• Suzy Aspley

Noir at the Bar

Updated: Jun 8

In late 2018, me and my friend Tricia trooped along to Edinburgh’s Canongate Bar to hear crime writers reading extracts from their work during the Edinburgh Noir at the Bar event. I was full of admiration for the writers willing to put themselves on the stand and particularly noticed how supportive the crowd were in the bar.


It was more than just the booze though, host Jacky Collins has a way about her that puts you at ease and she asked if she could add me to a future schedule as a rookie writer. It was probably the wine, but I agreed to take part in three months time. That was ages away, right? Well it came around quicker than I imagined and on a cold winter’s night in Scotland’s capital city, I nervously stood at the mike and was introduced by Dr Noir.

I’d always avoided public speaking of any description, and had spent several nights worrying about the reading. Keeping my eyes fixed on the paper copy of my work, and glancing up to see the beaming smile of Tricia, I read for the first time in public. It was her turn next and I was super proud of my mate who is fab in every way.

And you know what? Despite all my fears about tumble weed and audience heckling, I got nothing but applause and warmth from the lovely crime writing community. I’ve taken part a few times since and more recently online at Virtual Noir at the Bar events hosted by Jacky and the lovely Kelly Lacey from Honey&Stag events, and the weekly VNATB events which are hosted from Newcastle by the effervescent Vic Watson and writer/techno whizz Simon Bewick.

A great night whether you’re a writer or a reader in a bar, or tuning in online.





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