2021 CWA Dagger Awards Shortlists Announced

The 2021 shortlists for the prestigious CWA Dagger awards, which honour the very best in the crime writing genre, have been announced.

The world-famous Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century. For the fourth year running, ALCS is delighted to be sponsoring the prestigious CWA ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction.

The CWA ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction is awarded for any non-fiction work on a crime-related theme by an author of any nationality, provided the book was first published in the UK in English during the judging period. The award encompasses, though is not limited to, non-fiction works relating to true crime, historical crime, crime-related biography, crime-fiction literature and critical studies.


CWA ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction shortlist:

Sue Black, Written in Bone: Hidden stories in what we leave behind (Doubleday, Penguin)

Becky Cooper, We Keep the Dead Close: A murder at Harvard and a half century of silence (William Heinemann, Penguin)

Andrew Harding, These Are Not Gentle People (MacLehose Press, Quercus)

Debora Harding, Dancing with the Octopus (Profile Books Limited)

Nick Hayes, The Book of Trespass: Crossing the lines that divide us (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing)

Ben MacIntyre, Agent Sonya: Lover, Mother, Soldier, Spy (Viking, Penguin)


The winners will be announced at Daggers Live!, the online CWA Dagger awards ceremony on 1 July at 7.30pm. Barry Forshaw will be Master of Ceremonies and Abir Mukherjee is the guest speaker. Martina Cole, the winner of the 2021 Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement, the highest honour in British crime writing, will also be in attendance.

The full list of shortlists can be found here.

About the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA)

The CWA was founded in 1953 by John Creasey. Its aim is to support, promote and celebrate this most durable, adaptable and successful of genres and the authors who write within it. It runs the prestigious CWA Dagger Awards, which celebrate the best in crime writing. A thriving, growing community with a membership encompassing authors of all ages and at all stages of their careers, the CWA is UK-based, yet attracts many members from overseas. It supports author members (plus literary agents, publishers, bloggers and editors) with a monthly magazine; a digital monthly newsletter showcasing CWA authors and their books and events that goes to over 11,500 subscribers; and Case Files, a bimonthly ezine highlighting new books by CWA members. thecwa.co.uk