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CWA Debut Dagger Now Open

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Crime Scene

Louise Phillips



For fifteen years the CWA has been encouraging new writing with its Debut Dagger competition for unpublished writers. The submissions are judged by a panel of top crime editors and agents.

The 2014 competition is open from Friday 1st November 2013 until Friday 31st January 2014. The Debut Dagger is open to anyone who has not yet had a novel published commercially. The first prize is £700 and is kindly sponsored by Orion. Short listed authors receive a professional assessment of their entry.
Winning the Debut Dagger doesn’t guarantee you’ll get published but it does mean your work will be seen by leading agents and top editors who have signed up over two dozen winners and shortlisted Debut Dagger competitors.

Over the period of entry they will be sending out regular emails with updates and writing tips. But they also have a new Facebook Group “The Debuts” where members of the CWA are on hand to answer your questions.


How to enter the CWA Debut Dagger?

The 2014 Debut Dagger competition runs from 1 November 2013 and closes on 31 January 2014. The fee for entries is £25.

Full rules can be found here but in brief:

  • Submissions must be sent to director@thecwa.co.uk and must include
    • The first 3000 words (or fewer) of your novel
    • A 500-1000 word synopsis of its further development
    • Please confirm your word count for both parts of your submission
    • Both files must be double spaced and be numbered
    • We only accept entries in Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx) or PDF
    • Submissions must not include your own name anywhere on the documents

These must be sent to director@thecwa.co.uk and you will be invoiced for the £25 entry fee. This can be paid by PayPal or BACS transfer.

Note: Payments for submissions must be received before the closing date. Submissions will not be sent to the judge unless an entry fee has been received.

Want more advice?

  • STYLE GUIDE: Members of the CWA have produced a style guide which will help you with formatting and presentation.
  • WHAT TO WRITE: Judges and members consider what they are looking for in a submission
  • FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Everything you could ever need to know about the Debut Dagger.
  • allianceindependentauthors.org
  • www.designforwriters.com

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