Dagger Debate

First off, thanks to everyone who responded with encouragement regarding my agent search. The reply envelopes from my last batch of paper queries are starting to come in and I think I’m back in the read head about it. And speaking of encouragement, I’d suggest everyone read Mike Maclean’s post from Sunday at Murderati about making fans for life through small encouragements.

Now, another thing I’ve been contemplating. Four years ago I was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger for LUNCHBOX HERO and that did some good things for me. Now that I have a new book done, I’m contemplating entering again. The main problem I’m having with it is the cost. While it seems easier to enter these days because they accept email entries and payment by credit card (last time I had to go to the airport to buy a British ten pound note to send with my entry), but the entry fee has almost doubled.

I know I stand a pretty good chance of being nominated again, but I seriously doubt I’d win. There are several benefits to being shortlisted. I got several emails from agents wanting to read the book even though I didn’t actually have the last draft finished when I submitted my entry. That prevented me from sending the book to a bunch of people who were interested and I wonder what other opportunities I missed by not having a completed final draft at the time of my nomination.

Another big reason I’d like to enter again is because I think I’ve been riding that last nomination too long in my bio. It was almost four years ago and for a book that never ended up being published. If I get a nomination this time around and then I sell SCARS, it will be cool to be able to put a CWA DEBUT DAGGER NOMINEE label on the cover or in my bio.

Any thoughts? Anyone else contemplating entering?

7 thoughts on “Dagger Debate

  1. When you consider all of the entry fees those poor bastards in literary fiction shell out every month, the 20 Pounds doesn’t seem that bad. I’m going to do it. As for the shortlist from 2003, milk it, milk it, milk it; why the Hell not?When considering the entry fee, just think of what I’ll spend it on when I win. I might even buy you a pair of Speedos for your Cabana Boy stint for Sarah. 🙂

  2. I know at the current exchange rate, twenty quid is roughly four thousand dollars, probably five by the end of the week, but the organisers do accept fees in bartered goods and I’d say it’s still worth it.After all, LUNCHBOX HERO got shortlisted and just about any old tat’s got to be better than that. You’re a shoo-in to win!

  3. Bryon:Man 20 pounds is like $40.00 or so. You’ve got to enter, I could use the competition. You told me at Bouchercom that you made a ton of contacts after the first one. I think it could be a great thing to enter, think of all the contracts the winners have got to this point.pat lambe

  4. It’s an impressive thing to have in your bio, and as you say: it does get the attention of agents.You could look on it as an investment. And anyway, what kind of hooker could you realistically get for £20.00? Even John charges more than that.

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