Patrick Eden

Patrick Eden wins the 2010 CWA Debut Dagger

Prize: £500, sponsored by Orion

The CWA Debut Dagger, for an author who has not yet had a novel published commercially, has been won by Patrick Eden for the opening to his atmospheric noir tale A Place of Dying. Patrick was presented with his dagger and a cheque for £500 at the awards ceremony on 23rd July, held at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. Follow this link to read the opening chapter of his winning entry.

Australian Sandra Graham was highly commended for her story Case No. 1.

The judges described Patrick’s story as “Compelling and emotive with strong characterisation.”: In a small American town, a boy’s murder rips away the mask of civilised behaviour from the population revealing the ugly face of prejudice and simmering hate. Deep seated grudges and a violent power struggle are behind the rapid social breakdown threatening to leave behind it only death and lawlessness.

Patrick Eden is a graduate of Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, where he earned a bachelors degree in Information Management. Eden knew from an early age he wanted to become a writer. Descended from a mix of Yorkshire, Irish and Russian ancestry, Eden grew up in a home where storytelling held a fundamental place in family life.

Although Eden does not watch television, he is a devoted listener of BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra. His interests include theatre, cinema, history, mythology, psychology and science. His favourite author is James Herbert.

Patrick Eden lives in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. He is currently working on his first novel.

The Debut Dagger is a new-writing competition open to anyone writing in the English language who has not yet had a novel published commercially. The 2010 Debut Dagger Competition opened on 31st October, and closed on 6th February. Entries this year were 32% up on 2009, and ran to several hundred. Picking the shortlist proved harder than ever. If the past is any guideline, several of the names you see below will also go on to become successful published writers.

This year's shortlist is:

All the Precious ThingsJan Napiorkowski (UK)
A Murder in MumblesRick DeMille (USA)
Case No 1Sandra Graham (Australia)
Chinese WhispersAlan Carter (Australia)
In the Lion’s ThroatBob Marriott (New Zealand)
LegacyRebecca Brodie (UK)
LockdownDanielle Ramsay (UK)
Pretty PreetiStephanie Light (India)
Safe HarbourRosemary McCracken (Canada)
The Beggar’s OperaPeggy Blair (Canada)
The Chameleon FactorKathleen Stewart (Australia)

The 2011 Competition will run from autumn 2010, with a closing date in early 2011. If you fancy a stab at it, and the chance to be a published crime writer, you can be working now on the opening chapter(s) – up to 3000 words – and a short synopsis of your proposed crime novel.

Head over to the Debut Dagger section of this website for a wealth of information about the competition, and to sign up to our free mailing list to be notified when the opening and closing dates have been decided.



Stefanie Bierwerth – Editorial Director, Michael Joseph
Angus Cargill – Fiction Editor, Faber and Faber
Tom Harper – Chairman, Crime Writers’ Association
Kate Parkin – John Murray (Publishers)
Genevieve Pegg – Senior Commissioning Editor, Orion Publishing
Gordon Wise – Literary agent, Curtis Brown