From the 3rd-5th of May this year, Newcastle Noir, the North East’s very own crime writing festival will be running at its new home of Newcastle City Library.
Now in its sixth year, the festival is going to be offering over 25 talks, panels, screenings and workshops featuring more than 80 authors from around the world.
This is going to be the first year I’ve had an opportunity to return to my old home town and attend, and I’m really looking forward to it.
It’s an intriguing and mixed line-up, with something for everyone over the three days, including the announcement of the winner of the inaugural Lindisfarne Prize: a competition set up for first-time writers with links to the North East to submit their work – sponsored by the author LJ Ross and, quite fantastically, free to enter: a refreshing change in this day and age of ‘pay-to-play’ writing comps. (And if you haven’t entered yet, it’s too late: entries have closed and the winner will be announced on the opening night of the festival).
I’m not personally speaking at the Festival, but I am going to be hosting/ interviewing/ facilitating/ sitting back and listening to (not sure which covers it most accurately) two authors on stage on Sunday 5th – Luke McCallin and Paul Hardisty and am looking forward to learning more about two authors who were, up until this point, outside of my reading wheelhouse.
So, as I sit here recovering from my recent shoulder dismantling/ putting back together, I’m keeping myself busy by reading some new-to-me stuff.
Luke McCallin is the author of the Gregor Reinhardt trilogy: historical thrillers set in Sarajevo and Berlin in the midst and aftermath of World War I and II.
Paul Hardisty has written four books around his protagonist Claymore Straker – an oil engineer with a troubled past working in some of the most challenging environments in the world.
I’m looking forward to meeting both authors and finding out more about their processes and thoughts on writing thrillers with such real-world backdrops and how that influences their story-telling.
If you’re around Newcastle, tickets for a number of the events over the weekend are still available: you can visit the Newcastle Noir website here.
And if you haven’t been to Newcastle before…you’re in for a treat. After the years of friends’ warnings about working in the literary/ tv blood-stained murder capital that is Oxford, it’ll be nice to go back to the peaceful, crime-free streets of my home town…you know: a bit like Michael Caine’s Carter returning home. And that ended well, didn’t it…?
Newcastle Noir runs from the 3rd to the 5th of May.