National Crime Reading Month Returns

This June, readers are being encouraged to #PickUpAPageTurner and delve into the nation’s favourite genre: crime fiction – and feel better about life. National Crime Reading Month (NCRM) is a…

This June, readers are being encouraged to #PickUpAPageTurner and delve into the nation’s favourite genre: crime fiction – and feel better about life.

National Crime Reading Month (NCRM) is a month-long festival of reading hosted by the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) in partnership with the national charity, The Reading Agency.

Research from The Reading Agency, the national charity who work across the UK to empower people of all ages to read, shows that just 30 minutes of reading a week helps adults to report greater life satisfaction.

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency said: “Through our adult reading work, we know how important crime writing is both for lifelong reading lovers and for those who are just starting out on their reading journey. We’re delighted to be taking part in NCRM once more this year and help new readers discover great reads.”

Karen added: “Research shows that readers of crime fiction report that the strong narratives and structured plots are engaging and comforting, with the distance from events helping give the reader a sense of refuge from the world. So, reading crime fiction can actually be good for your wellbeing.”

Throughout June, a host of author events will take place across the UK. NCRM is designed to celebrate the UK’s most popular genre and get the nation reading. Last year saw 150 author events.

National Crime Reading Month (NCRM) will launch at the crime writing festival, Capital Crime in London on 1 June at 6.30pm with the NCRM Reading Ambassador, book blogger, Stu Cummins, who will interview authors CL Taylor and TM Logan.

Jess Faraday, Communications Manager at the CWA, said: “There are author talks up and down the country in local libraries, or online. It’s a truly gateway genre as the most popular genre in the UK, and our ambition is to inspire everyone to pick up a page turner this June.”

A highlight for the month is from Cambridge University Library with a brand-new exhibition, Murder by the Book, celebrating 20th century British crime fiction, curated by the award-winning novelist, Nicola Upson. Supported by Arts Council England, the exhibition features rare books, and audio-visual recordings exploring the genre from its origins, with Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens to contemporary bestsellers, such as Val McDermid and Ian Rankin.

There will also be a series of free online events, accessible to all.

On 4 June an online panel discussion, Murderous Inspirations, Crime Novels that Inspire Crime Writers, features writers Fiona Veitch Smith, Abir Mukherjee and Nadine Matheson, who will discuss seminal crime novels, chaired by crime critic and broadcaster Barry Forshaw.

There are also live author events in libraries across the country, such as a session on Reading Crime Fiction at Evesham Library with local authors, Linda Mather, and Jacqui Rogers.

Ruislip Manor Library present an Evening with Will Dean; the bestselling author will be visiting from his home in Sweden to talk about his latest novel, The Chamber.

Wirral libraries also bring a series of author talks, including CWA Diamond Dagger winner, Martin Edwards, who was described by Richard Osman as a ‘true master of British crime writing.’

In the South-west, readers can meet two electrifying crime authors, Sarah Hilary and Jane Casey, who will give a talk on their creative process at Lydney Library in Gloucestershire.

On 13 June, Waterstones Piccadilly will celebrate NCRM with an event featuring psychological thriller authors Andrea Mara and Kia Abdullah, hosted by blogger Stu Cummings.

Cambridge University Libraries will also host their online ‘Really Popular Book Club’ with a free online event on 18 June.

In Scotland, Blackwell’s of Edinburgh will host a book launch of Dead Man Driving by Lesley Kelly on 19 June.

And on the 20 June in the North-west, Leigh Library hosts a panel featuring authors Caroline England, Paul Finch, Antony Johnston, and Norman Wells, with a fish and chip supper included in the ticket price.

Historical crime author Lindsey Davis, who has written more than 30 novels, will be offering Coffee and Crime, with a talk about her latest novel, Murder on the Tiber, at Manor Farm Library in Ruislip on 21 June.

Readers are asked to keep an eye on the website as new events are added throughout the month.

National Crime Reading Month also features the Essex Book Festival’s Criminally Good Day Out on 29 June, with multiple author talks, including the bestselling Nicci French, and a film screening at Electric Palace.

For a full programme of events for National Crime Reading Month, go to and follow the conversation online #PickUpAPageTurner @The_CWA


Notes to Editors

About the CWA

The CWA was founded in 1953 by John Creasey. Its aim is to support, promote and celebrate this most durable, adaptable and successful of genres and the authors who write within it. It runs the prestigious CWA Dagger Awards, which celebrate the best in crime writing.

A thriving, growing community with a membership encompassing authors of all ages and at all stages of their careers, the CWA is UK-based, yet attracts many members from overseas.

It supports author members (plus literary agents, publishers, bloggers and editors) with a monthly magazine; a digital monthly newsletter from sister company the Crime Readers’ Association showcasing CWA authors and their books and events that goes to around 12,000 subscribers; and Case Files, a bimonthly ezine highlighting new books by CWA members.

The CWA also supports the Debuts; as yet unpublished writers, many of whom enter the Debut Dagger competition and the Margery Allingham Short Mystery competition.

The CWA run an annual conference and hold chapter meetings throughout the UK so members can access face-to-face networking and socialising.

It supports libraries and booksellers, with three Library Champions and a Booksellers Champion. It has links with various festivals and many other writers’ organisations such as the Society of Authors.

The CWA runs National Crime Reading Month in June: