The Crime Writers’ Association

The Entry Process

There are four kinds of Dagger, differentiated by how they are nominated. See below for an explanation of the different entry processes, and who may nominate for each Dagger. If you have any further questions please contact secretary@thecwa.co.uk.


Daggers nominated by publishers and authors

In order to be eligible for entry into the following Daggers, nominations must be submitted by an approved publisher or the author of the book or short story.

Publishers

To nominate, publishers need to be traditional publishers and approved by our DLO. They will be issued with login details enabling them to nominate from this website.

There is a cost attached, payable on nomination. If the author is a fully subscribed CWA member, this cost is discounted by 50%.

There is no limit to how many Daggers a book can be submitted for provided it meets eligibility rules on each.

If a book is published first as an ebook, it can be nominated and submitted to judges as a pdf. However, it cannot be nominated again when published in print. If first publication is as an ebook but publishers prefer to wait until print publication before nominating, that’s fine.

Authors

Any traditionally published author can self-nominate their book or story if it is eligible (see requirements for each award above). They do not have to be CWA members. Self-published authors can self-nominate their book or story if they are a CWA member. A 50% discount (refunded retrospectively) applies to titles by CWA members.

Enquiries: dagger.liaison@gmail.com

The judging process

More details, including closing dates and who can enter and how can be found in Terms & Conditions.


The Dagger in the Library

The Dagger in the Library is awarded to a UK crime writer every year.

Eligible authors have published six or more crime books over a period of 10 years or more and have never won the Diamond Dagger. The list of eligible authors who libraries can nominate is selected by the Dagger in the Library judges each year.

Up to three members of staff from each British library can nominate. The nominating period is from autumn until the last working in day in February of the year in which the award is made.

The key factors in nominating authors are that the author must be popular with library users and must have offered support to libraries.

Authors who were shortlisted for the Dagger in the Library one year are not eligible in the following two years.

The Dagger in the Library 2022 is now closed.

The 2023 Dagger in the Library will open in autumn 2022.

Please address any queries to the CWA secretary: secretary@thecwa.co.uk.


The Debut Dagger

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Debut Dagger 2022 is now closed.

The Debut Dagger will re-open for entries on 1 October and runs to the last working day in February the following year.

Entries are eligible from writers who have never had a contract for a full-length novel of any kind and who don’t have an agent when the competition closes at the end of February. Entrants may have self-published their entry or any other novel. CWA members are not eligible to enter.

Debut Dagger 2023 will open in autumn 2022.

Please see our Debuts blog, Crime Writing Tips, Criminal Critiques and Criminal Editing pages for information and guidance.

Why not sign up to our online newsletters? Or maybe you’d like to join our Debuts Facebook community.

Please address any queries to the CWA secretary: secretary@thecwa.co.uk .


The Diamond Dagger

The Diamond Dagger is nominated by CWA members. All members are invited to submit one nomination each year, giving their reasons. Voting is advertised in Red Herrings, usually opening in spring and ending late summer.

Enquiries: admin@thecwa.co.uk


The Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition

The 2022 Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition is now closed.

The 2023 Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition will open in autumn 2022.

Please address any queries to the CWA secretary: secretary@thecwa.co.uk .

The Margery Allingham Prize is a joint initiative between the CWA and the Margery Allingham Society.

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