Tickets go on sale for one-day crime fiction event in Whitley Bay

The team behind Virtual Noir at the Bar, have released tickets for their first physical event for readers and writers – in Whitley Bay.

Playhouse Whitley Bay will be hosting Bay Tales Live, a one-day crime fiction festival.
Playhouse Whitley Bay will be hosting Bay Tales Live, a one-day crime fiction festival.

Bay Tales Live, a one-day crime fiction festival, will be held at Whitley Bay Playhouse on Saturday, February 12, 2022, and will feature some of the most successful crime writers in the UK, as well as introducing audience members to the rising stars of 2022.

Keen to host the biggest names in crime fiction alongside promising new writers, Victoria Watson and Simon Bewick have collaborated with publishers in the UK to put together a programme of six panels featuring award-winning authors like Louise Candlish and Vaseem Khan as well as successful local authors Ann Cleeves and Trevor Wood.

And, just like their Virtual Noir at the Bar shows, the pair have thrown a wildcard into the mix by inviting Dr Richard Shepherd, forensic pathologist and author of the Sunday Times bestseller Unnatural Causes, to speak at the event.

After bringing hundreds of authors and readers together during the pandemic, the team would like them to connect in their hometown which also happens to be the setting for ITV’s hit TV show, Vera.

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    Local writer Ann Cleeves, author of the Vera and Shetland series, said: “I can't wait to meet fellow readers and writers in Whitley Bay in February. I know it'll be a brilliant day.”

    Victoria Watson, Virtual Noir organiser, said: "This is an event for both readers and writers of crime fiction, with a little forensic pathology thrown in for good measure.

    "The events I’ve hosted in the past, whether online or in real life, have always given audience members to mingle with the featured writers.

    "Although Bay Tales Live will be in a more formal setting, there will be opportunities for people to meet the writers and get their books signed as well as to ask questions towards the end of each panel.”

    Simon Bewick, who edited the NHS charity fund raising crime fiction anthology featuring Virtual Noir at the Bar authors, Noir from the Bar, said: "We want to make this event truly affordable for everyone. At £30 for a full-day festival.”

    Tickets can be purchased from the Playhouse box office, The Bound bookshop in Whitley Bay or online (