A Message from CrimeFest

The CrimeFest organisers wish to apologise wholeheartedly for comments that were made during  CrimeFest which caused hurt and discomfort to attendees. We pride ourselves on our inclusivity and desire for equality and diversity, both as individuals and within the crime fiction genre. Two years ago we introduced our bursary for crime fiction writers of colour, as well as offering discounted tickets for those on low incomes to encourage and support diversity and inclusivity at our event. In addition, our sign-up forms for next year’s convention include a new field for attendees to register their preferred pronouns should they wish to do so. We are always looking to improve the ways in which we can put on a friendly and welcoming event where everyone feels comfortable. We want to create a space and a forum where people can come together and discuss crime fiction in all its forms in a way which is supportive, encouraging, honest and respectful and we hope that the panels we programmed enabled these discussions to take place. We are, of course, not able to – nor would we want to – curtail the freedom of speech of anyone who comes to CrimeFest but, while we are not responsible for the words of individuals who are speaking, we acknowledge that this happened at our event and that people were upset and felt uncomfortable. We would encourage those who were affected to contact us and express their feelings, to allow us to reflect on how we can try and make things better. We can assure you that we take this very much to heart and feel deeply sorry and disappointed that something that has taken place at CrimeFest has caused offence and hurt to people in our beloved crime fiction community. If people do not feel comfortable emailing us directly, then we will be issuing our usual anonymous survey in the next few weeks and welcome all comments and suggestions as to how we can improve.