Thursday, April 29, 2021

Maxim in Overdrive

Author, editor, critic, and onetime London bookseller Maxim Jakubowski has been named as the new chair of the British Crime Writers’ Association (CWA). He has been part of the CWA committee ever since 2014, and has served as its joint vice-chair from 2017 and its publishers’ liaison officer for the last two years.

A CWA press release relates a bit of Jakubowski’s professional background, as follows:
Maxim has compiled over 120 anthologies including the Mammoth Book of Best British Crime, Pulp Fiction, Vintage Crime, Future Cops and London, Paris, Rome and Venice Noir. He won the Anthony award for non-fiction for 100 Great Detectives. He is also the author of 20 novels, several of which have made The Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller list in another genre [namely, erotic fiction].*

A director of London’s past Crime Scene festival, Maxim was also the co-chair of the Nottingham Bouchercon and is a regular broadcaster on matters literary on TV and radio, and a frequent participant in crime festivals around the world. He was for 12 years the
Guardian's crime reviewer.
The notice also quotes Jakubowski on the importance of his ascension to this new post: “As a member for several decades of the CWA, I am excited to take the helm of a vital organisation, which is constantly in the process of reinventing itself and am keen to see it becoming even more relevant to writers in a changing literary and publishing landscape, and currently troubled social landscape. With board members past and new at my side, I hope that my stewardship will do honour to my illustrious predecessors in the chair.”

Jakubowski will take over as chair from Victorian crime specialist Linda Stratmann, who has held that post since 2019. Other previous chairs include Martin Edwards, L.C. (Len) Tyler, and Peter James.

The Bookseller notes that in addition to promoting Jakubowski, “The [CWA’s recent] annual general meeting also saw two new faces join the committee. Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin joined as a board member. She writes crime novels as Sam Blake and is founder of the writing resource website, and Murder One, Ireland’s international crime writing festival. She was joined by Simon Michael, a barrister since 1978, who began writing crime fiction in the 1980s alongside a successful Legal 500 career and retired early in 2016 to resume his writing. He has also established and managed a national charity.”

* Jakubowski also edited Following the Detectives: Real Locations in Crime Fiction, a 2010 travel/reference book to which I contributed an essay.


Unknown said...

Slight correction, my Sunday Times charting books were in the erotica genre, although I have written the occasional SF & fantasy book, albeit not with such success!

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Thanks for the information, Maxim. I have now made that correction in my post.