BAD is back, and bigger than ever.

The second Sydney Crime Writers Festival will open with bank robber and prison escapee Carl Synnerdahl, who in the 1970s fooled Fred Hollows – and the NSW justice system – into believing he was blind. The film Hoodwink is based on his memoirs.

The festival’s program and ticket sales launched today (19th July). This year’s newest addition is the Danger Prize night, hosted by award-winning novelist Candice Fox, who will oversee the ultimate crime ‘pub quiz’ as patrons join some of the country's best crime writers at the festival’s opening event. 

The night will kick off with the inaugural Danger Prize being awarded to the best TV series, book or film about crime and Sydney. Former political journalist and crime fiction fan Laurie Oakes will present the Danger Prize and the Danger Lifetime Achievement Award.

Fiction authors at the festival include Candice Fox, Dervla McTiernan and Megan Goldin. Laurie Oakes talks to Malcolm Farr about politics and crime.

Another highlight is investigative journalist Joanne McCarthy, who helped bring about the child abuse royal commission, in conversation with Father Frank Brennan.

Sue Turnbull and Caroline Baum discuss Nordic Noir, ex-judge Brian Knox looks at what creates a criminal, and Tim Watson-Munro recalls his experience as a psychologist in some of our hardest prisons.

The festival is held in partnership with Sydney Living Museums, at its Justice & Police Museum, from Friday 31 August to Sunday 2 September.

“A bad city like Sydney needs a Bad festival,” said Director Denis Tracey. “So come along and have a Bad weekend.”

The ABC’s Jamelle Wells talks with the Daily Telegraph’s Mark Morri about reporting crime. Author Adam Shand expertly dissects the differences between the underworlds of Sydney and Melbourne. The festival closes with Warren Fahey singing songs from our criminal past - after which the audience can photograph themselves in the dock in the old Police Court.

For the full program visit

WHAT BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival

WHERE Justice and Police Museum, corner Albert and Phillip Streets, Sydney

WHEN Friday 31 August, Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September

TICKETS Full price $20 plus booking fee, Conc $15 plus booking fee.

A limited number of day passes are available for $100 plus booking fee and include 2 coffee cart vouchers and a BAD tote bag

MEDIA For interviews and images please contact Katrina Kiely on 0403 317 743 or

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