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Arts / McDermid among headline guests for noir festival

Val McDermid.

VAL McDermid has been confirmed as one of the headliners of next summer’s Shetland Noir event.

Elly Griffiths and Martin Edwards have also been announced for the crime writing festival, which is being held in Shetland in June.

A further three headline guests are still be announced.

Elly Griffiths.

The Shetland Arts event is being curated by Jimmy Perez creator Ann Cleeves and local mystery author Marsali Taylor.

Dubbed the ‘Queen of Crime’, McDermid has sold over 17 million books to date across the globe and is translated into more than 40 languages. 

She is perhaps best-known for her Wire in the Blood series, featuring clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan.

Griffiths, who won the 2020 Edgar Allan Poe award for her novel The Stranger Diaries, is the author of best-selling detective series featuring Ruth Galloway.

Meanwhile qualified solicitor Martin was the longest-serving chair of the Crime Writers’ Association.

Martin Edwards.

When he won the highest Diamond Dagger award from association in 2020 for a lifetime contribution to crime writing, Ian Rankin said Edwards is “not only a fine writer but he is also ridiculously knowledgeable about the field of crime and suspense fiction”.

Cleeves and Shetland Noir will also be offering a bursary to enable a published crime writer, who would otherwise struggle to get to the islands, the opportunity to participate in the literature festival.

The festival is calling for submissions from editors.

Cleeves said: “Debut authors often get a share of the limelight, so this is aimed at a writer who is already getting into their stride, working at their craft and improving with every novel.”

The bursary will cover travel and accommodation, and the author would be interviewed by one of the headliners in front of a crowd.

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Short pitches can be sent to, explaining how the author would benefit from the experience of appearing in Shetland and why they should have this unique opportunity.

A limited number of early bird noir cards (£70) are on sale now, full price tickets/passes will be on sale from 1 January.

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