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November 15, 2005



I hate to disabuse them, but they are NOT the "British Crime Writers' Association"... British specificality is mentioned nowhere.

It's job is to promote British crime writing? Nonsense. It's job is to promote crime writing. British crime writing tends to promote itself by being, well, based in Britain.

I've sent strongly worded emails about this.

Needless to say, I am very, very angry. (I would be less so if there were a "Best Translated Crime Novel" award somewhere in sight, but as of yet there isn't...)

I really can't believe this.


According to my CWA Crime Writers Association membership booklet 14th edition June 2005 it says:
The Crime Writers' Association was founded by the late John Creasey in 1953. Full membership is limited to published writers of crime fiction or non-fiction who are resident in GB but, at the discretion of the Committee, writers from overseas are welcome...
So what's this tempest brewing in a teapot?


Does American English count?


How do we compare this to the Edgar for best first which only goes to an "American" author? - not the Edgar for best novel, which I just checked and has no limits but MWA does limit the "best first" award.
I dunno if it's a tempest, an uproar or what since I'm not familiar with the other nominees this year. I GEt it even if it makes me uncomfortable. Three out of the last 8? So? They ARE 52 years old (hey! we were born the same year!) and if I understand the "dagger of daggers" that means they've given awards for that long. I did read another book by the winner and was croggled to see him win this; he did not strike me as more than a pretty generic, fairly ordinary crime novelist. Maybe this book was really different. And while technically "Britain" isn't in the title, I would say that pertty much everyone who knows awards and organizations in the genre thinks of them as the British orgainzation. Yes they have non-British members (as I checked on their website, which yes does end in co.uk).


If they change the rules, I'd like to think that the translator, as a creator in his or her own right, counts for something in the equation. Maybe the translator should have to be British or living in Britain.

Danuta Reah

The CWA was given very little opportunity in the press to comment on this and to put our side of the argument. I would like to say that we are actively seeking sponsorship for an award for books in translation that reward the translator as well as the writer.

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