GWYL CRIME CYMRU FESTIVAL, 2023
Get ready for murder, mystery and general crime mayhem in one of Wales’s most scenic
locations, as the Gŵyl CRIME CYMRU Festival goes live in Aberystwyth in 2023.
From Friday, April 21 to Sunday, April 23, fans of crime fiction from around the world will finally be able to join international bestselling crime authors at the Gŵyl CRIME CYMRU Festival, the first in-real-life gathering since it was launched online in 2021. Due to the Covid pandemic and social distancing restrictions, a second online event took place in 2022, featuring more than a dozen panels with more than 30 authors, over six crime fiction-filled evenings. More than 2000 crime fans clamoured to watch panels featuring some of the biggest names in international crime writing including Belinda Bauer, Mark Billingham, Ann Cleeves, MW Craven, Elly Griffiths, Mari Hannah, Vaseem Khan, Clare Mackintosh, Abir Mukherjee and Lilja Sigurdardottir, not forgetting our home- grown Welsh crime novelists from Crime Cymru.
The event covered everything from psychological thrillers, historical crime fiction, spy mysteries and forensic thrillers set in Wales or in far-flung locations such as India and the wilds of the USA, and the cities of Venice, London, Newcastle and Reykjavik.
And, as well as the usual chat about character, plot and inspiration, if you were lucky enough to be in the audience, a few secrets and insider knowledge were shared that you can only discover at Gŵyl CRIME CYMRU Fest, such as:
The complicated wonder of a palindromic crime novel.
How to choose your despot and be happy!
Vaseem Khan’s only book set in Wales.
Just what (or who) is hidden in one crime writer’s wardrobe.
Abir Mukherjee’s festival whisky of choice.
Not to mention the marvel of the band Hawkwind… (No, seriously, you are not to mention Hawkwind again, Philip Jones.)
Intrigued? You should be, since 2000 attendees have told us they had a great time. But if you missed out, never fear, because in 2023 you can meet your favourite authors in person and perhaps find a few new ones, at the three-day festival in Aberystwyth. The author events of the first live festival will be held at the Ceredigion Museum, a beautiful historic venue in the heart of town. The festival as a whole will include panels, expert conversations, author-led quizzes and other events in both Welsh and English across the town, including a gala evening with one of crime fiction’s international stars Clare Mackintosh, and Crime Cymru’s own Philip Gwynne Jones. If you can’t make it in person, you can still join in our ‘hybrid’ programme that will include more online panels for those who want the thrill of crime without leaving home.
A full schedule will be posted on the festival’s website soon, at www.gwylcrimecymrufestival.co.uk , where you can sign up for free online events and paid tickets to the live sessions. You can also sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date with the latest developments.
Shining a Spotlight on Welsh Fiction!
Why a Welsh crime festival and why now? Well, the Gŵyl CRIME CYMRU Festival is the brain-child of a cooperative of authors called Crime Cymru, who realised that, even with crime fiction being the biggest selling genre in Britain, and, despite more Welsh crime writers than ever, Wales has previously had no dedicated crime event of its own.
Nothing to rival the likes of Scotland’s hugely popular Bloody Scotland, Newcastle’s Noir festival or Bristol’s annual Crimefest.
With increasing interest in Wales being sparked by crime dramas like Hinterland/Y Gwyll, Keeping Faith/Un Bore Mercher, and Hidden/Craith there’s never been a better time to shine a spotlight on Welsh fiction and attract new fans.
Crime Cymru believes that Wales has something unique to offer the world of crime fiction and we are determined to change perceptions with our own international crime festival.
Who Are Crime Cymru?
Authors Alis Hawkins and Matt Johnson (both shortlisted for Crime Writers’ Association Dagger awards) and Rosie Claverton, established the Welsh crime writers’ collective, Crime Cymru in 2017, with three principal aims:
To support crime writers with a real and present relationship with Wales
To help in the development of new writing talent
To promote Wales, Welsh culture and Welsh crime writing in particular, to the wider world
From this came the seed of the idea to bring Wales its first crime festival and the hard work began.
‘It’s so exciting to be bringing Wales its first “‘live’” crime fiction festival and there’s going to be something for everyone,’ says Alis Hawkins, Crime Cymru’s founder member and chair of the festival organising group. ‘The success of our online festivals in 2021 and 2022 has shown there is a huge appetite for a festival like ours and its unique take on this popular genre. We’ve had online attendees from across the globe, including the USA, Italy, Australia, Iceland and many more international locations, as well as Welsh and UK crime fans who’ve said the festival has been fantastic fun. Now we want to bring as many fans as we can to the lovely town of Aberystwyth, working with the local authority and local businesses to provide something really unique and special. Watch this space to see who’s going to be heading the line-up soon.’
Website for the festival: https://gwylcrimecymrufestival.co.uk/
Website for the Crime Cymru writers’ collective: https://crime.cymru/
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