Wednesday, November 09, 2005

CWA Dagger Awards

The Crime Writers Association (CWA) celebrated its Golden Jubilee this year and to mark this landmark event a special 'best of the best' award was voted on by the group's membership. The CWA bestows annual honours known as the 'Dagger' awards. At this year's awards luncheon, held at The Brewery in the City of London on Tuesday (8th November), the winner of the unique Dagger of Dagger Award was announced. Nominations were limited to previous winners of the Gold Dagger or Crossed Red Herring awards, and the winner of the prize - a handsome crystal trophy - was John Le Carre for 'The Spy Who Came In From The Cold'. Among other prize winners announced at the event, which was attended by over 300 CWA members, the 2005 CWA Gold Dagger award - and £3,000 prize money -for best crime novel of the year went to Arnaldur Indridason for 'Silence of the Grave'. The Silver Dagger award, and £2,000 prize money, went to Barbara Nadel for 'Deadly Web'. The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger prize, awarded for the best adventure/thriller novel in the vein of James Bond, went to Henry Porter for 'Brandenburg'. This award, and the £2,000 prize money, is sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. The CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger, for first books by unpublished writers, was awarded to Dreda Say Mitchell for 'Running Hot'. This award is sponsored by BBC Audiobooks and the Dagger award, along with prize money of £1,000, was presented by Sara Keane of BBC Audiobooks. The winner of the prestigious CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, awarded for the best historical crime novel of the year, had been announced in October. This award and £3,000 prize money is sponsored by the Estate of Ellis Peters and her publishers, Headline, and by the Time Warner Book Group. This year's winner, CJ Sansom for 'Dark Fire', was presented with his prize at the luncheon by Jane Morpeth, Head of Fiction at Headline. The CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction, including £2,000 prize money, was presented to Gregg and Gina Hill for 'On The Run'. The award for best Short Story, sponsored by the membership of the CWA and worth £1500 to the winner, was presented to Danuta Reah for 'No Flies on Frank'. The Debut Dagger award, which is open to anyone who has not yet had a novel published commercially, was presented to Ruth Dugdall for 'The Woman Before Me'. This award, and £250 prize money, is sponsored by Orion. For the 2006 awards this prize money has been doubled, but for entrants it is really the opportunity for publication - as well as the honour - that appeals most. While winning the Debut Dagger is no guarantee of a publishing deal, in practice all previous winners of the Debut Dagger have gained publishing contracts. The CWA Dagger in the Library Award, sponsored by The Random House Group, is awarded to a body of work rather than a single title. Nominated and judged by librarians, the Dagger Award and £1500 prize money for the 2005 Library Award went to Jake Arnott. The Leo Harris Award is given for the best contribution in the past 12 months to Red Herring, the CWA monthly bulletin. The 2005 Leo Harris Award was presented to Prof. Bernard Knight.