance notice to winners.

The eligibility period for the current judging period is 1 January 2024 – 31 December 2024.

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