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The 15th edition of the Quais du Polar festival

Quais du Polar has become the key event of the noir genre in France. Firmly established in the French and European cultural scenery, this international festival has gained wide popularity amongst both professional and leisure audiences within the last decade. Since 2005, authors from 51 different countries have taken part in the event.


This year’s edition will take place between the 29th and the 31st of March in Lyon. The three-day programme includes readings from novels to comics, film projections, meetings, book signings, theatre performances and games around the popular literary genre of the thriller.



The genre was long looked down on as a minor one, but it has become incredibly popular in France, where one in five books published is a ‘polar’, which corresponds to 1,200 new publications and 20 million books sold per year. It has also taken over the cinema and television.


This year is the 15th anniversary of the Festival, and for the occasion, it will host some big figures of crime writing, such as:

  • Ingrid Astier, one of the leading figures of the French thriller genre, author of more than 15 novels.

  • Bernard Minier (winner for best francophone novel at the Festival Polar of Cognac in 2011) who will present his best-seller, Night (Hodder & Stroughton), which follows Norwegian inspector Kirsten Nigaard as she teams up with Toulouse policeman Martin Servaz to hunt down Julian Hirtmann, the elusive killer the police has been chasing for years.

  • Arturo Pérez-Reverte, the Spanish former war journalist and current novelist who won several literary prizes for his works.

Throughout the years, the Institut Français has been supporting Quais du Polar in its international dimension development, in order to initiate exchanges and contribute to the glow of francophone crime fiction across the world. We are delighted to announce that two programmers from of our most exciting British festivals for crime writing will be joining in.

  • Lin Anderson will be joining the festival. She is co-founder of the international crime writing festival Bloody Scotland, a leader of its kind in Scotland, which takes place annually in September in Stirling, Scotland.

  • Florence Reynolds, from the Noirwich crime writing festival, will also attend the Quais du Polar festival. She has worked at England’s National Centre for Writing since 2016, and co-programmes the Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, the East of England’s largest annual celebration of crime writing and one of the fastest growing literary festivals in the UK. The festival takes place in the heart of Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

They will be joining the Quais du Polar festival to engage in discussions about the publishing industry of crime writing across France and the UK, developping once more the European links in the literary industry.


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