The Crime Writers’ Association

Supporting libraries

The places where many of us first discovered a love of books, and the places that for many form the centre of their reading experience, libraries are a national treasure. The CWA does not assume a political role – we leave that to our colleagues at the admirable Society of Authors – but we support libraries at a practical level.

The CWA’s Library Champions play a dual role: they provide a conduit for the concerns of libraries to the Board of the CWA and they help libraries promote themselves through enabling CWA members to participate in their events. Sometimes this is through our supplying names of local author members to libraries (we keep a database of members happy for us to do this) and sometimes it works the other way, where the Library Champion contacts the library to suggest and initiate events. We have three Library Champions; Priscilla Masters based in England, Gail Williams based in Wales and John Dean based in Scotland.

If you’re a library looking for an author to speak, suggestions on how to set up an event or publicity for an event you already have planned: contact us.


The CWA Dagger in the Library

The CWA 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, Kate Ellis, Chris Brookmyre and, in 2021, Peter May.

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

National Crime Reading Month

The CWA’s initiative provides both impetus and a promotional umbrella for crime-reading events held across the country in June. We help to put author members in touch with libraries, bookshops, festivals and other venues and to publicise their events.


Downloadable posters

We produce literature that’s connected with the CWA that you and your users might find useful. We can supply free digital posters and flyers for you to use, helping to make your library more indispensable than ever to the aspiring writer and the public at large.

We run competitions that might interest those of your users who write and bring them back wanting more. For example, the CWA Margery Allingham Short Mystery competition, and the Debut Dagger competition for the opening of a crime novel from an unpublished writer.


Keep in touch

Interested in receiving more information about the CWA, National Crime Writing Month and useful news for libraries? We only send out very occasional bulletins so you won’t be inundated with emails. Sign up below – thank you.

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You might also be interested in The CRA

Our dedicated website for readers of crime fiction and non-fiction. Visitors can subscribe to our regular monthly e-zines and discover more about their favourite authors and books.

Join the CWA

Become part of a thriving community of successful crime writers with invaluable support, expertise and marketing opportunities for all our members.


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