About the CWC Awards of Excellence

The Awards are for CRIME WRITING and are not restricted to mystery writing. Crime-writing encompasses far more than the traditional whodunit. The crime genre includes crime, detective, espionage, mystery, suspense, and thriller writing, as well as fictional or factual accounts of criminal doings and crime-themed literary works. If you are not certain that your submission qualifies as a crime book or story, please contact us at awards@crimewriterscanada.com

Awards are presented annually in the following categories (pending sufficient numbers.)

For published works:

  • The Peter Robinson Award for Best Crime Novel sponsored by Rakuten Kobo, with a $1000 prize (Min. 50,000 words)
  • Best Crime First Novel sponsored by Melodie Campbell with a $1,000 prize(Min. 50,000 words AND author’s 1st novel in any genre.)
  • The Whodunit Award for Best Traditional Mystery sponsored by Jane Doe, with a $500 prize (Min. 50,000 words)
  • The Howard Engel Award for Best Crime Novel Set in Canada sponsored by Charlotte Engel and CWC with a $500 prize. (Min. 50,000 words)
  • Best Crime Novella (8,001 - 49,999 words)
  • Best Crime Short Story (Max. 8,000 words)
  • Best French Crime Book (Fiction and Nonfiction)
  • Best Juvenile or YA Crime Book sponsored by Shaftesbury with a $500 prize (Fiction and Nonfiction)
  • The Brass Knuckles Award for Best Nonfiction Crime Book sponsored by David Reid Simpson Law Firm (Hamilton) with a $300 prize

For unpublished novels:

  • The Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript

The Awards are open to permanent residents of Canada, or by Canadian citizens living abroad.

The list of 2024 Entries will be posted when all have been processed.

The shortlist will be announced on Friday April 26th, 2024 @ 12 AM ET.

The winners will be announced on Wednesday May 29th, 2024 @12 AM ET.


The Submission Rules for the Published Categories and Unpublished Category are posted on the first of September.

Unpublished submissions must be received via email by 15 October 2023.

Published submissions must be postmarked or courier dated by 15 December 2023.

Shortlists Announcement

The CWC Awards of Excellence Shortlists presentation takes place mid-April. Details will be posted and updated on the Home Page in March and the list will be posted on the website after the announcement on this page.

Presentation of Winners

The winners will be announced in May 2024.

Contact Information

Crime Writers of Canada Awards
716 Thicket Way
Ottawa, ON
K4A 3B5

We would like the thank our sponsors for their support, as well as the publishers and authors without whom there would be no Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence.