Looking back at Noirwich 2018

Now that Noirwich 2019 has been revealed, we thought we’d take a retrospective look back at last year’s festival. If you’ve never been to Noirwich before this will give you a taste of what to expect in September.

2018 was the fifth Noirwich, bringing the region’s largest annual celebration of crime writing back to the city for four days of author discussions, workshops, readings and signings.

Launching with Nicci French

The launch event at Jarrold celebrated the 21st anniversary of Nicci French’s career and the finale to the Frieda Klein series. Nicci is in fact a partnership of married writers Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. You can listen to the event on the National Centre for Writing podcast:

The 2018 Noirwich Lecture

The Noirwich Lecture was delivered by none other than Val McDermid, presented by The Times and The Sunday Times Crime Club. Val needs no introduction and her lecture examined the genre of crime and its role in society. You can listen to the entire lecture here:

The weekend spectacular

Nicola Upson was in town for the weekend and delivered a workshop on the Friday about writing detectives and historical fiction. Noirwich is always about writing crime fiction as much as it is about reading it. We managed to track down Nicola for a separate chat:

Winnie M Li was part of the ‘Writing Wrongs’ panel, alongside Eva Dolan and Mari Hannah, discussing how crime fiction can help us to make sense of the world and process personal trauma and tragedy. Winnie joined Elspeth Latimer on the podcast to delve into the subject:

Every year at Noirwich we have a focus on debut authors, as discovering new voices is critical to the continual evolution of the genre. One of our ‘Killer Debuts’ in 2018 was Amer Anwar, who spoke to us about the challenges of finishing his first novel:

The Sunday drew a huge audience for the Death in Paradise conversation with series creator Robert Thorogood, who shared fascinating insight into the process of having the show commissioned and how it has evolved over the years:

Matt Wesolowski was discussing adaptation and talked to us about the notion of ‘hybrid’ writing’. His novels incorporate transcripts from podcasts and audio interviews, disrupting many of the conventions of both the genre and what we think of as a novel. Here’s Matt on the National Centre for Writing podcast:

The finale

The weekend was rounded off by Noirwich Live, an evening of short readings from local authors, competitions and a chat with Elizabeth Haynes. Elizabeth was talking about her latest book The Murder of Harriet Monckton. Elizabeth is a fascinating writer who uses the annual write-a-thon NaNoWriMo as a way to kickstart her projects. We talked to her about writing 50,000 words in a month as well as her latest book:

Every year we see new writers and new audiences at Noirwich, all sharing a love of the crime genre. We look forward to Noirwich 2019, with headliners George Alagiah, Louise Doughty and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. Season passes are now available!

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