The Crime Writers’ Association

Difficulties submitting? Here’s what to do!

Something’s gone wrong when submitting for a CWA competition? Please read on before panicking!

OK, we know it can be fraught when it’s coming up to the deadline for the Debut Dagger or the Margery Allingham.

And then what happens? You finally submit and despite all your checks, you realise you’ve left your name on your MS, or that you can’t work out what to do about the word count, or that – horror of horrors – you can’t get PayPal to play ball.

What to do?

First off, please be reassured: we want your entry, we want to help you and we will do everything we can to make your submission happen. The really important thing is, if you hit a hitch, you let us know before the deadline. There will be somebody manning the CWA inbox (OK, me) until well after 6pm on Thursday but even so, if you’ve sent an email explaining the situation before 6pm and you don’t hear that evening, we’ll be in touch as soon as possible afterwards and will accept your entry if at all possible. Email us.

If you don’t get an answer on that one, and in any case from Friday 1 March use:

So, let’s take those scenarios above for a start.

Oops. Probably not irredeemable, though, as long as you let us know asap after submitting, please.

Relax. We don’t mind which. The important thing is that the word count for the MS itself isn’t even a word over 3,000 excluding the title and any chapter headings. For the synopsis you have 1,500 words this year.

The deadline is 28 February 6pm GMT, i.e. 18.00 here in the UK.

We’ll do our best to help here, but the important thing is to get in touch asap: If the work hasn’t already gone out to be read, we’ll aim to replace it. If that’s not possible, we’ll let you know and you’ll have the chance to pay for and submit a second entry with the same title, even if it’s after the deadline – provided you submitted the first entry, and told us about the error, before 6pm on 28 February.

Provided each is paid for, yes.

Yes, unless it was shortlisted.

Email We’ll help if we can. But we must see evidence that you’ve done all you could to submit and pay for your entry before the deadline.

We wish you all luck in our competition, and hope that your submission at least goes smoothly.

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