Norwich’s crime festival, christened Noirwich in its first year, has reached the grand old age of five. This year’s writing festival is as varied and exciting as ever, although I’m only going to the events on Sunday.
Crime festival highlights
Starting Thursday, the opening event is the 21st anniversary of Nicci French, the writing partnership created by married couple Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. “Noirwich is thrilled to welcome them back, to celebrate their successes and the much-anticipated Day of the Dead, the stunning finale to their Frieda Klein series – it will leave you breathless.” This takes place in the book department at Jarrolds, the department store in the city. It’s still proudly independent, ever since the days it published Black Beauty, among other books.
On Friday, I am sorry to miss Val McDermid giving the keynote address at UEA (the University of East Anglia). This is sponsored by The Times and The Sunday Times Crime Club. Val McDermid has been a real supporter of both Noirwich and the Norfolk and Norwich Arts festival. This year she’s also a Man Booker Prize judge. Her keynote address is “a riveting, topical exploration of genre and the literary in a breakthrough year when crime became the UK’s top-selling fictional genre, beating all others put together.”
On Saturday, as well as several writing workshops, there’s an all-day programme of events at the Dragon Hall, the National Writing Centre’s newly refurbished home. It’s full of writing talent, with features including ‘Killer Debuts’ and ‘The Witching Hour’.
Intriguingly, Saturday evening brings us a crime musical! Written by Sophie Hannah, music by Annette Armitage, The Generalist is a handyman who turns up at someones door… “Think The Mousetrap meets Matilda“. Okay… I’m hooked, but can I go?
Sunday I’ve booked to go to all the sessions at the Dragon Hall, despite two other potential engagements. The first session, Norfolk Noir, includes Graeme Cameron, Elodie Harper and Elly Griffiths, so you know why I’m going!
Norfolk Noir flash fiction competition
The last session, Norfolk Noir, features bestselling writer Elizabeth Haynes. It involves readings from her new book and also various mysteries set in Norfolk. The results of the Norfolk Noir flash fiction competition, which I entered, will also be announced.
I can reveal that my entry got through to the last ten. They will announce the winning three here.
There’s a cliff-hanger for you!
Noirwich crime festival 13th-16th September 2018
If you want to see the full programme and buy tickets, you can do so here – click the pictures for details of the sessions, or click ‘what’s on’ in the menu bar to scroll through the listings.