The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) has created a new category for its Dagger awards, Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year.
Maxim Jakubowski, honorary vice-chair of the CWA, said: “As part of the ongoing process of keeping the CWA in the forefront when it comes to crime writing and crime publishing, we felt this was an overdue category in our Daggers, and it becomes the first new Dagger to be created in well over a decade. Publishing houses and imprints are very important to the genre and are instrumental in keeping crime, mystery and thriller writing at the forefront of the reading public's consciousness, and fully deserve the recognition.”
The CWA will be looking for “excellence and diversity in a crime publishing programme”. Factors such as developing careers, a focus on new authors, sustaining existing authors and the quality of promotional efforts will be judged, the body said. The award will also look at support for authors, proactive collaboration with the book trade (booksellers, agents, festivals) and general positivity of involvement with the crime and mystery writing field.
The shortlist for the Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year will be announced later this summer, with the winner revealed at the annual Dagger awards ceremony on 24th October. The other Dagger winners will also be revealed on the night, with Villanelle creator Luke Jennings, forensic anthropologist Professor Sue Black and poet and debut novelist Claire Askew all in the running for the awards.
The Daggers began in 1955, with Poldark author Winston Graham winning its first award. For 2019/20, the Dagger judging panels have been refreshed, with new judges including author and former Guardian journalist Duncan Campbell, broadcaster Angela Rippon, professor Edward James, broadcaster Angela Rippon, and Liz Robinson, head reviewer at LoveReading.