Thursday, October 02, 2014

New Crime Fiction Festival Will Launch in Vancouver

In Canadian book-publishing circles, Alma Lee’s name is synonymous with successful book-related events. This is because back in 1988, Lee was one of the first out of the box with what has become an international phenomena: the literary festival.

Lee stepped down as creative director of the internationally renowned Vancouver International Writers Festival in 2005, in part for health reasons. Since then, she’s had a liver transplant followed by a successful recovery. Where some might take the opportunity to grab a deep breath, Lee has launched herself at yet another project that shows every sign of being world class and internationally recognized: CUFFED, the Vancouver International Crime Fiction Festival. The first CUFFED will take place March 11-13, 2016, on Lee’s old stomping grounds, Vancouver’s Granville Island. “I know it seems far away,” Lee says about the dates, “but believe me from starting something like this from scratch, I know how long it takes.”

And Lee and company aren’t messing around: starting from the beginning with  a stellar venue, strong support from the publishing community and writers including Linwood Barclay, Ian Rankin, Quintin Jardine and others.

Though some will feel the shift from running a literary festival to one focused on crime fiction is an intense about-face, Lee doesn’t think so. “The more I talk to people and friends about reading, the more I found out that people are really keen on crime fiction, so I don’t think we will have difficulty in finding an audience.”

Beyond building a potential audience, Lee herself loves the genre and has always been a strong supporter. “Many people think [crime fiction is] a “guilty pleasure.” Not me. I am an eclectic reader, but crime fiction is a pleasure, not one I feel guilty about. I think some of the best writers are writing in the genre.”

You can read more about CUFFED on its Web site. Feel like supporting the festival’s growth? A crowd-funding campaign has been set up here.


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