Specsavers has renewed its title sponsorship of CrimeFest in Bristol through 2025.
The convention has grown to be one of the biggest crime fiction conventions in Europe, with a loyal and dedicated fan base.
The CrimeFest brand and website is undergoing a refresh as 2023 marks its 15th anniversary since it was founded.
Adrian Muller, co-founder and organiser, said: “CrimeFest is going from strength-to-strength. We pride ourselves as being the UK’s friendliest and most accessible crime writing events. There’s an inclusive energy at CrimeFest. Bristol is known for its vibrant, creative and independent spirit, and CrimeFest offers an exciting opportunity for writers and readers alike to meet and mingle.”
CrimeFest is known for its egalitarian and inclusive approach, as it is one of the few events in the UK that is open to all commercially published authors.
Last year after two fallow years with Covid, it welcomed more than 400 delegates to 50 author panel events across four days.
Bristol-born Dame Mary Perkins DBE co-founded Specsavers and is an avid reader. Dame Mary, who attended in 2022, praised CrimeFest for its sense of ‘family’. The brand supports new writers with the CrimeFest Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award, with a £1,000 prize. The annual CrimeFest awards honour the best crime books released in the UK that year.
2023 also sees the return of the CrimeFest bursary for a crime fiction author of colour. The bursary will cover the cost of a full Weekend Pass to the convention and a night’s accommodation at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, and a guaranteed panel appearance. The winning author is chosen by a panel including author Vaseem Khan, crime blogger and critic Ayo Onatade, and CrimeFest organisers. 2022’s winner was Saima Mir for her debut novel, The Khan.CrimeFest also organises outreach events for children and young adults in local schools, and
offer discounts for librarians, students, and delegates who are on benefits or disabled.
CrimeFest was created following the hugely successful one-off visit to Bristol in 2006 of the American Left Coast Crime convention. It was established in 2008. It follows the egalitarian format of most US conventions, making it open to all commercially published authors and readers alike.
Hosted at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel from 11-14 May 2023, headline authors will be announced in the New Year.