Newcastle Noir is a literary festival celebrating the best in contemporary crime writing. The festival, rooted in the North East of England, brings together writers from the North East, across Britain, as well as from further afield.
2021 is almost over, but we couldn’t possibly let another year go by without organising a criminal gathering in person at Newcastle City Library!
For NN2021, with an eye to remaining Covid-cautious, we’ve decided to organise a one-day festival. Our focus this year will be – Celebrating the very best of Northern Crime Writing.
We would like to reassure attendees to Newcastle Noir 2021 that Newcastle Libraries are Covid-Secure. At events we will be encouraging social distancing and providing hand sanitizing stations. Also, numbers at this event have been limited to ensure adequate space in the building. We would politely encourage people to wear a mask and to observe social distance. Events will be held in the atrium which has plenty of space. This event may be cancelled or postponed anytime between today and the date of the event if local and national Covid restrictions change.
Panel 1 - 10.00 – 10.45 In the Line of Duty
Robert Scragg, Howard Linskey and Tariq Ashkanani
There’s something about a police procedural that takes the reader to the heart of the crime and up close and personal with those bringing law and order to dark, disturbed places. With three authors who set their investigations locally, nationally and a bit further afield, we kick off NN2021 by examining what makes a successful fictional detective and why we’re ever drawn to watching them uncover the truth.
Panel 2 - 11.15 – 12.00pm Murder She Wrote… and So Much More!
LJ Ross, Judith O’Reilly and Fiona Erskine
Creating protagonists that linger long after the last page is turned, capturing the essence of place, bringing us plots that keep us twisting and turning, but what if an author’s crime writing was not their first calling? These best-selling authors all had a life before thrilling us with their gloriously dark tales and this session will look at how these earlier experiences may have influenced the text and why crime fiction is now so important to them.
Panel 3 - 12.30 – 1.15pm From Whitley Bay to Blackwood Bay
Ann Cleeves and SJ Watson
The crime scene is an integral part of crime fiction and the impact of the evil committed there is even greater when it happens right on our doorstep. In this panel we’ll discuss writing home or away, creating fictional close-knit communities, and portraying ordinary lives turned upside down by unexpected, shocking events. Oh, and if we’ve time, we’ll ask these highly acclaimed authors what happens when your gripping page-turner of a novel becomes all-important viewing. Not to be missed!
Panel 4 - 1.45 – 2.30pm North by Northwest
Rob Parker and SE Moorhead
From across the Pennines, we bring you crime writing that packs more of a punch than Tyson Fury. An ex-soldier and ex-convict on one last mission for an old friend, a detective sergeant with the heart of a lion, and a neuropsychologist whose new technology might just catch a menacing serial killer. No, we’re not talking about the authors, but rather the protagonists they have created who are willing to risk everything to see justice served.
Panel 5 - 3.00 – 3.45pm Will We Ever Get Out of Here?
Chris McGeorge and DL Marshall
Edgar Allen Poe, Agatha Christie and Gaston Leroux first showed us the criminally delicious tension and intrigue that was to be found in the locked-room mystery. Fast forward 80 years and our authors on this panel will demonstrate the tremendous flexibility of this mystery subgenre. Nowadays the scene of the crime has grown to encompass actual areas, like houses or islands. The suspense lies in knowing that you may be next!
Panel 6 - 4.15 – 5.00pm Don’t Look Away!
Michael J Malone, Louise Beech and Sarah Sultoon
Writing stories that dare us to consider what we often prefer to ignore takes great skill and sensitivity. Given the overwhelming success of a similar panel at previous NN festivals, we wanted to explore further how fact informs fiction when treating such highly sensitive issues. To that end we have brought together three thought-provoking authors who are highly accomplished in bringing the reader face to face with the shocking and unthinkable.
Panel 7 - 5.30 – 6.15pm Something Wicked this Way Comes!
Matt Wesolowski and ES Thomson
What do a curious Victorian apothecary and an elusive contemporary podcaster have in common? With their darkly atmospheric and chilling tales, we’ll hear how these authors have written award-winning and critically acclaimed crime fiction with a grippingly Gothic touch. We’ll also consider how the creepy, the macabre and the sinister continue to fascinate and resonate down through the centuries. Not for the faint hearted, dare you join us?!
Panel 8 - 7.00 – 7.45pm Daring to be Different
Mari Hannah, Trevor Wood and Harriet Tyce
Crime fiction is often thought to be a highly predictable and formula-driven genre, yet our closing panel brings together authors whose writing has proved this is not always the case. Every so often a voice comes along daring to break the mould, offering us award-winning, critically acclaimed stories with a refreshing edge. Come celebrate Northern crime writing with us in the company of three authors who write with the courage of their convictions.
The public libraries of Newcastle upon Tyne
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