Official Visitor Website

HEAD EAST – Behind the scenes, crime writing with Henry Sutton

Noirwich is the annual crime writing festival which has run for over eight years. Noirwich director, Henry Sutton shares his insights and observations into this year’s festival.


I am Henry Sutton, Director of the Norwich Crime Writing Festival, which has been running for eight years. I am the Director of UEA’s Creative Writing MA in Crime Fiction, where I am a Professor of Crime Fiction and Creative Writing. I have also published 15 novels! Prior to working at UEA I was an arts journalist and critic, and guest curator for a number of literary festivals. That’s me below!



Working in such a popular medium as crime writing, while also working within the academy, and in the public events environment, has allowed me the great privilege of working with new writers and experienced writers, and audiences large and small. One of the key things to know about crime writing and crime fiction especially, is that it’s most commonly premised on entertainment, and pleasing readers. Crime writers are engaging and fun people. Crime writing festivals are renowned for being warm and inviting, inclusive and inspiring.

Because crime writers work quickly, and are usually very productive, their work is highly contemporary and pertinent. Crime writing is significant in the way it can capture the moment. Crime writers have a habit of uncovering dark truths, and putting a spotlight on societies’ ills, while also suggesting resolutions and ways forward. Not all crime writing is comfortable, but it’s usually thrilling and revealing.



This year’s Noirwich Lecture – the festival’s headline event – will be delivered by Yelena Moskovich, the Ukrainian-born American and French artist. They will be discussing the idea that all Russian novels are crime novels, while exploring the post-Soviet diaspora.



UEA alumnus and former frontman of legendary local indie band The Higsons, and creator and star of the comedy series The Fast Show, Charlie Higson, returns to Norwich, and Noirwich, to discuss his latest novel, Whatever Gets You Through the Night, his first adult crime novel for 25 years. Needless to say, Charlie is a consummate entertainer.

Also appearing live are two of the brightest new voices in crime fiction: Emma Bamford and Emma Styles. Their international debuts are sending shockwaves around the world.



Further treats include Vaseem Khan and Janice Hallett exploring new ways forward for the so-called ‘cosy’ crime novel, and Scarlett Brade and Bella Mackie on the latest twists in the revenge thriller.

The crime writing community has established a vibrant, welcoming, and important home in Norwich and at UEA. Please join us.

To find out more click here
For tickets and all information:



This is a Behind the Scenes profile for HEAD EAST



For more cultural events in Norfolk and Suffolk, visit Head East regional culture tourism campaign blogs and more:

To stay in touch and get up to date information on what’s happening in Norfolk and Suffolk – follow Head East on social media:


@HeadEast.UK on Instagram

@HeadEast.UK on Facebook

@HeadEast_UK on Twitter

@Head East UK on YouTube