Debut Dagger 2024

The Debut Dagger opens for entries on 1 October and runs to the last working day in February the following year.

The international competition, open to anyone in the world writing in English, is for the opening of a crime novel (max. 3,000 words) and synopsis (max. 1,500 words). The crime novel – of any subgenre; including but not limited to thriller, noir, cosy mystery, suspense, police procedural; spy story and crossover of any kind – should be suitable for adults or young adults.

Entries are eligible from writers who have never had a contract for a full-length novel of any kind and who don’t have an agent when the competition closes at the end of February. Entrants may not have self-published their entry, and must not have self-published any novel over 20,000 words in the five years preceding the deadline.

CWA members are not eligible to enter unless their publications (to the date the winner is announced) have been entirely non-fiction, or unless they are Emerging Author members and otherwise meet the eligibility rules.

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