The Crime Writers' Association is awarding its highest honour, the CWA Diamond Dagger, to acclaimed author Peter James.
During an illustrious career in writing, Peter James has proved he is a master storyteller penning 28 novels and selling 16 million books worldwide. It is with his series of crime books featuring the adventures of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace that Peter has most deeply impressed. Committed to telling the truth about life inside the British police force, Peter has forged strong links to the Sussex police, often going out alongside working police officers and detectives to observe the reality of their jobs. This research gives his work an authenticity respected by working detectives and that thrills his readers.
"Peter James is King of the Police Procedural," says the CWA chair Len Tyler. "His books combine up-to-the-minute accuracy with tight plotting and a fast pace. Over the past thirty years or so, Peter has established himself as one of the best-known and best-loved thriller writers in the country. He is immensely supportive of other authors and his wide-ranging work inside and outside the genre has been recognised both by Brighton University and Sussex Police. I know this will be a popular choice both amongst readers and other crime writers."
The CWA Diamond Dagger is awarded each year to a writer who has a career marked by sustained excellence. Past winners have included literary giants such as Lee Child, Frederick Forsyth, Val McDermid and Elmore Leonard. Part of the CWA Dagger Awards, the CWA Diamond Dagger is the most prestigious prize the Association can bestow.
"I've always felt that the CWA Diamond Dagger stands head and shoulders above all the myriad awards in the world for crime and thriller writing," says Peter James. "It is, without doubt, the most coveted of all, partly because of its history, partly because of who actually decides it, but more important than either of these, is the list of past winners - a veritable roll call of the giants of our genre. I remember attending the ceremonies in my earliest days as young, struggling writer, watching the annual presentations, listening to the acceptance speeches, and dreaming that one that this could be me - which I always dismissed as no more than fantasy. Now to find that I am actually to be this year's recipient is, without doubt, one of the greatest moments of my career. And it is proof that sometimes, our dreams really can come true."
Notes for Editors:
The Crime Writers' Association (CWA) was founded by John Creasey in 1953 and has almost 700 members. The CWA chair is author Len Tyler, the vice-chair is author Martin Edwards, and the director is Lucy Santos.
Membership is open to any author who has had one crime novel produced by a bona fide publisher (or at the discretion of the committee) with associate membership also offered to those in the publishing industry and provisional membership to writers who have a contract with a publisher but whose book is not out yet. It enables writers to contact each other, promotes crime writing with annual awards, and organises social events. It also supports writing groups, festivals and literary events with authors. The main aims of the CWA are to promote the crime genre and to support professional writers. The CWA has been providing social and professional support for its members for more than half a century, as well as running the prestigious Dagger Awards.
The CWA Diamond Dagger recipient is decided each year by a democratic process within the association. Nominations for the award are made by the membership and then the CWA committee vote to decide the winner from the shortlist. Nominees have to meet two essential criteria: first, their careers must be marked by sustained excellence, and second, they must have made a significant contribution to crime writing published in the English language, whether originally or in translation. The award is made purely on merit without reference to age, gender or nationality.
The CWA Diamond Dagger was first awarded in 1986, and the recipient was celebrated thriller author Eric Ambler.
The recipients of the CWA Diamond Dagger over the past ten years are:
2015 - Catherine Aird
2014 - Simon Brett
2013 - Lee Child
2012 - Frederick Forsyth
2011 - Lindsey Davis
2010 - Val McDermid
2009 - Andrew Taylor
2008 - Sue Grafton
2007 - John Harvey
2006 - Elmore Leonard
The CWA can be found online at: