The CWA Debut Dagger Competition

Competition Rules

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Please Note: Current and Former Members of the CWA are barred from entering the Debut Dagger Competition.

  1. Entrants should submit the opening of a proposed crime novel (up to 3,000 words) together with a synopsis (500 to 1,000 words) of its further development.
  2. The 2014 competition opens on 1st November 2013, and has a closing date of 31 January 2014. Entries may be submitted at any time between the opening and closing dates. Entries received after the closing date will not be considered.
  3. An entry fee of £25 must be paid with each submission. You will be contacted after you have submitted to pay this amount. Submissions will only be considered after payment has been received.
  4. Submissions must be in English and typed using double-line spacing. Pages must be numbered with the title of your story included on each page. Personal information must only appear on the covering email. Do not include a cover sheet.
  5. Entries must be submitted by 11:59pm Greenwich Mean Time on the closing date. The website will no longer accept entries after this time.
  6. All entries must be submitted as a single file containing both the opening 3000 words and the synopsis. The file should be saved with the text double-spaced and the margins set for A4 paper (210 x 297mm).
  7. The file must be in one of the following formats: Microsoft Word Document (*.doc or *.docx) or Portable Document Format (*.pdf)
  8. The entrant is responsible for ensuring that the file is readable and uncorrupted.
  9. The file cannot be amended or changed in any way once it has been submitted.
  10. Any entrant who submits a file or e-mail containing a virus will be immediately disqualified and will forfeit their entry fee.
  11. We will acknowledge receipt of entries and payment by e-mail.
  12. At our discretion, and only where practicable, we may notify an entrant of an unreadable file and invite them to resubmit the entry.
  13. 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 and we will not enter into any correspondence about the result. Shortlisted authors will be announced at CrimeFest in May 2014 and the winner will be announced at the CWA Dagger Awards Dinner shortly after.
  14. Shortlisted authors will receive a professional assessment of their entry. The winner will receive a prize of £700. There are no cash alternatives to non-cash prizes.
  15. There is no commitment to publish the winning entry.
  16. Copyright will remain with the entrant.