Author behind ITV's Vera to help launch new exhibition

An award-winning author is putting herself in the picture at an exhibition launch night in North Shields.

Monday, 29th October 2018, 10:04 am
Updated Monday, 29th October 2018, 10:08 am
Crime writer Ann Cleeves, who will be part of the Find Your Voice exhibition at The Exchange, in North Shields. Picture by Donna-Lisa Healy.

Ann Cleeves won crime-writing’s Gold Dagger award for her novel Raven Black in 2006, and has seen her books transformed into hit series with ITV shows Vera and Shetland.

Now Ann, who lives in Whitley Bay, is kicking off the Find Your Voice exhibition at The Exchange on Thursday, November 1, from 7.30pm to 10pm.

The exhibition features pictures of female crime writers taken by local professional photographer Donna-Lisa Healy, as well as excerpts from the authors’ novels.

Ann will take to the stage in The Exchange’s café bar to talk about her writing exploits and take questions from crime fans.

Ann said: “I’m thrilled to help launch the Find Your Voice North East exhibition which bring together some of the most exciting contemporary crime writers. Crime fiction is a such a great way to tell our stories.”

Event organiser Jacky Collins, an expert on European crime fiction, said: “We are thrilled and honoured that internationally-acclaimed local crime writer Ann Cleeves has agreed to join us for the launch to celebrate the exhibition.”

“Ann’s novels are a perfect example of how crime fiction can bring out issues that matter to us and that trouble us as readers.”

2018 marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act was passed in Britain, giving some women the right to vote for the first time.

Jacky and Donna-Lisa created the exhibition to celebrate local, national and international female crime fiction writers, and to highlight the importance of ‘one voice, one vote’.

Meanwhile, aspiring writers can apply to be part of a Find Your Voice workshop on Saturday, November 10, from 9.30am to 4.30pm, where 12 women will be given the chance to write their own short crime story and have their ‘author portrait’ taken by Donna-Lisa.

To apply to take part on the free workshop, please contact The Exchange on [email protected] or call 0191 258 4111.

The Exchange building, which until 2015 was a restaurant, was reopened in 2016 and relaunched as a cultural arts venue with charitable status.

Artistic Director Karen Knox said: “We are very excited to welcome one of the country’s best-loved crime writers to The Exchange for what will be a one-of-a-kind event.

“We pride ourselves on hosting a real variety of acts and exhibitions at The Exchange, and this is something a little different for all fans of literature, but particularly crime-writing.

“2018 is an extra special year with it marking 100 years since some women got the vote, and it will be fantastic to welcome a dozen women to try their hand at crime writing on November 10.”

For more information on The Exchange, including forthcoming acts and volunteering opportunities, head to or check them out on Facebook and Twitter at @attheexchange.