Tuesday, March 6, 2018

CrimeFest 2018!

CrimeFest is one of the best conferences! You won't want to miss it! Still time to sign up. 

May 17-20, 2018: Bristol, UK!

From the CrimeFest newsletter:

We are delighted to announce that Martina Cole, Peter James, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Gunnar Staalesen join Lee Child and Jeffery Deaver in finalising our line-up of Featured Guest Authors. Lee and Jeff where our guests at the Bristol visit of US convention Left Coast Crime in 2006, then came back for the fifth anniversary of CRIMEFEST, and we asked them two years ago to pencil the dates in for our tenth. We’re using the occasion to invite some of our other favourite Featured Guests back as well: Peter and Yrsa. New headliners are Martina and Gunnar. As she is one of the most popular and bestselling authors in the UK, we’ve been trying to get Martina as a featured guest for years, and we're delighted that she is appearing in that role this year! Of course Gunnar has attended before and in light of his continued excellence in writing, recognised with last year’s Petrona Award, we’ve invited him back as one of our headliners. And to do something different for our celebrations, we’re pairing everyone up for their interviews: ‘anniversary’ guests Lee & Jeff, mates Martina & Peter, and translated guests and former Petrona winners Yrsa & Gunnar. We’re hoping that they do joint speeches at the Gala Awards Dinner on Saturday as well.

Every year we have one or more pairs of highlighted guests in conversation. This year will see John Banville (aka Benjamin Black) and John Simenon, son of the great Georges Simenon, being interviewed by Maxim Jakubowski. In ‘Maigret and Beyond’, delegates will find out how John S keeps his father’s legacy alive for fans of the legendary Maigret police procedurals. John B is one of those fans but is, of course, a highly respected novelist as well, having written - in the guise of Benjamin Black - the much loved Quirke books and his one-off continuation of Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe series.

There are lots of other highlights as well. These include a complimentary copy of Ten Year Stretch, an anthology which celebrates a decade of CRIMEFEST (more info further down), as well as a debate on who the better spy novelist is: Ian Fleming or John le Carré. Making their cases are Charlie Higson, author of the young James Bond books, and Adam Sisman, le Carré’s biographer, respectively. There will also be two receptions, one of them to announce the nominees for the Crime Writer Association’s Dagger Awards, which are open to all Full Weekend Pass holders, as well as Thursday’s traditional pub quiz with Peter Guttridge. In addition to many more exciting events, we close the anniversary year by welcoming back Mike Ripley and his ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Cluedo’. This anarchic quiz – a highlight of 2016 – has very few rules (those that do exist are rarely abided by) but lots of laughs (some of them intentional). And somewhere amongst the quiz rounds – will ‘Feel the Author’ be back? (yes, you read that correctly) – one or more members of the audience will win prizes.

All of this leads nicely into the announcement that this year’s itinerary is now up on the website on the PROGRAMME page! Authors, please check that your panels correspond with the details we sent you.

For the second year running the University of the West of England (UWE) are offering delegates special access to their Crime Scene experts who train the police and Forensic Science students. Delegates will be briefed on a crime scene and will identify clues, get hands-on experience of searching for evidence, testing for fingerprints, identifying blood and other substances and getting to use mysterious pieces of forensic kit. Forensics experts will also be on hand to guide you through and answer specific questions, focusing on modern-day procedures in a historic setting. The excursion is based on UWE’s campus and a minibus will pick delegates up at 9.30am outside the Marriott Hotel and deliver them back at 12.30, in plenty of time for the first panel. Spaces are limited, in order to ensure a great experience for all participants. For more information – including details of this year’s special crime scene – visit FORENSIC CRIME SCENE EXCURSION or, to register, visit the TICKETS page.

Pitch an Agent returns again in 2018 with Pitch originator Camilla Wray (from the Darley Anderson Agency), Broo Doherty (from the DHH Literary Agency) and Philip Patterson (from Marjacq Scripts). Some of the authors these agencies represent include Lee Child, Martina Cole, Stuart Macbride, L.C. Tyler, and Luca Veste. The best description for Pitch an Agent is ‘speed dating for an agent meets BBC’s Dragon’s Den’ (or Shark Tank if you are in the US). You make your pitch to all three agents simultaneously (but privately, so no public humiliation – or triumph…) If you are looking for an agent, have not previously participated, and are not commercially published, then this is for you! Pitch an Agent is only open to delegates with a Full, Friday or Saturday CRIMEFEST Pass. Visit PITCH AN AGENT for more information or buy TICKETS.

Also returning is the One-on-One Manuscript Assessment Service for those who are looking for feedback on a finished (or almost completed) manuscript. Based on a submitted sample of your writing, crime novelist Janet Laurence will provide constructive feedback allowing manuscripts to be submitted in the best possible format to agents and/or editors. Manuscript Assessment slots are only open to delegates who are not commercially published, are without an agent and who have registered for a Full, Friday or Saturday CRIMEFEST Pass. Visit ONE-ON-ONE MANUSCRIPT ASSESSMENT for more information or buy TICKETS.

And finally…

Thanks to devoted CRIMEFEST delegate Jane Burfield, who wished to sponsor something special to mark CRIMEFEST’s 10th anniversary, we have been able to commission Ten Year Stretch: Celebrating A Decade Of CrimeFest. The proceeds of this anthology of twenty new stories go to the convention’s longstanding charity of choice: the reading library of the RNIB. Full Pass holders attending this year receive a complimentary copy of the Ten Year Stretch: Celebrating A Decade of CrimeFest with a foreword by Peter James and contributions from current and former attending authors Bill Beverley, Simon Brett, Lee Child, Ann Cleeves, Jeffery Deaver, Martin Edwards (also co-editor), Kate Ellis, Peter Guttridge, Sophie Hannah, John Harvey, Mick Herron, Donna Moore, Caro Ramsay, Ian Rankin, James Sallis, Zoë Sharp, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Maj Sjöwall (translated by Catherine Edwards), Michael Stanley and Andrew Taylor. The anthology is being published in the UK by No Exit Press and in the US by Poisoned Pen Press, and the stories see the return of much-loved series characters, and cover every conceivable category that makes up the rich crime fiction genre. The publication has already been covered by the Kirkus Review and Publishers Weekly, and we can’t be prouder of the collection or more thankful to the contributors and those who made it possible. So, buy TICKETS to CRIMEFEST now to guarantee your complimentary copy.

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