Left to right: Peter Ostacchini, Carla Banks and Robert Richardson
The Duncan Lawrie Private Bank is the new sponsor for what is now the world's largest annual prize for crime fiction, the £20,000 Duncan Lawrie Dagger, which replaces the CWA's Gold Dagger. In addition, a completely new award, the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger, has been introduced to honour books originally published in a foreign language: the author receives £5,000 and the translator £1,000.
Ann Cleeves, the winner of the first Duncan Lawrie Dagger, offered “a huge thank you to Duncan Lawrie”, adding: “This prize will make a difference. It'll save me from being so frantically busy that writing is done on slow Virgin trains and crammed into weekends.”
Crime author and the then CWA Chair, Carla Banks, said:
“In the year that the Dagger awards celebrate their golden jubilee, the CWA committed itself to significantly expanding the scope and reach of its activities. Crime and thriller writing is the largest and most popular genre in the market today and we can at last offer awards which truly reflect that fact.
“We began our search for a sponsor a while ago, but we felt it was important to tread carefully. We needed to find one who understood how we worked and would respect the legacy built up by the CWA. With Duncan Lawrie we feel we have found the right sponsor, one that has integrity and an already-established standing in the literary world. We opted for them as sponsors simply because they had a good understanding of literature and would allow us to maintain our independence.
“This is a very exciting year for the CWA. We have announced the Duncan Lawrie Dagger, a prize for the best crime fiction written in English and the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger for crime fiction written in a foreign language but translated and published here. Previously, both types of work were competing for one prize, then called the Gold Dagger, which was for £3,000. Now, the prizes are jointly worth £26,000.”
Peter Ostacchini, Deputy Managing Director, Duncan Lawrie Private Bank, said:
“We are delighted to sponsor these prestigious awards and look forward to a long relationship with the Crime Writers Association. Duncan Lawrie has for many years supported literature in its various forms. Many of our clients are involved in the arts; a large number are writers and literary agents while others simply have an interest in literature. We are often referred to as 'the writers' bank' and sponsoring this award is a nice way to acknowledge our literary legacy.
“The CWA Dagger awards are the longest established literary awards in the UK and are internationally recognised as a mark of excellence and achievement. By sponsoring the awards we can help the CWA to reflect the national and international status that crime fiction and thrillers deserve. As an international bank we are interested in supporting not only writing in English but also that written in other languages. We continue to align ourselves with literature and the value to us of the CWA is its 50 year history as a proactive and supportive association for writers.”
Duncan Lawrie has its head office in Belgravia, London. It is a traditional and exclusive private bank giving the highest level of service to a discerning clientele. Duncan Lawrie prides itself on offering the traditional personal approach that other banks used to offer but for the most part don't now.