In a UNESCO City of Literature that boasts innumerable festivals all year round, you might think that all bases had been covered, but with the increasing popularity of genre festivals, this is not strictly true. Crime writers have regularly appeared at the major Dublin literary festivals but crime writing has arguably been under-served thus far. All this is about to change with the advent of Murder One, a new three-day long weekend crime writing festival that will feature readings and interviews with Irish and international authors, panel events, walking tours, a speakers corner market-place with merchandise stalls and open mic opportunities, plus murder mystery events and forensics and writing workshops. Murder One will also be a broad church which will aim to accommodate the kindred genres of thrillers and spy fiction together with script writers of TV series and films.
Smock Alley, one of Dublin’s premier event venues, is booked for 2nd – 4th November and planning is well under way. The festival has been developed and will be curated by two of Ireland’s most experienced literary event programmers, Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin of Writing.ie and Bert Wright formerly of Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival and currently curator of The Dublin Festival of History. Working with Dublin City Libraries, which has 20 library branches and over half a million users, and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, the organizers aim to attract not just an avid local audience but also literary tourists from all over the world. The search for a commercial sponsor has begun with the model of the long-running and hugely successful Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate very much in mind.
With crime writing consistently the highest selling genre worldwide, the time is ripe for a great literary city to expand its festival portfolio and Murder One, it is hoped, will become one of the key events in the national and international crime festival calendar.
Bert Wright added “Not for nothing was Dublin chosen as one of the first UNESCO Cities of Literature. UK visitors always remark upon the enthusiasm and sophistication of Dublin audiences and this has been a festival waiting to happen. Irish crime writers are now rightly respected and admired the world over. England Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own crime festivals so it really was time for Dublin to step up to the plate. It’s all enormously exciting and we can’t wait to get stuck in.”
Vanessa O’Loughlin said:
“As a crime writer who has taken part in, as well as curating many crime writing events, I’m constantly delighted by the passion and enthusiasm of Irish crime fans and I’m confident that they will welcome this new landmark festival in Dublin. In addition to my fellow Irish writers, we aim to pull in some major international names to make our first year a memorable one. In 2017, the top three bestselling books were thrillers and we will be bringing together the elements that make that happen to thrill festival goers whether they enjoy cosy whodunits or Cold War spy dramas. Check out murderone.ie or follow @MurderOneFest to see the plot unfold.”
Alison Lyons, Director of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature added: “Crime novels are enjoyed by a wider variety of readers than possibly any other genre, and are consistently among the most popular titles borrowed in libraries, so we have no doubt that there is a huge appetite for Murder One. We look forward to being a part of the festival and bringing readers and authors together, especially our widely celebrated and internationally renowned Irish writers of crime fiction.”
Smock Alley Theatre, Temple Bar, Dublin 8
Thursday November 2nd – 4th 2018