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The Dashiell Hammett Prize

Since 1991, the North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers has presented the Hammett trophy to the book of the year that best represents the conception of literary excellence in crime writing. Nominations for the Hammett Prize may be submitted by any interested member or nonmember. 

About the Hammett Prize

Since 1991, the North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers has presented the Hammett trophy to the book of the year that best represents the conception of literary excellence in crime writing. Nominations for the Hammett Prize may be submitted by any interested party. Details concerning entry are below.


This is a distinguished award for a single book and is open to writers at any stage in their career.


Past winners have included Elmore Leonard, Alice Hoffman, James Lee Burke, Margaret Atwood, Mary Willis Walker, Martin Cruz Smith, Gil Adamson, Megan E. Abbott, George Pelecanos,  Howard Owen, Lisa Sandlin, and others.


Past nominees have included Norman Mailer, Robertson Davies, Ernest Gaines, Jane Stanton Hitchcock, Cormac McCarthy, Laura Joh Rowland, Walter Mosley, Laura Lippmann, and others.


Our distinguished shortlist judges have included Frederick Barthelme, Digby Diehl, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Morris Dickstein, Robert Con Davis-Undiano, Alan Cheuse, Raymond Sokolow, C. J. Cherryh, David R. Godine, Shannon Ravenal, Kenneth Turan, Anne Goldstein, and others.

The winner will receive a bronze statuette done by artist Peter Boiger, inspired by a famous photograph of Dashiell Hammett (pictured above).

Best Crime Book
Demonstrating Literary Excellence

Eligibility

To be eligible for consideration:

1) The book may be fiction, non-fiction, or a graphic novel, the primary theme of which must be crime or the effects of crime. True crime is eligible. “Crime” is meant in the general sense and may include financial and political crimes, espionage, genocide, or any other form of crime. Traditional (detective, mystery, thriller) or non-traditional books (experimental, non-genre) are considered. E-books will be considered only if bound copies are submitted as required below. Collections (anthologies) are only considered if the entire book is by a single author and the entire book first appeared in the copyright year. 


2) The book must have a copyright of 2023.


3) It must be by an author who is a resident of the United States or Canada. It must have first been published in the United States or Canada 

 

4) To enter the competition, one copy of each nominated book must be submitted to each of the following four members of the screening committee.

5) No forms, letters of nomination, or fees are required. The deadline for entries is December 15, 2023, unless unusual circumstances are recognized by the committee.

The Screening

Usually, approximately 300 books are submitted for consideration. The screening committee will select from all the nominated books a minimum of three and a maximum of six books (usually five) to constitute the shortlist.

 

The winner will be selected from the shortlist by three distinguished judges not usually considered to be in crime writing from writing, editing, or other aspects of the publishing business. In both of these committees, the sole criterion for assessing the nominees shall be literary excellence as it is understood by the judges.

The winner will receive a bronze statuette done by artist Peter Boiger inspired by a famous photograph of Dashiell Hammett.

For further information or questions, contact J. Madison Davis at crimewritersna@gmail.com.

Send one copy of each nominated book to each member of the screening committee

Wendy Hornsby

T.C. Rice

Del Staecker

Melissa A. Davis

(J. Madison Davis will also serve on the committee)

Newly Published Crime Authors

Congratulations! Your hard work has finally paid off.

We invite you to join the ranks of other published crime novelists.

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