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The CWA Awards 2014

By Alison Hennessey, Senior Editor at Harvill Secker

Last night was one of the highlights of the crime writing calendar. The Crime Writers’ Association held a dinner to award the first batch of their prestigious daggers, including the Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement, and to announce the longlists for a further 3 daggers. We at Harvill Secker were very lucky to have three of our authors and their translators shortlisted for the International Dagger – half of the shortlist! – but would we triumph overall?

Clearly aware of the dark subject matter of so many of the assembled writers’ works, as the evening began, the beautiful summer skies clouded over and the rain fell across London. But no-one really worries about the weather outside, when inside there is champagne and much to celebrate.

The awards part of the evening began with Lucy Worsley taking to the stage to give us an insight into the British love for a good murder, complete with a touch of singing, some very odd souvenirs of classic murders and a photograph of one killer’s preserved scalp. Probably for the best this came after the dinner…

And then we were off – with the longlists announced for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, the John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger and the Gold Dagger. My very own author, Christopher J. Yates joined fellow Penguin Random House authors Terry Hayes and M J Carter on the longlist for the John Creasy, with Terry Hayes also appearing on the longlist for the Steel Dagger alongside some of the biggest names in crime fiction, including Lee Child and Robert Harris.

With the longlists announced to bursts of applause and cheering, it was time for the judges for each of the other daggers to reveal their winners. Sadly, this was not our night, with Arturo Pereze-Reverte and his translator Frank Wynne picking up the International Dagger but the winner of the Debut Dagger for unpublished writers – Jody Sabral – was sitting on our table, so we’re counting that as a win. The evening concluded with Simon Brett picking up the Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement, and uttering a heartfelt thank you to the many people who had been involved in his prolific publishing career, particularly his family.

The full list of the winning books is below, so for anyone looking for some criminally good reading, you know where to start….

The CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger
THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA, by Antonia Hodgson (Hodder & Stoughton)

The CWA Non-Fiction Dagger
THE SIEGE, by Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark (Viking)

The CWA International Dagger
THE SIEGE, by Arturo Perez-Reverte; translated by Frank Wynne (Weidenfeld)

The CWA Short Story Dagger
“FEDORA” by John Harvey (from Deadly Pleasures, edited by Martin Edwards; Severn House)

The CWA Debut Dagger
THE MOVEMENT, by Jody Sabral

The shortlists for the Gold, Steel and John Creasy daggers will be announced over the summer.

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