The Crime Writers’ Association

The CWA Says Thank You to Darren Wills

L-R: Dea Parkin, Matthew Booth, Darren Wills, David Stuart Davies

On Saturday 10 February 2024, a small group of people met at the home of CWA member, and ex-Red Herrings editor, David Stuart Davies. The purpose of the gathering was not only to enjoy the company of old friends and a few glasses of wine (which goes without saying), but also to say a long-overdue and hearty Thank You to an unsung hero of both the CWA and the magazine. 

For over 25 years, Darren Wills has been responsible for the images, the layout, and the overall design of Red Herrings. Before my tenure as editor, David and Darren worked closely together to make the magazine as vibrant and exciting as possible, and since I took over from David, the same aim has been in place. Together, Darren and I have worked on tweaking and re-designing the look and feel of the magazine. I receive a large number of emails from members saying how professional and stylish the magazine looks. A large share – if not the majority share! – of that praise must go to Darren, who always accommodates any idea, any deadline, and any problem with good humour, an easy-going charm, and extreme professionalism. And it isn’t only Red Herrings. Conference brochures, Daggers longlists, publicity images, and any other graphic design which the CWA needs, Darren provides. 

At a Board meeting not so long ago, I put forward Darren’s name for what I termed on Saturday “the CWA’s equivalent of the Academy Award for Outstanding Contribution”, namely a CWA Red Herring award. I was extremely pleased that the Board showed its full support and voted unanimously to honour and thank Darren in this way. I’d like to thank the Board formally for its support.

So, thank you, Darren – from the CWA membership, from the Board, from David, and (absolutely without question) from me!  

— Matthew Booth

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