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


“Receiving this award is a tremendous honour, and one of the great thrills of my writing career. Libraries have always played an important part in my life, both as an author and as a reader, and it’s absolutely right that the CWA should celebrate them, just as libraries celebrate authors and their work. I’m a huge admirer of the contributions made by libraries and their tireless staff, not only to local communities but also to society as whole. Our libraries are invaluable, and they are a treasure we must prize.”

Martin Edwards, Winner of the CWA Dagger in the Library 2018

More information about Martin can be found here.