The Crime Writers' Association

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The CWA Announces a New Annual Dagger Award for Publishers

The world-famous Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers, which honours the very best in crime writing, has created a new Dagger category for the first time in over a decade.

The new prestigious Dagger will be awarded annually to the Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year. The CWA is one of the UK’s most prominent organisations for the promotion of crime writing, founded in 1953 by John Creasey.

Publishers and specific imprints are being nominated by a representative group of leading book reviewers, booksellers, festival organisers, bloggers, literary agents and journalists, with the eventual winner to be designated from the shortlist by the CWA Board.

The Daggers are regarded by the publishing world as the foremost British awards for crime-writing.

Maxim Jakubowski, Honorary Vice-Chair of the CWA, said: “As part of the ongoing process of keeping the CWA in the forefront when it comes to crime writing and crime publishing, we felt this was an overdue category in our Daggers, and it becomes the first new Dagger to be created in well over a decade. Publishing houses and imprints are very important to the genre and are instrumental in keeping crime, mystery and thriller writing at the forefront of the reading public’s consciousness, and fully deserve the recognition.”

The award criteria is primarily for excellence and diversity in a crime publishing programme. Factors such as developing careers, a focus on new authors, sustaining existing authors and the quality of promotional efforts will be judged. The award will also look at support for authors, proactive collaboration with the book trade (booksellers, agents, festivals) and general positivity of involvement with the crime and mystery writing field.

Synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century, the Daggers started in 1955 with its first award going to Winston Graham, best known for Poldark.

The new Dagger follows news of the CWA refreshing its Dagger judging panels for 2019/20. New judges feature respected names including the author and former Guardian journalist Duncan Campbell, the Emeritus Professor of Medieval Literature Edward James, broadcaster Angela Rippon, and Head Reviewer at LoveReading, Liz Robinson.

The shortlist for the Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year will be announced later this summer.

The winner be announced at the Dagger awards ceremony, alongside the winners of the existing Dagger categories, on October 24. Widely considered as the crime writing event of the year, the ceremony will take place at the Grange City Hotel, London.

Booking is now open for the Dagger awards ceremony. Details available here: https://thecwa.co.uk/the-daggers/cwa-dagger-awards-gala-dinner-2019