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CHILTERN KILLS: Crowds swarm to Gerrards Cross for inaugural crime writing festival

 Published on: 9th October 2023   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

The inaugural Chiltern Kills crime writing festival took place in Gerrards Cross earlier this weekend.

The festival saw more than 70 of the UK’s top crime authors gather at the Gerrards Cross Community Association on Saturday, October 7.

Nearly 12 hours of panels ensued, with topics ranging from domestic noir, the art of the antihero, espionage, series vs standalone, and true crime.

One of the key attractions was the living legend of crime writing, Frederick Forsyth.

Forsyth burst onto the scene in 1971 with his debut novel, The Day of the Jackal, which is widely regarded as one of the best crime books ever written, and he went on to pen a further 26 much-loved thrillers.

The acclaimed author and former RAF pilot sat down with BBC Radio 2’s Phil Williams to discuss his works and his life, a tale which is as compelling as his novels.

Tickets to the event cost £40, with all proceeds going to Centrepoint charity, which provides accommodation and support to homeless people aged 16 to 25.

Chiltern Kills co-founders Denise Beddows, Tony Kent and Paul Waters said: “It is truly amazing to look around today and see what grew from the original idea of maybe putting on two or three panels on a Saturday afternoon. To go from that acorn to this oak is beyond anything we could have imagined a year ago, and for that we have so many people and organisations to thank. Our amazing authors, every one of whom has waived their fees and their expenses and is appearing here today out of their own pocket. Our incredible sponsors, without whom not a single part of this event could have ever taken place. And our priceless Executive Committee, who have taken our random set of ideas and made them real.”

Centrepoint’s director of people, property and independent living, Sally Orlopp, said: “Over 50 years ago, Centrepoint was founded against a backdrop of dire circumstances, characterised by injuries, unemployment, evictions, and the prevalence of squats and shelters.”

Explaining how the money raised from the event will support Centrepoint’s mission, Sally added: “Independent living is a step change in how we help young people on their journey through life. We will transform the lives of thousands of young people who need a helping hand to take the important but challenging first step to full independence, by providing them a home to call their own.

“We need to thank everyone here today for the continued support to change the story for homeless young people: to help every young person we work with into their new story and future.”


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