Noirwich Crime Writing Festival 2021 announced

Megan Abbott (c) Drew Reilly

Internationally acclaimed writer Megan Abbott (‘A legend for good reason’ – The Washington Post) will deliver the 2021 Noirwich Crime Writing Festival Lecture, it has been revealed today.

Abbott, the bestselling and award-winning author of The Turnout and Give Me Your Hand, frequently explores the threat of violence at the centre of women’s lives. Her highly-anticipated, original festival commission will focus on adaptation and crime writing in the era of Netflix and HBO. Previous Noirwich Lectures include Attica Locke on colonialism and theft, George Alagiah on environmental destruction, Val McDermid on gender and violence, and Arne Dahl on crime and class.

Now in its eighth year Noirwich is a crime writing festival that interrogates the way we live now through this rich and multidimensional genre. Known for its innovative programming, the Festival is delivered by the National Centre for Writing and the University of East Anglia (UEA). The 2021 Festival will be a hybrid programme with in-person creative writing workshops at Dragon Hall, home of National Centre for Writing, as well as free online events to extend the reach to international audiences.

Joining Abbott on the top bill are David Peace (Red Riding Quartet, The Damned Utd and the Tokyo Trilogy) and Korean American novelist Steph Cha who won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for her crime fiction novel Your House Will Pay. The programme will also include a showcase of the freshest new voices in crime writing from UEA’s MA programme and a celebration of over 50 years of creative writing at the university. Further programme announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

Peggy Hughes, Programme Director, National Centre for Writing says:

‘This year’s Noirwich programme blends international crime writing with home-grown talents, workshops for aspiring crime writers and conversations with masters of the form. David Peace, Steph Cha and Megan Abbott will be joined by UEA alumni Femi Kayode and Cat Ward among many others in a festival programme that gets under the bonnet and spies through the magnifying glass on this most popular, imaginative and dexterous of genres.’

Dr Nathan Ashman, Lecturer in Crime Writing at the UEA, says:

‘Noirwich returns this year with a thrilling line-up of international and UK-based writers operating at the very cutting edge of their craft.  Alongside a headline lecture from Edgar Award winning novelist and screen writer Megan Abbott, the festival will feature an exciting array of workshops, discussions, and events, including conversations with Steph Cha, celebrated author of the explosive and suspenseful 2019 thriller Your House Will Pay, and David Peace, an award-winning British crime writer and author of the acclaimed Red Reding Quartet and Tokyo Trilogy. It is an exciting and dynamic festival programme.’

The eighth Noirwich Crime Writing Festival will take place from 9 – 12 September 2021. All events, (excluding the workshops) are free, however booking is essential. For programme and ticket updates, see and follow @NOIRwichFest and @WritersCentre on Twitter.

Noirwich Crime Writing Festival 2021 is sponsored by The Crime Vault, the crime/thriller community of Little, Brown. With support from Arts Council England and Jarrold.

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National Centre for Writing

National Centre for Writing