Judging Process

Judging Process

Crime Writers of Canada recruits twenty-seven volunteers from among the large body of award-winning writers, reviewers, booksellers, librarians, academics, and avid crime fiction fans across Canada. The judges are not required to be CWC members, and many are not. The judges, therefore, represent a broad and knowledgeable cross-section of the reading public. Three judges read and evaluate the entries in each of the seven prize categories. Finalists in all categories are announced in mid-April, and winners are announced at the annual Awards Gala in late May.

  • Submissions open 1 September
  • Deadline for the unpublished category is 15 October. Submissions are checked, then emailed or posted to DropBox for judges about a week later.
  • Deadline for published categories is postmarked or courier-dated 15 December. Depending on the number of books in the category, the judges may receive their books in batches, starting in November, or all at once in the first week of January.
  • The longlist of ten unpublished submissions must be submitted by 15 January but can be delivered earlier. As soon as the longlist is finalized, the author has a week to send in their full manuscripts. They are posted for the judges to pick up as they are available.
  • Five finalists for each category must be selected by 1 April. (Smaller categories may receive special instructions.)
  • The winner for each category must be selected by 1 May.

It's never too late to volunteer. If the contest is underway or your preferred category is filled, there's always next year.

If you would like to volunteer as a judge, please contact:

Judging Guidelines - Published Categories

Judging Guidelines - Unpublished Category