Cancelled crime fiction festivals go online

With much of the world on lockdown due to Covid-19, many crime fiction festivals have cancelled this year’s events. Instead, some are offering crime fiction lovers the opportunity to join virtual festivals online and interact with authors at live events and book launches, or watch pre-recorded interviews and panels.


Newcastle Noir goes virtually live from 1-3 May with panels and authors including Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, LJ Ross, Liz Nugent and Mari Hannah, but you can watch the pre-recorded events anytime after that.

The Big Book Weekend is a three-day virtual book festival that brings together some of the cancelled British literary festivals, with a range of events ‘presented’ by the relevant festival. The free programme hosted by My Virtual Literature Festival running from 8-10 May, includes an interview with Killing Eve author Luke Jennings by Sarah Hilary on 9 May, and there’s a crime panel brought by NOIRELAND International Crime Fiction Festival on 10 May and also a session with Kia Abdullah, interviewed by Abir Mukherjee. Like all the MyVLF events, they can be watched at anytime afterwards on the site’s catch up.

Hay Festival Digital. The huge multi-genre literature festival is online from 18-31 May


CrimeFest, which was due to be held in Bristol in June is not going digital and has not announced dates for next year, but has made a plea for support.


Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival may be cancelled, but Harrogate International Festivals is set to announce its Novel of the Year 2020 on 23 July, which you can vote for once the longlist is announced. Meanwhile, the HIF Player features a free, online hub, packed with archive event recordings from previous crime festivals, digital book clubs and new content. Next year’s dates are 22-25 July.


Noirwich Crime Writing Festival is due to be held from 10-13 September in Norwich. No announcement has been made yet. Visit the website for updates.

Bloody Scotland in Stirling is cancelled, but the festival is planning online events and has confirmed that the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year and the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize will go ahead as planned. The 10th Bloody Scotland festival dates are 17-19 September, 2021.


Capital Crime is due to be staged from 1-3 October in the Grand Connaught Rooms, London. Visit the website for updates.

Noireland 2020 International Crime Fiction Festival was due to take place in March in Northern Ireland and has been postponed until 10 October at the Clayton Hotel, BelfastVisit Noireland for updates.

Bouchercon world mystery convention in Sacramento, California is cancelled and planning an online Bouchercon 2020, which will include the Anthony Awards Ceremony.

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