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year for the past 15 years, the Crime Writers' Association (CWA) has recognised new talent with its competition for unpublished writers.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.