Many of the authors shortlisted for the 2013 Debut Dagger

Many of the authors shortlisted for the 2013 Debut Dagger


The Debut Dagger is the CWA’s annual new-writing competition, which is open to anyone in the world who writes in the English language, but whose work has not been published before. Most previous winners, as well as some of those who made the short list but did not win have subsequently had their books published. Most recently, Belinda Bauer’s Blacklands first saw the light as a highly commended 2008 entry and went on to win the 2010 Gold Dagger.

The entrants submit an opening chapter and synopsis; the winning entry is selected by a panel of agents and publishers.

The Debut Dagger began life in 1998 as The CWA New Writers Competition. It is sponsored by leading publishers Orion.

Previous Winners

For more information about the winners listed below, click the appropriate year.

2013: Call Time - Finn Clarke

2012: Beached - Sandy Gingras

2011: What Hidden Lies - Michele Rowe

2010: A Place of Dying - Patrick Eden

2009: The Pathologist - Catherine O’Keefe

2008: Western Fringes - Amer Anwar

2007: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley

2006: Imp: Being the Lost Notebooks of Rufus Wilmot Griswold In the Matter of the Death of Edgar Allan Poe - Otis Twelve (D V Wesselmann)

2005: The Woman Before Me - Ruth Dugdall

2004: The Doll Makers - Penny Grubb (won as Ellen Grubb)

2003: The Cuckoo - Kirsty Evans

2002: Sugarmilk Falls - Ilona van Mil

2001: Clea's Moon - Edward Wright

2000: A Flowery Death - Simon Levack

1999: Blood Junction - Caroline Carver (won as Caroline Seed)

1998: Stone Baby - Joolz Denby