Richard Osman and Val McDermid join star authors at 30th Crime Fiction Weekend in Oxford

The Crime Fiction Weekend at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, celebrates its 30th year in 2023 with an all-star line-up of bestselling authors from Friday to Sunday, August 11-13.  

TV presenter Richard Osman and best-selling Scottish crime writer Val McDermid, a former student at St Hilda’s, are among the guest speakers at the event. McDermid is best known for her Wire in the Blood series,

This year’s theme is ‘Celebrations: innocent parties, guilty pleasures’, and speakers will explore why dinner parties and other festivities are so often the setting for dark deeds in fiction.

Over the course of the weekend, attendees will enjoy a variety of talks and book signings from authors and experts including Winnie Li and Alex Wheatle.

Richard Osman
Richard Osman, author of The Thursday Murder Club, The Man Who Died Twice, The Bullet That Missed and The Last Devil to Die

Presenter and comedian turned bestselling crime writer Richard Osman, will be giving the after-dinner speech on Friday.

A Saturday night gala dinner will be followed by a specially written celebrity ‘whodunnit’ murder mystery featuring a cast of much-loved authors.

The weekend’s guest of honour is Robert Goddard, winner of the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger Award (2018) and one of Britain’s most highly respected crafters of intelligent, elegant crime novels. Author of the BBC2 hit, The Fine Art of Invisible Detection, Robert’s latest novel, The Fine Art of Uncanny Prediction, will be published in August.

Established in 1994 by the then Alumnae Officer, Eileen Roberts, and St Hilda’s alumna, writer Jean Buchanan (née Harker), St Hilda’s Crime Fiction Weekend is now one of the longest running crime fiction events in the UK.

Acclaimed novelist PD James appeared at the first ever Crime Fiction Weekend, and the Saturday night dinner is named in her honour. The Weekend has also benefitted from the longstanding support of iconic crime writer Val McDermid, an alumna and Honorary Fellow of St Hilda’s College.

One of the few events of its kind to take place both in person and online, the Weekend allows our international audience to participate from anywhere in the world.

Ticket options range from a Friday Night Special to a Full Weekend Package plus accommodation for a truly immersive experience.

In person attendees will enjoy the hospitality of St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and its idyllic riverside setting.

 ‘St Hilda’s is unique for its intimacy and the passionate conversations it provokes – that’s why I love it.’

Val McDermid

‘I love the calm of St Hilda’s and the courtesy.  This is a place where people listen to the writers and to the readers’ questions with attention and respect.’

Ann Cleeves, 2022 Guest of Honour

When: August 11-13th 2023

Where: St Hilda’s College, Cowley Pl, Oxford OX4 1DY and Online

Prices: £225 in person, £49 online

Where to book: You can book to attend in person or online on the St Hilda’s website.

Oxfordshire has long had an association with crime fiction writers, with famed novelist Agatha Christie living in Wallingford and buried in the local church.