The Crime Writers’ Association

Debut Dagger Submission Info

The deadline is Monday 28 February, 6pm GMT. Read the full rules here; remember eligibility has changed this year. You can purchase your entry voucher before you enter so as to make the process less stressful.


  1. If you chose to pre-pay your entry in advance of submitting, you received a code which you’ll need to use when you submit your entry.

When you’re ready to actually submit, go back to Submit an entry and click on the Debut Dagger product in the shop (not the pre-pay). Go to your basket when prompted, and at the foot add in your voucher code and hit Apply. That takes care of the payment aspect. After that, you’ll have access to the entry form, so all you need to do is complete the form and upload your submission.


  1. Word count. You’re asked for this in the entry form and it should be the word count of your entry, so your novel opening and synopsis, minus words used for the title and any chapter or section headings.


Having said this, if you’ve already submitted and think you might have got this wrong, don’t worry. As long as your actual entry doesn’t exceed 3,000 words and your synopsis doesn’t exceed 1,500 excluding title and any headings, that’s fine. Please remember not to go over these limits by even a word, though.


  1. If you have any reason to worry about whether or not your submission has uploaded, we can always check during working hours, right until deadline. We’ll let you know if not and give you chance to resubmit, but so far this year the tech seems to be working well. But it’s a reason to enter before 17.59 on Monday!


If we find after the competition closes that anyone’s entry hasn’t uploaded, but we’ve received the entry form and payment, then don’t worry, we will get back to you.


  1. As ever, if you have a problem with any aspect of the process and contact me before 6pm GMT on Monday, I will help. (I will try to contact you immediately but if it gets to Tuesday, as long as your email was received before the deadline, don’t worry.)


However, if you have problems and don’t let me know until after the competition closes, there’s nothing we can do. Again, this is why we strongly advise you to get your entry in before 17.59!


  1. And yes, it’s an international competition, but organised in the UK, so the closing time is 6pm Greenwich Mean Time. If you’re submitting from overseas, please check when 6pm GMT is in your time and ensure your entry is in by then.


  1. If you discover after submitting that you made an admin mistake such as leaving your name on the entry, let me know. As long as you submitted on time, I’ll be glad to help.


  1. But we can’t make any changes to the manuscript itself. If you find you’ve uploaded a non-final draft by mistake (and several people do this every year, so do take care!), or you think of improvements later, the solution is to submit it (and pay) again before the deadline. To differentiate, either give it a different title or add 2.


  1. In summary: take care and try to get your entry in before the last gasp. And if you have any problems, you need to let me know before 28 Feb at 6pm GMT in order for me to help!


Any questions, problems or dilemmas, email Dea:


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