Wednesday, 25 March 2009

New sponsor for John Creasy (new dagger) Award

Canadian author and former winner of the John Creasey Dagger Award Louise Penny has agreed to sponsor the Dagger which is one of the world's most prestigious. According to the Press Release from the Crime Writer's Association, the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, which is awarded each year in memory of Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) founder John Creasey, is for first books published in the UK by previously unpublished writers. Louise herself won it in 2006 with her book Still Life, published by Hodder Headline.

Grateful for the boost it gave to her career, Louise has now put up the sponsorship money so that it can be awarded again this year.

Louise is the bestselling author of the Armand Gamache mysteries. Set in Canada, her books have been on international bestseller lists and won numerous awards and acclaim, including the American Agatha, Anthony and Barry awards and the Canadian Arthur Ellis award.

Louise Penny had previously been very highly commended for the CWA Debut Dagger, a competition for unpublished writers, which helped launch her career. Inspired by this, Louise and her husband Michael Whitehead were instrumental in establishing a similar award with the Crime Writers of Canada; Louise lives south of Montreal.

Louise, whose fourth book, The Murder Stone, is being published by Headline in the UK, said: “It is a pleasure for Michael and me to be able to do this for an emerging crime writer. I've been helped so much by other writers and the CWA in particular.”

The John Creasey Dagger has been awarded every year since 1973. Other previous winners include Minette Walters, Dan Fesperman, Walter Mosley, Janet Evanovich and Denise Mina.

Incoming Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, Margaret Murphy, said: “We are delighted that Louise has agreed to sponsor this award. I know that she valued the help that the award gave to her writing career. It is a tremendous gesture and one that is deeply appreciated by the CWA.”

The John Creasey Dagger is part of a series of Dagger prizes for crime writers, which will be presented by the CWA in London in mid-July with the shortlists expected to be announced in the first week of June.

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