Iceland Noir


Turning First Drafts Into Finished Novels

Thursday the 17th of November – 17:00-1900

A workshop for all abilities, from absolute beginners to more experienced writers. Using practical exercises, the workshop will explain how to test and improve your plot, how to make sure your characters are working together to push your stories forward, how scenes work to develop the story and and deliver drama and tension (and ways to approach improving them) and how to hit the ground running with an intriguing opening scene.

The workshop will be led by William Ryan, author of The Constant Soldier and the Captain Korolev novels. WIlliam lectures on creative writing at City University and his novels have been shortlisted for The Irish Crime Novel of the Year (3 times), The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, The Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, A Barry Award in the US and the CWA Historical and New Blood Daggers. He is also the author, with MR Hall, of Writing Crime Fiction: An Introduction.

The workshop will be taught in English. Please note that while the workshop is free a limited number of spaces is available and participants are required to register by sending an email to

Almost there

Don't be fooled by the silence... We've been hard at work.

The finishing touches to the schedule for Iceland Noir are being applied, and we're working on the Sunday trip to the wilderness, as well as the possibility of a trip to Siglufjörður.

So watch this space...


We're back from Shetland Noir, the outstanding crime fiction festival in Lerwick organised by Shetland Arts who borrowed out November slot and absolutely did us proud, despite the best efforts of Storm Abigail to derail it.

Now that Shetland Noir is behind us, plans are being made for Iceland Noir 2016 – and beyond... but more on that later.

Many thanks to Donald Anderson, Misa Hay, Marsali Taylor, the mighty Ann Cleeves and everyone who gave us such an unforgettable weekend in Lerwick. And now, it's back to making plans for 2016, so watch this space.

Crimefest 2015

One of the highlights of the year for the criminally inclined is almost here. Crimefest taken place in the lovely city of Bristol next month, 14th-17th May, and this year’s line-up is one of the finest so far.

The full programme for this year’s festival is here:, but here are a few highlights...

THURSDAY 14 MAY, 15:50 - 16:40 Nordic Noir Panel: Crime At The Borders Of The Arctic Taking part are Clare Carson, Kati Hiekkapelto, Craig Robertson and Gunnar Staalesen, with participating moderator Quentin Bates.

17.00 - 17.50 Subgenres - Why Do You Write What You Write? Taking part are Jørn Lier Horst, Emma Kavanagh, Helen Smith and Simon Toyne with participating moderator Ruth Dudley Edwards.

FRIDAY, 15 MAY, 09:00 - 09:50 Debut Authors: An Infusion Of Fresh Blood Taking part are Clare Carson, Oscar de Muriel, Kate Hamer, Kati Hiekkapelto and Ragnar Jónasson, with Jake Kerridge in charge.

10:10 - 11:00 Identity And Viewpoint: Writing ‘The Other’ Taking part are Quentin Bates, Kate Ellis, M.R. Hall and Aly Monroe with participating moderator Alison Joseph.

11:20 - 12:10 Detective Duos With Ruth Dudley Edwards, Hans Olav Lahlum, Luca Veste and Emily Winslow with participating moderator Caro Ramsay.

14:50 - 15:40 How Realistic Is Crime Fiction? Taking part are Andrew Pepper, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Kevin Wignall and Emily Winslow with participating moderator Steve Mosby.

17:10 - 18:00 The Euro Noir panel is moderated by Professor Barry Førshaw, with Roberto Costantini, Jørn Lier Horst, Michael Ridpath and Gunnar Staalesen taking part.

SATURDAY, 16 MAY, 11:20 - 12:10 Mean Streets And Small Towns: Crime In City Or Countryside Taking part are Paul Finch, S.J.I. Holliday, Ragnar Jónasson and Jake Woodhouse with participating moderator Craig Robertson.

11:20 - 12:10 Thrillers: Brains Or Brawn, Who Kicks Best Ass. The hard cases taking part are Lee Child, Chris Ewan, Zoë Sharp and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, with participating moderator Tom Harper.

12:30 - 13:20 In Living Memory: Writing About The Recent Past features Jessie Keane, Hans Olav Lahlum, Peter Murphy and William Shaw with participating moderator Laura Wilson.

The undoubted highlight for many of us, especially those with a particular liking for anything Nordic will be between14:50 - 15:40 on Saturday when featured guest author Maj Sjöwall takes the stage, interviewed by Lee Child.

See you all in Bristol… It’s going to be a great few days, packed with crime,

Last year some of us went to Newcastle Noir, a one-day crime fiction event held at Newcastle’s legendary Lit & Phil, a wonderful library crammed full of books. Yes, books. Not the acres of industrial grey carpet scattered with occasional bookcases that so many libraries have become, but loaded to the gunwales with books, and not a PC in sight. But I digress…

Last year’s event was great. It was small, it was intimate and it went down well.

So this year, Jacky Collins, Mari Hannah and their cohorts have come up with something bigger and better, with a stellar line-up of crime writers. This year it’s two days, the 2nd and 3rd of May, and it looks like a weekend to remember.