The Crime Writers’ Association

Short Story Dagger

This award is for any crime short story first published in the UK in English during the Judging Period, whether on its own or within an anthology or collection. Upon publication it must have been for sale to the public, either in print or e-book, through established channels or platforms.

The term short story refers to a work of fiction no shorter than 1,000 and no longer than 15,000 words.

You are able to nominate a full anthology where we consider every story, or an individual story.

Publishers or authors can nominate.

Short Story Dagger 2024 Winner

Sanjida Kay

From: The Book of Bristol

The Divide

Comma Press

Judges’ Comments
Bristol-set tale of social division, loneliness, and how our desire for connection can make us vulnerable, with a bittersweet conclusion

2024 shortlist

2024 longlist


Author Title From Editor Publisher
Rachel Amphlett Three Ways to Die No W.W.M.  – Thrill Ride #3 M. L. “Matt” Buchman Buchman Bookworks, Inc
Lee Child Safe Enough An Unnecessary Assassin Lorraine Stevens Rivertree
Mia Dalia The Last Best Thing Bang!:An Anthology of Modern Noir Fiction Andrew Hook Head Shot Press
Andrew Humphrey Slap Happy Bang!:An Anthology of Modern Noir Fiction Andrew Hook Head Shot Press
Benedict J Jones The Also-Rans Bang!:An Anthology of Modern Noir Fiction Andrew Hook Head Shot Press
Sanjida Kay The Divide The Book of Bristol Joe Melia and Heather Marks Comma Press
Ambrose Parry The Spendthrift and the Swallow Canongate Books
DG Penny Drive An Unnecessary Assassin Lorraine Stevens Rivertree
FD Quinn Best Served Cold An Unnecessary Assassin Lorraine Stevens Rivertree
Robert Scragg Revenge is Best Served Hot An Unnecessary Assassin Lorraine Stevens Rivertree

Short Story Dagger 2023 Winner

Hazell Ward

From: Cast A Long Shadow

Cast A Long Shadow

An emotional tale of rape and murder that leads to a man being condemned by suspicion by a whole village. But is this suspicion justified? Ward delivers a truly emotional ride with a twist.

The 2025 Judges

Chris Simmons  (Chair)
Chris Simmons is the online editor of his brainchild, – a crime review website, running since March 2005. Chris is a past judge for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, which has highlighted the debuts of authors such as Louise Penny (John Creasey Dagger winner), S J Watson, Sarah Hilary, James Oswald and two-time Dagger winner, Wiley Cash.

Harriet Tyce

Harriet Tyce was born and grew up in Edinburgh. She graduated in 1994 with a degree in English Literature before working as a criminal barrister for nearly a decade. Having escaped law and early motherhood, she started writing, and completed the MA in Creative Writing – Crime Fiction at the University of East Anglia. She has written three novels to date, the Sunday Times bestsellers Blood Orange and The Lies You Told. It Ends At Midnight was published in April 2022 to critical acclaim.

Laura Wilson

Laura Wilson’s psychological crime novels have been critically acclaimed. Stratton’s War won the CWA Ellis Peters Award for Historical Crime Fiction and both The Lover – which won the Prix du Polar Europeen – and A Thousand Lies were shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger. She also writes for young adults as Jamie Costello. She has taught on the Crime/Thriller MA course at London’s City University, written a series of Crime Fiction Masterclass columns for Mslexia magazine, judged both the CWA John Creasey Dagger and the Debut Dagger, programmed the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival, and co-organised the Killer Women Festival. She is also the Guardian’s crime and thriller fiction reviewer.

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