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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Longlisted for CWA Debut Dagger Award!

Every year for the past 15 years, the Crime Writers' Association (CWA) has recognised new talent with its competition for unpublished writers. The Debut Dagger, as it's known, is an award judged by a panel of top crime editors and agents.

I decided to take a stab (!) at the Debut Dagger Award for 2015. I had a finished manuscript and my work-in-progress. I would've loved to have entered both: you only needed the opening 3,000 words plus the synopsis, but with a fee of £25 I hesitated, then decided I would only enter one. But which one?

For a couple of weeks I trailed the internet, read past winning entries and numerous blog posts relating to the award. It was Rebecca Bradley's blog interview with previous shortlisted author Helen Giltrow which ultimately led to my decision to enter Portrayal, my WIP. Helen's advice about having a gripping opening clinched it. Rebecca's two-part interview with Helen can be found Here and Here.

So, Portrayal - a story of secrets, revenge and people who aren't what they seem - was entered, with no real hope of it getting anywhere.

But... an email received at the end of April from the CWA Director Lucy Santos informed me otherwise.

I was totally shocked, felt a bit sick, but managed a bit of a dance!

Then I thought it must be a mistake and awaited an apologetic email to explain the error.

But it didn't come. And I'm absolutely delighted to have been longlisted for this prestigious award along with the other ten longlistees.

You can check us all out HERE

The shortlist will be announced at CrimeFest on 15th May. Unfortunately, I will not be there to hear it, but will find out shortly afterwards via email. I would, of course, be thrilled if I was to make the short list, but I'm already amazed to have got this far and I will celebrate the fact for ages to come!

Good luck to all longlistees!

I am now busy, busy, busy, finishing the first draft of my manuscript.

I would like to thank all those who have wished me luck and supported me on my journey so far.


  1. That's fabulous news, Sam. Well done!

  2. Congratulations, Samantha. I'm so pleased for you! Good luck for the next stage now.

    1. Thank you Jan. At least it's not a long wait!

  3. Wow, I'm impressed. Well done, and I hope there is more exciting news!

    1. Thank you Lindsay! It would be fantastic if more exciting news followed, but I'm not hopeful - I'm just so amazed to have made the longlist!

  4. FANTASTIC achievement, Samantha!! I'm a bit late in responding and would love to hear if you received that second email. However, if not, at least you know it's a great read and you are most definitely on the up!! Keep going at it and do let us know of your successes. It gives us all hope to continue to follow our writing aims and dreams. Wishing you all the best and happy writing. BTW, I love your new blog page!

    1. Hi Nicola, great to hear from you! Thanks so much, it was a great achievement, and yes, sadly that's where my journey ended for this award!

      However, things have moved on quickly since being recognised and I've been very busy. News to follow next week!

      I'm glad you like the blog makeover, it may get another soon - but for now, at least, it fits what I'm writing!

      How is your writing going?