The Crime Writers’ Association

The Debut Dagger Gave Me a Career… by M W Craven

The CWA Debut Dagger competition gave me a career. I can draw a direct evolutionary line from being shortlisted in 2013 to the two-book deal I signed with Little, Brown in January 2017. Being on the shortlist opened a door with my first publisher Caffeine Nights (they told me this) and, although I still had to walk through the door, in 2015 they published a collection of short stories introducing my characters for the forthcoming novel. At a writers’ event in Gretna (the excellent Crime & Publishment) I met literary agent David Headley and gave him a copy of the short stories as a calling card. He asked me to send him my next full-length novel and at the back end of 2015 I submitted the second novel in the DI Fluke series, Body Breaker. On the basis of this he offered me representation although he asked me to write a brand-new series he could sell to a different, bigger publisher. In May 2016 I sent him Welcome to the Puppet Show, the first in the new Detective Sergeant Washington Poe series and in January 2017 I signed a two-book deal with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable. I’m now a full-time author with a hardback novel coming out in June 2018 (The Puppet Show – The ‘Welcome to’ was ultimately dropped), with TV and foreign rights deals to look forward to.

And it all leads back to a decision I took in January 2013 – to take a week off work and write 3000 words for the CWA Debut Dagger competition . . .


Read more about M W Craven here



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