I've been a member of the Crime Writers' Association since the late 80s, and over the years my involvement with the CWA, initially through the Northern Chapter founded by Peter N. Walker, has introduced me to a great many people whom I would probably never otherwise have met. It's a great social organisation - even for those, like me, who don't regard themselves as naturally very gregarious. And the CWA also takes increasingly active steps to help members to promote their work, which is a tremendous benefit at a time when it is not only hard to get published, but a challenge to remain published.
This year sees the CWA celebrate its Diamond Jubilee - on Guy Fawkes Night to be precise. This special anniversary has seen a number of notable events, including a glittering Awards Dinner, and the publication of Deadly Pleasures, which includes stories by a number of the great and the good of crime writing (along with me - editor's perk!)
I joined the CWA committee towards the end of last year, something that pressure of the day job had never previously allowed, and I do feel that under Alison Joseph's chairmanship the organisation is going from strength to strength, despite the challenges faced by publishers and authors the world over. Membership has increased very significantly, and as a result the CWA needs to operate in a very businesslike way. The role of its hard-working director, Lucy Santos, is extremely important in this respect and in a relatively short time Lucy has made a great impression.
Like any organisation, the CWA needs to look to the future, whilst at the same time remaining true to its core values and not forgetting or under-estimating the importance of its roots. I've had on my website for quite some time a modest page about the CWA, and to mark the Diamond Jubilee, I've just written an article about the origins of the CWA. As CWA archivist, I'll also be making an announcement shortly about our plans for the Archives. There's plenty of work to be done, but also a great many good things to look forward to.