The Crime Writers' Association

CWA Dagger in the Library

The CWA Dagger in the Library is an award for which librarians nominate an author.

The Dagger in the Library is a prize for a body of work by a crime writer that users of libraries particularly admire. Only librarians can nominate authors for the award. It is one of the most prestigious crime writing awards in the UK and previous winners include Mari Hannah, Elly Griffiths, Christopher Fowler, Sharon Bolton, Belinda Bauer, Mo Hayder, Stuart MacBride, Jake Arnott, Alexander McCall Smith, Stephen Booth, Peter Robinson,  Lindsey Davis, Martin Edwards and in 2019 Kate Ellis.

2020 nominations now open

Up to three members of staff from each UK library can nominate – in other words each library has a maximum of 3 votes. To make it easier, the CWA and Dagger in the Library judges have created a list of eligible contenders.

The deadline for nominations is 29 Feb 2020.

The Dagger in the Library is to reward authors who:

  • have been bringing pleasure to library users with their crime books for over 10 years
  • have never previously won the CWA Dagger in the Library
  • have never won the CWA Diamond Dagger


‘I’m really thrilled and honoured to have been awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library. The fact that the winner is decided by the nation’s library staff makes it particularly special as I have loved and supported libraries for as long as I can remember. The thought of all those thousands of readers in libraries enjoying my books is so wonderful and rewarding.’

Kate Ellis, Winner of the CWA Dagger in the Library 2019

More information about Kate can be found here