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National Crime Writing Month 2013
National Crime Writing Month is a unique literary festival throughout the UK which promotes the Crime genre, both fiction and non-fiction. It is a major annual initiative coordinated by the CWA, the Crime Writers' Association, a non-profit group dedicated to the promotion of the genre and to support professional writers, and the Crime Readers' Association with the help of volunteers and in partnership with many organisations in the UK.
National Crime Writing Month 2013 culminated at the CWA's gala Dagger Award Dinner where the CWA announced the winners of the International, Library, Non-Fiction, Short Story, Debut, and Ellis Peters Daggers, and awarded the Diamond Dagger to Lee Child. This year's dinner was especially celebratory, as 2013 is the CWA's 60th birthday - our own diamond jubilee!
Highlights of the evening included:
- The CWA International Dagger is shared between two French writers, Fred Vargas and Pierre Lemaitre, who beat off challenges from Israel, Sweden, Italy and Germany. Have the Scandinavians finally met their match?
- Andrew Taylor won an unprecedented third CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger with The Scent of Death, up against a strong field with all the authors either past winners or shortlisted.
- The longlists for the CWA Gold, Steel, and John Creasey Daggers were announced: twenty authors are in contention for these prizes, and three of them have been longlisted in two categories. These longlists will be whittled down to shortlists of four later in the summer, with the eventual winners being revealed as part of the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards in the autumn.
Best-selling crime writer Alison Joseph, who took over as Chair of the CWA in April 2013, comments: Once again, these long lists show the talent that exists within the genre of crime and thriller writing. All these authors have shown their great skill in constructing stories which deal with the best and the worst of human behaviour. This is story-telling which is unflinching when considering Man’s capacity for evil, compassionate in the face of suffering, redemptive in its resolution; in other words, the best kind of story-telling.
About National Crime Writing Month, she says: This is a wonderful opportunity for writers and readers to meet each other, and at the same time to support their local libraries too. In these times of threats to public funding, with many libraries facing closure, it's more important than ever that the CWA shows its support for this vital service. I hope everyone found Crime Writing Month a very exciting and worthwhile event.
There's lots more information about the Daggers, and listings of crime writing events throughout the year, on the CWA website.