The Crime Writers’ Association

Crime Comes to Hastings

As part of the first (ever!) Hastings Literary Festival we’re looking into the world of crime fiction. Sophie Hannah, whose authorized re-imagined Agatha Christie tales sit neatly alongside her own crime novels, will be discussing the joys and challenges of her work in the footsteps of one of the genre’s early greats at the Opus Theatre on Saturday 1 September. On Sunday 2 September Born Bad Marnie Riches and crime-fighter turned crime-writer David Videcette join known associates Chris Curran and Sheila Bugler for a panel hosted by the Guardian’s Crime Fiction reviewer Laura Wilson, who will be taking a close look at their motivation and modus operandi. Then join that paragon of forensic investigation Sam Ryan of Silent Witness (the not-at-all grim-faced Amanda Burton) as she announces who’s done it in our Hastings LitFest/Crooked Cat Crime Novel competition and got away with the trophy and a publishing contract.


For writers wanting to delve further into the Festival, we have some of the UK’s best-known and best-selling writers, performers and poets. The exciting line-up includes novelists Patrick Gale, Simon Mawer, Alison Moore, Michael Arditti, Mavis Cheek and Maggie Alderson. Rianna Walcott (The Colour of Madness), Rachel Malik, and poets John McCullough and Jackie Wills join authors of books for children and young adults Kate O’Hearn and Kevin Brooks, and many others.


The Festival’s patron is St Leonards-born playwright, screenwriter and director Sir David Hare, who will be introducing a special showing of Oscar-winning film The Hours, for which he wrote the screenplay. His friend and professional collaborator the actor Julian Sands will be delivering a world premiere reading of some of Sir David’s unpublished poetry at the Festival opening on Friday 31 August.


In all, the Festival offers a range of over 30 events including writing workshops, author talks, films, plays, and performances by renowned chamber ensemble The London Mozart Players and comedy theatre company The Pantaloons.


Other events during the three-day festival include a poetry evening, activities for children, and a book fair.


The Festival is the creation of two local authors, Sam Davey and CWA member Marcia Woolf. Around 60 LitFest Volunteers will also be out and about during the Festival and easily spotted in their orange T-shirts bearing a logo designed by local illustrator Rowena O’Reilly, who also created the Festival’s eye-catching poster.


Hastings LitFest runs from Friday, 31 August to Sunday, 2 September.

Find out more and book tickets at (or on the door subject to availability).

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