CWA charges publishers for shortlisted entries
At first glance, this news made me groan. Here we go again, another potential controversy served up by the Crime Writers’ Association as they attempt to get with the times, make some more money and play with the big boys. But perhaps it’s better to let the press release speak for itself, then get into a general discussion afterwards:
The Crime Writers’ Association is following the Booker and Orange
prizes in charging publishers for any of their books that are shortlisted for
its annual Dagger Awards.
The charges for each shortlisted title will be
£500 per title for the Duncan Lawrie Dagger, £200 for the Duncan Lawrie
International Dagger and Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and £100 for the New Blood
and Non Fiction Daggers. As previously, there is no entry fee for books
submitted for the Dagger Awards
CWA Chair Robert Richardson said: “This
is not a money-making move, but a way to reduce the considerable financial costs
we face in organising and promoting the Dagger Awards. We are not a wealthy
organisation and it is an increasing burden on our limited finances. Authors and
publishers benefit from being shortlisted – and especially winning – while there
is no gain to the CWA. The income these charges generate will not cover the full
costs of the operation, but will leave us with a balance that we can afford.
This is solely a CWA committee decision.”
The Daggers date back to 1954
and are among the longest-established literary awards in Britain, with the
£20,000 Duncan Lawrie Dagger now the world’s biggest prize for crime fiction. At
the awards dinner at London’s Waldorf Hilton hotel in June, it was won by Ann
Cleeves for Raven Black, published by Macmillan.
Richardson added: “Some
may argue that the Booker and Orange prizes have a much higher profile, but they
charge publishers £2,000 for each shortlisted title. What we are asking for is
much more modest – and we are dealing with the most widely-read area of popular
Now, one could argue that having a sponsor as rich as Duncan Lawrie would alleviate such issues, but guess not, huh?