The Crime Writers' Association

The Daggers

The CWA Daggers are the premier literary crime-writing awards in the United Kingdom. Entries to seven of our eleven Daggers are nominated by publishers and judged independently of the CWA by industry professionals. For details of each Dagger, eligibility for submission and a list of previous winners and shortlisted authors, see below.

From 2020/21, we amended the judging period so that the publication of books nominated will be much closer to when longlists, shortlists and winners are announced.

Announcements for Daggers 2021
Winners: Thursday 1 July – virtual Daggers Live ceremony

For Daggers 2022, titles are eligible for nomination with publication dates from 1 January to 30 June 2021 and from 1 July to 31 December 2021. Nominations are open now. Closing dates for nominations are confirmed  as 31 July and 15 November 2021 respectively.

There are four Daggers which are not nominated by publishers. The Debut Dagger is a competition for the opening of a crime novel by a writer who isn’t represented by an agent by the time the competition closes, and who has never had a traditional contract for a full-length novel. The Debut Dagger opens for entries on 1 October and runs to the last working day in February the following year. The Dagger in the Library is for an author who has been writing crime novels for over 10 years, is popular with library users and who in turn supports libraries. Authors are nominated by librarians from a long list of eligible candidates supplied by the Dagger judges, and the window for nominating is also October to the following February. The most recent innovation (2019), the Publishers’ Dagger, is nominated by an industry committee in consultation with authors. The most prestigious Dagger of all, the Diamond Dagger for a lifetime contribution to crime writing, is nominated by CWA members. A shortlist is selected by a specialist committee and the winner voted on by the CWA Board.


Nominations for the 2022 Daggers are open now.

The first judging period is for books published from 1 January to 31 July.

All online forms must be submitted by 31 July.

To view our T&Cs please click here.

Submit your nominations now

View the winners archive