Noirwich Crime Writing Festival celebrates 5th year with blockbuster line-up

2018 speakers to include Val McDermid, Nicci French, Paula Hawkins, Ruth Ware, Robert Thorogood and Elizabeth Hayes


A star cast of crime writers has been confirmed for Noirwich as the festival returns to celebrate its fifth year from 13-16 September 2018. The event brings together crime-writing giants Val McDermid, Nicci French, Paula Hawkins and Elizabeth Hayes, alongside panels celebrating killer debuts and cutting edge writing from across the genre.

Organised by the National Centre for Writing and the University of East Anglia (UEA), the events form part of a city-wide celebration of activities in Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of literature. The long weekend is also set to include writing workshops, crime themed cocktails and a murder mystery musical from new Poirot novelist Sophie Hannah.

Kick starting Noirwich 2018 are married couple Nicci French, who will celebrate their 21-year crime writing career discussing Day of the Dead, the much anticipated finale to their Freida Klein series. Queen of Crime Val McDermid will deliver a talk on violence and gender within the genre for this year’s Noirwich Lecture sponsored by The Times and The Sunday Times Crime Club; acclaimed literary novelist John Banville will discuss his double life as crime fiction writer Benjamin Black; and global sensations Paula Hawkins and Ruth Ware will be in conversation about their chart topping thrillers.

Not-to-be missed events also include an insightful session with experts from UEA who will explain the facts behind fingerprints, forensics and postmortem evidence; a spellbinding hour on witchcraft and superstition with authors Syd Moore, Cathi Unsworth and Roz Watkins; an in-conversation with novelist and screenwriter Robert Thorogood about his BBC One hit Death in Paradise; and a panel on books to screen with Sarah Pinborough, Jane Lythell and Matt Wesolowski.

Avid crime readers can enjoy the best new and cutting edge work the genre has offer, as the festival showcases upcoming, debut and boundary-pushing authors. UEA’s MA Crime Fiction graduates will launch their anthology Postmortem at local pub The Murderers; Amer Anwar, Claire Askew and Stuart Turton will discuss their distinguished debuts; and Leo Benedictus, Jacob Ross and Louise Welsh will talk about their recent work and creating something new in the genre. The festival will conclude with a fun hour of readings to celebrate its fifth birthday headlined by New York Times bestseller Elizabeth Hayes.

Chris Gribble, Festival Co-Director and Chief Executive of the National Centre for Writing, said: “Crime fiction is phenomenally popular and has become the UK’s top selling fictional genre this year- beating all others put together. Noirwich is a wonderful celebration that brings people from far and wide to our UNESCO City of Literature for a four-day spectacular of the most exciting and diverse crime writing that the world has to offer.”

Henry Sutton, Festival Co-Director and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the UEA added: “Noirwich is at the cutting edge of the most exciting, dynamic and popular literary and filmic genre in the world. But it’s so much more as well; it’s a place for great, timely and entertaining discussions in the friendliest of environments. Meet the people who shape imaginations and who can make you laugh. Crime writers know how to have fun.”

The Noirwich Crime Writing Festival draws on its setting as a site of significant cultural heritage to offer a unique city-wide experience, with events and fringe activities complementing Norwich’s existing local attractions. Between panels, visitors can discover local food with a crime twist, follow the city’s crime and punishment walking tour, stay at Agatha Christie’s favourite hotel, browse one of Margaret Atwood’s favourite bookshops (The Book Hive) or take a trip to the dungeons at the medieval Norwich castle.

For all media enquiries please contact Ashton Bainbridge or Charlotte Tuxworth at FMcM Associates on 0207 405 7422 or email or


About Noirwich

The Noirwich Crime Writing Festival is the fastest growing crime festival in the UK, bringing together celebrity authors, expert panels and new writing talent in Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. Drawing on the region’s cultural heritage and local expertise as a centre for literary excellence and crime writing, it offers a wide-ranging programme of events and fringe activities exploring the strength and variety of work within the crime genre.

The Noirwich Crime Writing Festival is a partnership between the University of East Anglia and National Centre for Writing, with support from Dead Good Books and the Norwich Business Improvement District. Key stakeholder support comes from Arts Council England, Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council and it is further supported by Norwich City of Stories, Look Sideways East, First Monday Crime, The Times / The Sunday Times Crime Club, Killer Women, Jarrold and Waterstones.

This year events will take place at Dragon Hall, home to the new National Centre for Writing, the Jarrold Department Store, the Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia and The Murderers pub.  | @NOIRwichFest

About National Centre for Writing

NCW is a literature development organisation based in Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. The National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall promotes great literature, inspires communities through the power of writing, reading and literary translation, nurtures literary talent and hosts world-class events.  |  @WritersCentre

About University of East Anglia

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is a UK Top 15 university. Known for its world-leading research and outstanding student experience, it was awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework and is a leading member of Norwich Research Park, one of Europe’s biggest concentrations of researchers in the fields of environment, health and plant science. |  @uniofeastanglia

For all media enquiries please contact Ashton Bainbridge or Charlotte Tuxworth at FMcM Associates on 0207 405 7422 or email or