International Association of Crime Writers, North American Branch


The Hammett Prize

The 2022 Dashiell Hammett Prize for literary Excellence in Crime Writing

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, and others.

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 2022.

3) It must have first been published in the United States or Canada in 2022, in English not translated from another language. Books first published in the United Kingdom, Ireland, or any other English language venue are not eligible. All issues of eligibility will be the final decision of the screening committee, its chairman, and the president of the North American branch.

4) To enter the competition, one copy of each nominated book must be submitted to each of the members of the screening committee. The members of the commitee are:

  • T. C. Rice,
    1075 Webster Ave.
    The Bronx, NY, 10456
  • James McCrone,
    1504 South 5th Street,
    Philadelphia, PA 19147
  • Ann Romeo,
    13205 Linden Ave N,
    Seattle, WA 98133,
  • Christina Hoag,
    1301 17th St. #208,
    Santa Monica, CA 90404
  • Caro Soles,
    12 Roundwood Court,
    Toronto, ON M1W 1Z2

5) The deadline for entries is December 15, 2022.

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 short list. The winner will be selected from the short list 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