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New chapter begins for the Granite Noir crime writing festival

granite noir
Catriona Cox has joined Aberdeen Performing Arts as Granite Noir's programme associate.

Aberdeen Performing Arts has appointed a new programme associate to join the team responsible for producing Aberdeen’s international crime writing festival Granite Noir.

Catriona Cox will join Aberdeen Performing Arts as the new Granite Noir programmer with an extensive background in publishing and festivals.

Catriona said she was “beyond thrilled” to be part of Granite Noir which was first staged in 2017 and has grown a worldwide following over the last few years.

She stated: “Having seen the festival grow over its first five years I am excited to be on board to continue the journey. I look forward to exploring diverse ideas, working with new and established partners, and inspiring a love of reading across our local and international audiences.”

Aberdeen Performing Arts ‘delighted’ Catriona is joining Granite Noir

Having completed a Masters and undertaken PhD research in publishing studies at the University of Stirling, Catriona has held a number of diverse positions with literature-focused organisations such as the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Saltire Society, Bloody Scotland, Hidden Door Festival, Creative Edinburgh and Books From Scotland.

granite noir
Jane Spiers, chief executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts is looking forward to the 2022 festival.

Aberdeen Performing Arts chief executive Jane Spiers said: “We are delighted Catriona is joining the Granite Noir team and we know she will be a fantastic asset to the festival.

“Her experience in publishing and range of contacts offer exciting avenues for us to explore and we look forward to seeing her ideas in action. We take a great deal of pride in Granite Noir and, with Catriona working with us, are excited to see what the future holds.”

Granite Noir attracts worldwide authors and audiences

Granite Noir attracts authors and audiences from all around the world, but is firmly rooted in the north-east, bringing thousands of people to Aberdeen every year. 2021 saw the festival go online for the first time with a series of virtual talks and workshops.

Granite Noir has presented global bestselling authors including Sara Paretsky, Jo Nesbo, Ann Cleeves, David Baldacci, Attica Locke and Camilla Lackberg, as well as legendary Scottish writers including Stuart MacBride, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre and Denise Mina.

Scottish author Ian Rankin previously took part in the festival.

The festival has also showcased fantastic emerging UK and international crime writers, and produced unique crime-inspired events from locked room games to a historic trial in Aberdeen Sheriff Court. The festival has a reputation for discovering new talent and offering a platform for writers in their early careers.

The festival will be back next year

Granite Noir is scheduled to return in February 2022 with a range of author conversations, workshops, family events and more. The author talks from the virtual 2021 edition can be viewed on-demand at

Aberdeen City Councillor and culture spokesperson Marie Boulton said: “Granite Noir has grown into a significant destination festival for the city of Aberdeen and I am excited for the next chapter of its story as we emerge from the pandemic and with the addition of Catriona’s expertise.

“The festival is one which the city is hugely proud of and I, for one, can’t wait for its return in 2022.”

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