The CWA Daggers – synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century – is set to again award cash prizes beginning in 2023, for titles published and nominated in 2022. Detail of the amounts will be announced next year. The CWA is delighted to reinstate this tradition, thanks to renewed support and sponsorship.
In the same year the CWA will accept Dagger nominations from authors themselves. Traditionally published authors who meet the eligibility criteria will be able to nominate their own titles for a Dagger, as will self-published authors who are members of the CWA.
The new eligibility criteria follow the change of rules earlier this year to allow self-published authors who successfully demonstrate professionalism to become CWA members for the first time in its 68-year history.
The move came after the CWA consulted its members, who voted with an 84% majority in favour to accept self-published authors.
Maxim Jakubowski, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: “The Daggers are assuredly the best and most accurate reflection of what’s happening on the crime and mystery writing front. The time is right to reflect that prestige by again awarding a cash prize along with certain Daggers. It’s also true that the publishing landscape has changed in recent years. Self-publishing has become a route for professional writers, and indeed there are many trailblazers in this field. It’s important our awards recognise this, and of course if self-published authors can nominate their titles, then it’s important we extend that right to eligible authors who are traditionally published, too.”
The awards remain open as normal to traditional publishers of the genre who are invited to nominate their authors’ titles. A fifty per cent discount on the nomination fee applies to titles by CWA members, whether submitted by a publisher or author.
Maxim added: “We continue to be committed to quality. Successful self-publishing requires the same professional approach that publishers take. Our aim is to ensure the Daggers stay relevant, accessible and open to all talent.”
A thriving, growing community with a membership encompassing authors of all ages and at all stages of their careers, the CWA is UK-based, yet attracts many members from overseas.
It supports author members, as well as literary agents, publishers, bloggers and editors, through its own activities and through the Crime Readers’ Association (CRA). The CRA distributes a free digital monthly newsletter showcasing CWA authors and related news to around 12,000 subscribers, while the CRA website provides readers with news and features by CWA members, as does the bimonthly ezine, Case Files.
The CWA also supports unpublished writers, many of whom enter the Debut Dagger competition and the Margery Allingham Short Mystery competition.
For authors wishing to enter the Debut Dagger competition, sponsored by ProWritingAid, they mustn’t have had any fiction over 20,000 words of any genre traditionally published, or self-published in the last five years.
The CWA’s Dagger judging panels remain strictly independent and are refreshed every year.
The organisation also supports libraries and booksellers, with two Library Champions and a Booksellers Champion, Elly Griffiths, as well as promoting its annual National Crime Reading Month in June.
Eligibility restrictions apply on particular Dagger categories; entrants can check out the full guidelines on the CWA website.
Ian Fleming Publishing, ALCS and ProWritingAid are regular sponsors of the Daggers; the CWA is very grateful for their support.