What I Learned from #TOPcrime2012

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, the returning writers are welcomed warmly by the folks of Harrogate (Perhaps more warmly: swallows don’t carry credit cards).

 After the panels are done, the bar takes in more in an hour than they do during the entire day of a wedding (Writing is thirsty work).

 There is a big hill in Harrogate but most of the good things are at the bottom of it (Gravity is your friend).

 You can eat yourself into a food coma at many restaurants in Harrogate (Luigi treats you right).

 Zoe Sharp dresses too chic to be a writer (Odds favour ‘future Bond villain’ at present).

 Never kid Allan Guthrie about the Rangers (No #jellyandicecream)


Sarah Pinborough is up to something (No one is quite certain what, but looks on in anticipation).

The Travelodge sits over a night club (Bring earplugs).

The Crown has paper thin walls (bring earplugs or a stenographer if you’re next to a public figure).

The Hale Bar, oldest pub in Harrogate, has an old Remington typewriter (if you get really desperate when the laptop crashes).

The Wetherspoons pub has free WiFi (if you get really desperate for sober conversation).

If you wear a hat, everyone is going to want to try it on (Inevitable).

Getting through the scrum around the bar on Saturday night requires the skills of a good rugby player (Bring a couple with you next time; they can also carry your luggage after you’ve been through the book room).

People seldom look like their twitter avatars (Which does not help you find them in a dark and crowded bar).

If you do not go, you will envy those who did (Just go).

~ K. A. Laity


Crime Fiction Conference

by K. A. Laity

Need an excuse to travel? This fall you could travel to Poland with the grand excuse of attending the Crime Fiction Conference in Gdansk. Time is short to get your abstracts in if you want to participate. Here’s the details —

Crime Fiction, here and now, now and then
International Postgraduate Conference at University of Gdansk, Poland
9-10 November 2012

The aim of the conference is to discuss crime fiction across national borders, across time periods, across languages, across genres and across boundaries between the literature and the other arts (film, theatre, graphic novel etc.) We invite papers which deal with one or more of the following points (the list is by no means exhaustive), in any given literature and country, or in international

– Comparative study of crime fiction
– Detectives now and then
– Genres, systems, conventions
– National, regional or local contexts (e.g. Scottish, Scandinavian, American; Edinburgh, Breslau, LA)
– Crime fiction and the reader
– Dubious villain – why do we like villains?
– Crime and gender
– Crime and identity

Please send your abstract (max. 250 words) to crimeconference2012@gmail.com before 30th of June, 2012. We welcome proposals from postgraduate students as well as from established scholars.

The conference will be held in English. Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes of presentation time.
Selected papers will be published in a post-conference volume.

Conference fee is:
100 PLN (for participants from Poland)
25 EURO (for participants from outside Poland)

The fee will cover conference materials, refreshments and a conference get-together. Please note it does not include accommodation.

Conference organisers:
Agnieszka Sienkiewicz-Charlish, M.A. agsien AT gmail.com
Urszula Elias, M.A. urszula.elias AT wp.pl

Academic advisor: Prof. dr hab. David Malcolm

*UPDATE: Friend of the blog, Paul D. Brazill, will be a special guest at the conference. So, now you have to go!