Friday, February 17, 2012

Diamonds are For...syth

Okay, a bad play on a James Bond title, but hey. Today (NZT) the Crime Writers Association has announced that iconic thriller writer Frederick Forsyth - one of my adolescent reading favourites, along with the likes of Alistair MacLean, when I was first discovering 'adult' books as a pre-teen keen reader in Nelson - has been named as the recipient of the prestigious Diamond Dagger Award for 2012.

Here's the official press release:

The CWA has today announced the 2012 winner of its prestigious Diamond Dagger award with the honour awarded to thriller writer Frederick Forsyth.

Chair of the CWA Peter James said, “Frederick Forsyth is a hugely deserving recipient and The Day of the Jackal remains one of the greatest thrillers of our times. He has set a new standard of research-based authenticity with his writing, which has had a major influence both on my work and on many of my contemporaries in the crime and thriller field. We are very thrilled that he has accepted this award.”

The Diamond Dagger recipient is chosen each year by the CWA committee, from a shortlist nominated by the membership. Shortlisted authors must meet two essential criteria: first, their careers must be marked by sustained excellence, and second, they must have made a significant contribution to crime fiction 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 Diamond Dagger will be presented to Frederick Forsyth at an award ceremony later this year.

Past winners include:

2011: Lindsey Davis
2010: Val McDermid
2009: Andrew Taylor
2008: Sue Grafton
2007: John Harvey
2006: Elmore Leonard
2005: Ian Rankin

A complete list of winners can be found at

The CWA has also today announced the launch of its exciting new initiative The Crime Readers’ Association.

Crime and thriller fiction is booming worldwide with British and Irish writers shining alongside their American and Scandinavian counterparts. The newly formed CRA is a place for fans of these genres to keep up with their favourite CWA authors.

Crime fans are invited to visit a new website at and sign up to receive a free e-newsletter filled with features, news and articles about crime writing and CWA authors. If they sign up before the end of March, then they will go into a draw to win two free passes to Bristol’s CrimeFest in May this year.

The first e-newsletter will feature an exclusive extract from Michael Ridpath’s new novel, a reading by current CWA Chair Peter James and exclusive crime features, together with news and updates from CWA members. This content will not be available elsewhere, so crime and thriller fans need to sign up now to receive it free.

The Crime Writers’ Association Chair Peter James said: “We’re very excited about launching this new initiative. The idea behind the CRA is to bring readers and writers closer together, in order to further promote the crime writing genre. Authors could not survive without their loyal readers and the CRA celebrates the role of the reader in the burgeoning success of the genre. We have showcased members’ events and books on our website for several years now and we see the CRA as an extension of this. Hopefully, it will help our members to grow their careers more.”

For more information on the CWA then please visit the website at or contact them by email through new blog and website for the CRA is available at

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