BAD is back, undaunted and badder than ever. At last we can enjoy four face-to-face days of BAD Crime Writers Festival events at the State Library of New South Wales from 2-5 December. We present our trademark blend of crime fiction, true crime and social justice panels and interviews. This year, we’re adding evening events on Thursday 2, Friday 3 and Saturday 4, as well as crime walks and our inaugural champagne and cozy crime afternoon tea.
Hear some of the biggest names in crime fiction, true crime and social justice advocacy like Jane Harper, Michael Robotham, Garry Disher, Chris Hammer, Meshel Laurie, Mark Dapin, Duncan McNab, Xanthé Mallett. Bryan Brown, Melissa Lucashenko, Robert Drewe, Richard Glover, Tony Birch, Larissa Behrendt and Stan Grant and many more will all be talking crime as well. Find out about the best new crime fiction and explore the big themes of the year.
Be there for the Danger Prize awards on Saturday night, and try out a wine which Stalin may have enjoyed.
To close the festival, have a laugh when dog lover Richard Glover adjudicates the not entirely serious Great Debate ‘To kill the dog or not…that is the question’ about the boundaries that crime writers dare not cross.
Browse the four days of the Festival below to find out about all our sessions and make your bookings. Anyone purchasing in-person tickets for four events in one day will receive a special gift book voucher to use at the State Library bookshop during the Festival.
We want to see you at the Library but if you can’t join us, all our sessions are streamed live so you can attend via Zoom.
There are still Covid-safe limitations on numbers of people attending indoor events in the Library. We hope these will be lifted but that may not happen so book now.
NOTE: The State Library of NSW and BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival will be strictly complying with the most up-to-date rules from the NSW Government in relation to contact tracing, vaccinations, masks and physical distancing at the time of the festival. Please check the State Library’s Special Conditions of Entry leading up to the festival to ensure you will be able to attend and comply with the rules. These are updated as Government requirements change.
SYDNEY: THE PERFECT SETTING FOR CRIME FICTION?What makes Sydney such a good setting for stories of crime and corruption? Three writers talk about why Sydney and crime go together so well.
|Richard Beasley QC, Chris Hammer|
Facilitator: Michael Duffy
|10.30 – 11.30||Dixson Room and live-streamed on Zoom.|
THE BRUTAL COST OF SEEKING JUSTICELouise Milligan and Kathryn Heyman discuss the experience of being a witness in the Australian legal system and in particular the treatment or mistreatment of witnesses in sexual assault cases and the resulting trauma with former barrister Nicole Abadee. Louise Milligan will be joining by Zoom.
|Kathryn Heyman, Louise Milligan|
Facilitator: Nicole Abadee
|10.30 – 11.30||Metcalfe Auditorium and live-streamed on Zoom|
THE HOUSEMATEIn this new standalone thriller from award-winner Sarah Bailey, investigative journalist Olive Grove risks everything when she revisits an old case which obsessed her. No spoilers we promise!
Facilitator: Sue Turnbull
|12.00 – 1.00||Dixson Room and live-streamed on Zoom|
AUSTRALIA AS A CRIME SCENEHas the whole of Australia become a crime scene since colonisation? Where do we start to look? Four First Nations speakers give us a new perspective. Melissa Lucashenko will be joining by Zoom.
|Melissa Lucashenko, Kodie Bedford, Julie Janson|
Facilitator: Daniel Browning
|12.00 – 1.00||Metcalfe Auditorium and live-streamed on Zoom|
The Way it is NowGarry Disher, the celebrated winner of the 2021 Ned Kelly Award has a new book with a new detective, Charlie Deravin. Charlie’s on disciplinary leave from the police sex crimes unit when the skeletal remains of two people are found and the past comes back with a vengeance. Celebrated novelist Tony Birch is a Disher fan and will be talking to Garry about his new book and much more.
Facilitator: Sue Turnbull
|2.00 – 3.00||Dixson Room and live-streamed on Zoom|
After StoryIndigenous lawyer Jasmine and her mother, Della are on a tour of England’s most revered literary sites. When a child vanishes on Hampstead Heath, the disappearance of Jasmine’s older sister twenty-five years earlier returns to haunt them both. Underlying their stories is the colonised history of Australia and its silent crimes. Lawyer, novelist and film maker Larissa Behrendt discusses this engrossing and moving book with Meg Keneally, who is herself a historical novelist.
Facilitator: Meg Keneally
|2.00 – 3.00||Metcalfe Auditorium and live-streamed on Zoom|
CRIME RATES ARE DOWN SO WHY ARE PRISONS FULL?In the last 20 years, rates of common forms of crime have fallen between 40 and 80 percent. Why? And in that case why are our prisons still full? Explore this with Don Weatherburn, author of The Vanishing Criminal and Nick Cowdery QC, former Director of Public Prosecutions in NSW.
Facilitator: Nicholas Cowdery QC
|3.30 – 4.30||Dixson Room and live-streamed on Zoom|
THE FRENCHMAN: SPIES AND TREACHERYFrom the personal experience of a former French intelligence operative comes this gripping, all-too-plausible spy story. Thankfully it’s fiction but the tradecraft of Jack Beaumont’s former life makes for a frightening read. He speaks to fellow thriller writer, journalist Tim Ayliffe.
Facilitator: Tim Ayliffe
|3.30 – 4.30||Metcalfe Auditorium and live-streamed on Zoom|
Festival Opening Night: Jane Harper – A life in Crime with Caroline OveringtonHear internationally renowned crime writer and household name Jane Harper in conversation about her career in crime and the filming of The Dry from her best-selling novel with Caroline Overington, Literary editor of The Australian. Jane joins us via Zoom from her home in Melbourne.
Facilitator: Caroline Overington
|5.30 – 6.30||Metcalfe Auditorium, State Library of NSW|
Who killed Constable Joseph Luker – A walking tourConstable Joseph Luker was murdered in 1903, the first officer of the law to be killed in the line of duty in Australia. Rachel Franks retraces the last steps of Luker: the convict-turned-constable. See if you can work out whodunit in this crime case of colonial Sydney that is still listed as being unsolved.
|Rachel Franks||11.45 – 12.30||The tour will begin in the Library's Macquarie Wing Foyer, near the bookshop|