Mystery Novel Contest for Unpublished Writers

The Crime Writers’ Association’s 2010 crime writing competition, The Debut Dagger, is open to any writer who has not had a novel published, commercially, in any genre.

First prize is £500 plus two free tickets to the CWA Dagger Awards in London and a night’s stay for two in a top London hotel. All shortlisted entrants will receive professional assessments of their entries. 



Entrants are required to submit the first 3,000 words of their crime-themed novel, plus a 500/1000 word synopsis of the rest of the book. There is an  entry fee of £25, payable by credit card or PayPal. The deadline is February 6, 2010.


A shortlist of entries, selected by professional readers, will be forwarded to a final judging panel chaired by the CWA Chairman, and composed of crime fiction editors from major publishing houses and authors’ agents. The judges’ decision is final. The winner will be announced at the CWA Daggers’ Awards. 

According to contest chair Liz Evans, since the inception of the contest in 1998, eighteen winning and short-listed authors have obtained publishing contracts.   





Entry fee £25.

Maeve Maddox writes about English usage and public education at Her most recent publication is The Fabergé Flute, a cozy mystery novel set in 1980s London.

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