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CWA faces prize cuts, Steel Dagger entry price announced

22-Oct-2009 • Literary

The Crime Writers Association (CWA) is to introduce a "processing fee" across the majority of its awards from next year, and has cut the prize money on two of its awards as a response to the recession - reports the Bookseller.

The CWA will begin charging processing fees of £15 per entry for next year’s Gold Dagger, Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, Short Story, International and John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. Shortlist levies have been dropped for all Daggers.

CWA chair Margaret Murphy said: "The CWA committee has worked extremely hard over the last year to try to secure sponsorship for the Daggers that are currently unsponsored, but the recession has made things very difficult.

"We are convinced of the importance of the Dagger awards, and this was at the root of our decision to implement a processing fee on books . . . The sum is modest, and will help towards the costs of administering the awards, ensuring that they continue, and allowing the committee to promote crime writing in other ways."

She cited "a number of events, culminating in a crime fiction week when the results of a young crime writers competition for schoolchildren will be announced". CWA members will also be carrying out readings throughout 2010, and the CWA will again support Oxfam Bookfest.

The Short Story Dagger for 2010 has been reduced from £1,500 to £500 and the Gold Non-Fiction Dagger has been halved to £1,000. The short story prize is sponsored by the CWA itself, while the Gold Dagger for non-fiction has recently lost its sponsorship from Owatonna Media.

The prize funds for the association’s biggest prizes dropped last year after the withdrawal of sponsorship from investment bank Duncan Lawrie. The prize for the Gold Dagger dropped from £20,000 to £2,500, while the international Dagger prize fund dropped from £5,000 plus £1,000 for the translator to £1,000 plus £500.

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