CWA Daggers Longlists to be Announced #PressRelease @nholten40 @the_cwa

Longlists for the coveted 2020 CWA Daggers will be revealed at noon on Friday 5 June for its ten categories, including non-fiction, short stories and debut crime fiction.

The world-famous Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers, which honour the very best in crime writing, are the oldest awards in the genre. Created in 1955, the CWA Daggers have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century.

Past winners of the Gold Dagger (best crime novel) include Jane Harper, Mick Herron, Ann Cleeves, Ian Rankin, Belinda Bauer and Val McDermid. The Daggers are also renowned for showcasing new talent with the coveted John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, which in the past has spotted now established names including Dreda Say Mitchell, Louise Welsh and Gillian Flynn.

Judging year 2019-2020 has seen a major reorganisation of the Daggers’ judging panels with an infusion of new blood to create a diverse cross-section of jurors.

CWA Honorary Vice Chair, Maxim Jakubowski, said the refreshed juries were to “move with the times and reflect the diversity of tastes and choices of the reading public.”

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, added: “It’s been an exciting period after a recent review and refreshing of the judging panels with existing judges moved to different categories, and new judges brought in. We are committed to ensuring the awards remain exciting, relevant and independent.”

New judges include former Guardian crime correspondent turned author, Duncan Campbell, leading book blogger and Daily Express reviewer Anne Cater, popular culture chronicler Woody Haut, broadcaster Angela Rippon and head reviewer for Love Reading, Liz Robinson.

All titles for the CWA Dagger awards are put forward by publishers.

The shortlist will be announced later in the year, before the glittering awards ceremony which is due to take place on 22 October with guest speaker, the TV presenter turned crime novelist, Richard Osman. The ceremony will be conducted online, if required.

The longlist will be available on the CWA website from noon on 5 June, as well as via its FacebookTwitter #CWADaggers and YouTube channel.

A Little Info About the CWA

The CWA was founded in 1953 by John Creasey. Its aim is to support, promote and celebrate this most durable, adaptable and successful of genres and the authors who write within it.

It runs the prestigious CWA Dagger Awards, which celebrate the best in crime writing, hosted every autumn.

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 (plus literary agents, publishers, bloggers and editors) with a monthly magazine; a digital monthly newsletter showcasing CWA authors and their books and events that goes to over 11,500 subscribers; and Case Files, a bimonthly ezine highlighting new books by CWA members.

The CWA also supports the Debuts; as yet unpublished writers, many of whom enter the Debut Dagger competition and the Margery Allingham Short Mystery competition, the winner of which will also be announced on 5 June.

The CWA run an annual conference and hold chapter meetings throughout the UK so members can access face-to-face networking and socialising.

It supports libraries and booksellers, with two Library Champions and a Booksellers Champion. It has links with various festivals and many other writers’ organisations such as the Society of Authors.

CWA Dagger Judging Panels

The new judges, who have been deliberating on the submissions from publishers for the 2019/2020 Daggers, are:

  • Lyn Brown, MP

  • Duncan Campbell, the former Guardian crime correspondent and author

  • Anne Cater, the leading book blogger and Daily Express reviewer

  • Woody Haut, popular culture chronicler and author of several books on crime writing

  • Rhys Hughes, the Welsh fantasy author

  • Edward James, Emeritus Professor of Medieval Literature at University College, Dublin

  • Mike Linane, Publisher for Williams and Whiting

  • Paul Magrs, a prolific author in many genres, including young adults and Doctor Who

  • Ngaire Mason-Wenn Wallace, a Sunday Times bestselling writer under a pseudonym

  • Angela Rippon, the well-known broadcaster

  • Liz Robinson, Head Reviewer for LoveReading

In addition, Canaletto author Janet Laurence will switch from chairing what was formerly known as  the International Dagger to oversee the Sapere Historical Dagger, and will be replaced by CWA Honorary Vice Chair Maxim Jakubowski, who is moving on after four years at the helm of the John Creasey (First Blood) Dagger, which will now be chaired by ex-Severn House publisher and owner Edwin Buckhalter.

CWA Daggers – The Categories


This award is for the best crime novel by an author of any nationality. It was originally created in 1955, under the name of the Crossed Red Herrings Award. It was renamed the Gold Dagger in 1960.


Eligible books in this category are thrillers set in any period and include, but are not limited to, spy fiction, psychological thrillers and action/adventure stories.


This award is for the best crime novel by a first-time author of any nationality.


This award is for a crime novel not originally written in English and which has been translated into English for UK publication.


This award is for any non-fiction work on a crime-related theme by an author of any nationality.


This award is for the best historical crime novel, set in any period up to 50 years prior to the year in which the award will be made.


This award is for any crime short story first published in the UK in English in a publication that pays for contributions, or broadcast in the UK in return for payment.


The Dagger in the Library is a prize for a body of work by an established crime writer who has long been popular with borrowers from libraries, and who has supported libraries and their users.


A competition for the opening of a crime novel and synopsis, chosen by judges: bestselling author Leigh Russell, editor Stephanie Glencross (of Gregory and Company), Editorial Director at Bonnier Zaffre Katherine Armstrong and director of literary agency A.M. Heath and Co. Oli Munson.


This prestigious Dagger is awarded annually to the Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year.


Awarded every year to an author whose crime-writing career has been marked by sustained excellence, and who has made a significant contribution to the genre. Votes from CWA members go forward to be deliberated on by an independent panel.

This Dagger is announced in early spring each year and in 2020 goes to celebrated Golden Age specialist, anthology editor, reviewer and fiction writer Martin Edwards.

Good Luck to all!