The Crime Writers’ Association

Diamond Dagger

The most prestigious Dagger of all, the Diamond Dagger is for a lifetime contribution to crime writing in the English language and is nominated by CWA members.

Entry Process

The CWA Diamond Dagger winner is selected every year from nominations provided by CWA members. A shortlist of authors is selected by a specialist committee and the winner voted on by the CWA Board.

Nominees must meet two essential criteria. First, their writing careers must have been outstanding, and their writing must have been published in the English language, whether originally or in translation. Second, they must have made a remarkable contribution to crime writing. The award is made purely on merit without reference to age, gender or nationality.

The Diamond Dagger recognises authors whose crime-writing careers have been marked by sustained excellence, and who have made a significant contribution to the genre. It is the most prestigious UK lifetime award awarded to a crime writer.


Current holder

Diamond Dagger 2021 Winner


Martina Cole

Martina Cole has been awarded the Diamond Dagger for 2021.

The long-reigning Queen of Crime Drama is a publishing powerhouse. Martina has written 25 novels, all published by Headline, seventeen of which reached No.1 and her books have collectively … More

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