Digital publisher Sapere Books has agreed to a three year partnership with the Crime Writers’ Association, sponsoring its Historical Dagger Award, starting from 2019.
The award, which for the next few years will become known as the Sapere Books Historical Dagger, is for the best historical crime novel, first published in the UK in English during the judging period. It can be set in any period up to 50 years prior to the year in which the award will be made.
Martin Edwards, chair of the CWA, welcomed the "forward-thinking publisher" as its prize sponsor.
"The independence and integrity of the Daggers judging process, coupled with the heritage of the Daggers, which date back to the 1950s, mean that the CWA Daggers are unquestionably the UK’s most prestigious crime writing awards," said Edwards. "I’m absolutely delighted that the relationship between the CWA and Sapere is being further strengthened by this sponsorship, and we very much look forward to working with such an innovative and forward-thinking publisher."
Sapere Books launched only this Spring under publishing director Amy Durant, marketing director Caoimhe O’Brien and operations director Richard Simpson, all previously of Endeavour Press. When The Bookseller caught up with its small but nimble team in March, the publisher said it would be catering to the e-book market through Amazon mostly in the areas of fiction, especially historical fiction. Among its authors are CWA vice chair Linda Stratmann, who publishes her Scarletti Mystery series, set in 1870s Brighton, with Sapere.
Durant commented: "The Crime Writers’ Association have been very supportive of us over the last year. They very kindly sent information about our submissions requirements to their members, and Linda Stratmann, the vice chair, was one of the first authors signed to our list – we took over publication of her Mina Scarletti Victorian crime series from The History Press, and the first three books in the series were part of our launch list back in March. Since then, we were invited to speak at their annual conference and we have signed three more authors who heard about us through the CWA. We are thrilled to be able to give something back to the Association by funding their prestigious Historical Dagger Award and supporting their members.
"We are also actively growing our crime list, and we are keen to spread awareness of Sapere Books amongst crime authors, so we thought partnering with the CWA through sponsorship would be a great way to do that."