CWA Dagger Awards Shortlists Are Out!

By: Brandon Williams, May 20th, 2023 3:05 am.

The Dagger Awards shortlists have been revealed!

Recognized as one of the most prestigious honours in the world of crime fiction, the Dagger Awards celebrate outstanding contributions to the genre. Established by the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) in 1955, these awards have become a symbol of literary excellence, shining a spotlight on exceptional crime novels, authors, and industry professionals.

The Dagger Awards originated from the Crime Writers’ Association, a UK-based organization founded by John Creasey in 1953. Two years later, the association introduced the Dagger Awards as a means to promote and recognize excellence in crime writing. The term “dagger” derives from the association’s symbol, a crossed dagger and a pen, representing the balance between mystery and literary craftsmanship.

The Dagger Awards encompass various categories, each highlighting a different aspect of crime fiction. Some of the prominent categories include the Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel, the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for Best First Crime Novel, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller, and the Dagger in the Library, which honors an author’s body of work. Additionally, the Dagger Awards recognize nonfiction crime books, short stories, and the Dagger of Daggers, a special award celebrating the best crime novel from the past 50 years.

The selection process involves a panel of expert judges, comprising acclaimed crime writers, critics, and industry professionals. They meticulously evaluate the submissions, considering factors such as plot, characterization, narrative skill, and overall quality, to determine the winners in each category.

Over the years, the Dagger Awards have honored many exceptional authors and their captivating works, adding to the legacy of crime fiction. Some notable recipients include Val McDermid, Ann Cleeves, Lee Child, Denise Mina, and Colin Dexter.

The Dagger Awards have a significant impact on the crime fiction community. Winning a Dagger Award brings international recognition to authors, helping them reach new readerships and elevating their careers. The awards also serve as a guide for readers, offering a curated list of outstanding crime novels and authors worth exploring.

Moreover, the Dagger Awards play a crucial role in promoting the genre, inspiring aspiring crime writers, and fostering a sense of camaraderie within the crime fiction community. The awards ceremony, held annually, brings together authors, publishers, and enthusiasts, providing a platform for networking, discussion, and the celebration of exceptional storytelling.

And now, here are the shortlists for the 2023 CWA Dagger Awards:

Diamond Dagger Award

Gold Dagger Award

Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award

New Blood Dagger Award

Historical Dagger Award

Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger Award

Short Story Award

Non-Fiction Dagger

  • The Poisonous Solicitor: The True Story of a 1920s Murder Mystery by Stephen Bates
  • The Life of Crime by Martin Edwards
  • Tremors in the Blood: Murder, Obsession and the Birth of the Lie Detector by Amit Katwala
  • To Hunt a Killer by Julie Mackay and Robert Murphy
  • About a Son: A Murder and A Father’s Search for Truth by David Whitehouse
  • Unlawful Killings: Life, Love and Murder: Trials at the Old Bailey by Wendy Joseph

Congratulations to the nominees!

The CWA Daggers will be given out on Thursday, July 6th at the Leonardo Royal London City Hotel in London. The guest speaker will be Charlie Higson.

For more information, please visit the CWA Daggers website.

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