Crime fiction events in 2020

One of the regular posts on my blog is my listing of forthcoming crime fiction events, despite the fact that I hardly managed to make it to any events this year – a combination of having a new puppy and more limited funds than normal. I hope that I can find a way to attend at least a few in 2020.

Remember this isn’t all literary events (there are plenty of lists of those and there must be hundreds of events) but it is a list of the main dedicated crime fiction events taking place in the UK (with a few notable additions). Please see the bottom of the list for smaller events which are repeated throughout the year.

I aim to maintain the list and update it as dates are confirmed, so do let me know if there’s anything I should add.

Annual events


27 January – West Barnes Library Author event
A triple bill of thrills with authors Barbara Nadel, Derek Farrell & Valentina Giambanco. £2 entry, refreshments provided, book in advance with library staff.


20 – 23 February – Granite Noir 2020, Aberdeen’s crime writing festival
This is the fourth year for this crime writing festival featuring some of the most celebrated talent from the Nordic Noir scene alongside Scotland’s own Tartan Noir authors.

21 – 23 February – Crime and Punishment, Lockerbie
A slightly different event, this is a creative writing course are designed for budding crime fiction authors of all levels.


7 March – MysteryFest 2020, Portsmouth
A one-day event forming part of Portsmouth’s BookFest this one-day event has a great line up of speakers including Guest of Honour Len Tyler, Professor Becky Milne talking about police interviewing and two author panels.

And then COVID-19 started to take hold and most forthcoming events are now cancelled or, at the very least, postponed. Lots of people trying to fill the gaps with online events – keep checking on social media for info. 


15 March – Killer Women Festival, London
A one-day event being run by the ‘Killer Women’ group there is a really varied programme with something for everyone.  (I’m personally tempted by the live police dog demonstration!)

28 March –  NOIRELAND International Crime Fiction Festival, Belfast
A one-day festival showcasing some of Ireland’s greatest crime novelists, lending a helping hand to aspiring writers, and highlighting Belfast’s significant impact on the world of crime fiction, on page and on screen


3 – 5 April – Quais du Polar – Lyon
The festival is totally free except for film viewings and some events in our partner bars and museums. I’m particularly impressed to see John Grisham and Don Winslow will be appearing.

24 – 26 April – Books by the Beach, Scarborough
Not a dedicated crime fiction event but this does get a good contribution from crime writers, full details still to be published.


1 – 3 May – Newcastle Noir, Newcastle
Programme still to be released although the PR says “This year, organisers will seek to widen the appeal of this criminally fine weekend by seeking to attract younger readers and crime fiction lovers with small children.”


4 -7 June – Crimefest – Bristol
After last year’s change of venue we now have a change of month. This is a four-day convention drawing top crime novelists, readers, editors, publishers and reviewers from around the world.

6 June – Fairford Festival of Fiction – Fairford, Gloucestershire
A small event but the participants are Russell T. Davies, John Connolly and Rachael Stott. 

Crime and Coffee Festival, Cardiff
This would be the third year if and when dates are confirmed.

Slaughter in Southwold, Southwold
This will be the eighth year, dates to be confirmed.

19 – 21 June – Alibis in the Archives, Gladstone Library, Hawarden, Flintshire
An event run in association with the Crime Writers’ Association and The Detection Club.

26 – 28 June – Lyme Crime, Lyme Regis
A new event this festival will bring the very best talents in crime & thriller fiction to Lyme Regis for a relaxed weekend of talks, conversations, panels and other events.


2 – 4 July – Captivating Criminality, Bath
The seventh UK conference from the Captivating Criminality’, “Memory, History and Revaluation” will examine the ways in which Crime Fiction as a genre necessarily incorporates elements of the past – the past in general and its own past, both in terms of its own generic developments and also in respect of true crime and historical events. The CfP will thus offer opportunities for delegates to engage in discussions that are relevant to both past and present crime writing.

4 July – Bodies from the Library – British Library, London
A one day conference with an exciting programme of discussions, presentations and panels on the Golden Age of Detective Fiction Writers.

23 – 26 July – Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – Harrogate, Yorkshire
Four days of Europe’s biggest come writing event, the full programme for 2020 is due to be announced in Spring 2020 and tickets will be released shortly after including Day Rover and Weekend Rover tickets.

31 July – 2 August – Bute Noir, Bute
Bute Noir celebrates five years of its crime writing festival held on the Isle of Bute, bringing together bestselling authors from the U.S, England and Scotland.


14 – 16 August – St Hilda’s Mystery and Crime Weekend – Oxford
One of the longest running dedicated crime fiction events (it started in 1994) the 2020 event is ‘All Our Yesterdays’: historical crime fiction.


15 – 19 September – International Agatha Christie Festival – Torquay, Devon
It’s not clear from the IACF website what the plans are for 2020 but the tourist board are advertising these dates.

10 – 13 September – Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, Norwich, Norfolk
The Noirwich Crime Writing Festival is an annual celebration bringing together superstar crime authors, exciting new talent and fans of all things crime fiction.

12 – 13 September – Morecambe & Vice, Morecambe
The fourth year for this event.

18 – 20 September – Bloody Scotland – Stirling, Scotland
Scotland’s festival celebrating crime writing – bringing together leading Scottish and international writers, showcasing debut voices and encouraging new writers.


1 – 3 October – Capital Crime, London’s West End
A second year for this event. The brains behind this event are David Headley, MD of  Goldsboro Books and organiser of the infamous ‘Crime in the Court’ and novelist and screenwriter Adam Hamdy so it has excellent credentials. Capital Crime welcomes some of the world’s favourite authors and filmmakers to London

2 – 11 October – Cheltenham Literary Festival, Cheltenham
I wouldn’t normally include this festival as it’s so diverse and doesn’t have the same focus as most of the other events listed here but it’s worth a check of the programme when published.


November – Margate Bookie, Margate
No confirmed dates at time of writing.

20 – 21 November is the biennial Iceland Noir, Reykjavik
No website or programme as yet…


All busy shopping for books …

Recurring events

There are a few smaller events which will be happening throughout the year.

First Monday
Regular events which take place on, would you believe, the first Monday of each month (with a few exceptions). A free event with a consistently good panel of authors.

Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers
Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Chris Brookmyre, Luca Veste, Doug Johnstone and Stuart Neville are the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers and after a year that saw them play Glastonbury they have quite a tour coming up in 2020 

Noir at the Bar
These are events, apparently originated by Peter Rozovsky of Detectives Beyond Borders, which can be summed up as “A relaxed evening in a local hostelry where crime writers (established, emerging & would-be) read from their work.” Having started in the US they now make appearances in the UK either as part of a larger crime fiction event or as small standalone events. I’ve tracked down a few UK location where you can find them. Let me know if you come across more!

Bath – next meetings 13 Feb and 21 May

Edinburgh – no future events showing

Newcastle – 19 Feb

London – no recent events

It would be nice to be able to find a comprehensive list of these small events as they are so accessible – low cost and take little time commitment.


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