Crime Writers' Association
Membership is open to any author who has had one crime novel produced by a bona fide publisher (or at the discretion of the committee) with associate membership also offered to those in the publishing industry and provisional membership to writers who have a contract with a publisher but whose book is not out yet. It enables writers to contact each other, promotes crime writing with annual awards, and organises social events. It also supports writing groups, festivals and literary events with authors. The main aims of Crime Writers’ Association are to promote the crime genre and to support professional writers. The CWA has been providing social and professional support for its members for more than half a century, as well as running the prestigious Dagger Awards.
The Director of the Crime Writers Association is Lucy Santos, who was previously Secretary of The Authors Club.
It is probably best known for the prestigious prizes that it awards (known as Daggers).
From 1955 to 1959 it awarded the Crossed Red Herring Award for the best crime novel of the year, after which the award was renamed the Gold Dagger. From 1969 to 2005, the CWA also awarded a Silver Dagger to the runner-up.
In 2006, Duncan Lawrie Bank sponsored the top award and dropped the Silver Dagger. It was called the Duncan Lawrie Gold Dagger and carried a prize of £20,000, the largest award for crime fiction in the world. In 2008 Duncan Lawrie withdrew from sponsorship and the value of the top prize was reduced. The CWA Gold Dagger is currently sponsored by Goldsboro Books.
- The CWA International Dagger, for the best crime novel translated into English. (Briefly known as the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger (2006–2008).)
- The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger: awarded for the best adventure/thriller novel in the vein of James Bond. Sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.
- The CWA New Blood Dagger: Awarded in memory of CWA founder John Creasey, this dagger for first books by previously unpublished writers. This award was previously known as the John Creasy Memorial Dagger.
- The CWA Dagger in the Library: This Dagger, sponsored by Random House, is awarded to "the author of crime fiction whose work is currently giving the greatest enjoyment to readers"; authors are nominated by UK libraries and Readers' Groups and judged by a panel of librarians.
- The Debut Dagger: sponsored by Orion, and open to anyone who has not yet had a novel published commercially.
- The CWA Historical Dagger: Also known as the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, awarded to historical mysteries since 1999.
- The CWA Short Story Dagger: This competition is open to 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.
- CWA Diamond Dagger: an award for lifetime achievement.
The CWA has produced many collections of crime writing (mainly fiction, but occasionally including true crime). The editor of the CWA anthology since 1996 has been Martin Edwards. In 2003, he edited a special collection, Mysterious Pleasures, to celebrate the CWA's Golden Jubilee. Original Sins is the 2010 anthology of crime from a distinguished selection of British writers published by Severn House. In 2013 the CWA Anthology 'Deadly Pleasures' was released.
- Crime Thriller Awards
- The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time (a 1990 CWA publication)
- Mystery Writers of America
- Crime Writers of Canada
- Swedish Crime Writers' Academy
- Mystery Writers of Japan
- "The CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger". theCWA.co.uk. Retrieved 17 November 2013.