Author Collaboration


We are very excited to announce that the final author presentation of the Unconvention weekend will feature not just one, but two of the most acclaimed and popular crime authors in the UK.

Mark Billingham is the author of the award winning crime series featuring D.I. Tom Thorne, which was screened as a television series in 2010. To find out more about him and his work visit the Mark Billingham page.

Martyn Waites is the award winning author of the Jo Donovan series set in Newcastle and has more recently been writing jointly with his wife Linda under the pen name Tania Carver. For more information about Martyn, Tania and their books visit the Martyn Waites page.

With both authors having previously worked as actors and stand up comedians prior to embarking on their writing careers this should make for an extremely entertaining presentation!



Car Sharing

Traffic by Sean MacEntee on flickr

We have had a few requests for a place for people to discuss car sharing to the event.

Anyone who is looking for a car share or able to offer a lift to those in need please post below with some indication of what part of the country you are travelling from and roughly what day/time you are planning on arriving and leaving.

It would also be helpful to indicate if you have already booked into any particular accommodation for your stay.

Hopefully we can reduce the event’s carbon footprint by getting people together to share lifts.

Author Announcement

Anthony Grey

The committee are very pleased to announce that our second confirmed author for the Unconvention weekend will be the award winning writer Anthony Grey.

We were thrilled when Anthony asked to be involved in this year’s event and are looking forward to a very entertaining presentation. Anthony has wide experience as a journalist, broadcaster, author and presenter. In the 1960s he spent time under house arrest as a political hostage in China and has since been presented with an OBE and won awards including Man of the Year and UK International Journalist of the Year.

He has a written a selection of books including non-fiction based on his experiences as a hostage, historical fiction and short stories.

To find out more about Anthony and his books visit his Unconvention webpage.

Calling All Crafters!

Knitting by tsuacctnt on flickr

The time has come again to ask all the crafty BookCrossers out there to get out their knitting needles and crochet hooks, paints and pastels, or whatever their preferred medium may be. We are asking for handmade contributions for attendee goodie bags.

Lsat year we had a great variety of items which were really well received by the attendees in Nottingham – everything from leather bookmarks to bead earrings and handwritten postcards to mini ballycumbers.  There’s something rather wonderful about opening your goodie bag to find a hand crafted item from another BookCrosser.

If you wish to contribute to this project please ensure you include your BookCrossing name on your item in some way so that the lucky recipient knows who to thank. If you are planning to take part please contact me (Chair – pingucb) using the Contact Us form or PM to pingucb. Alternatively simply comment on this post. I will need to know what you are planning to bring and roughly how many items you will be making – we won’t hold you to it but it helps us to plan and make sure no one misses out.

We will also need to receive your items in time for packing up the goodie bags on Friday afternoon. Let us know if you are not going to arrive by then and we can work out a way to get them to one of the committee in advance of the weekend.

Bank Account

Cash by Images_of_Money on flickr

We are very pleased to be able to tell you that our bank account has finally been set up and made official by the bank!

This means that when you checkout an item in the shop you will have three options for payment:

  • PayPal – our preferred option as it is the easiest and quickest for us to process. When you check out with this option you will be taken straight to our PayPal page. NB. You do not need a PayPal account to use this option.
  • Bank Transfer – you will be provided with the appropriate codes to enable this once you have checked an item out using this option.
  • Cheque – you will be given instructions on what to do next after you have checked out an item using this option.

Please remember that PayPal is our preferred option and can be used by anyone with or without a PayPal account. Happy shopping!


Crafty Competition

Badges by msmornington on flickr

To keep you busy in the run up to the Unconvention weekend, we are offering up a crafty competition.

The committee challenge you to make the best Unconvention name badge that you can using any material you wish – the more eccentric and decorative the better!

The only rule is that they must incorporate your BookCrossing name and must be worn by you during the Unconvention weekend. If you are entering the competition please let one of the committee members know during registration at the event and we will get a photo of your badge.

We had some fantastic entries for the hat-making competition in Nottingham last year, so we hope to see just as many wonderful badges in Colchester. Don’t worry if you aren’t the crafty type – we are still planning on having the traditional Uncon name badges for all attendees as well!

The best badge and runner-up (as judged by the committee) will each win a fantastic prize.

Red phone box library

Red Phone Box Library by ardachybc on flickr

We are very pleased to announce that you can now sign up to join an optional add-on trip on Sunday afternoon after the main Unconvention weekend draws to a close.

At around 2pm a group of local BookCrossers will be leading attendees on a visit to the red phone box library/book swap in the nearby village of Little Bentley. This phone box was turned into a local book swapping zone after the parish council purchased it from BT for just £1 following its decommission.

Car sharing will be available (for a nominal donation towards fuel on the day) for those who do not have their own transport or who just prefer to travel as part of the larger group. Although this is a free to access item, we do ask that you ‘purchase‘ it from the Unconvention shop prior to the big weekend.

For more information on this event please visit the red phone box library webpage.

Ghost Walk

If you want to add a bit of the supernatural to your Unconvention weekend, why not join the ghost walk around Colchester town centre which will take place on Friday evening at 21:30?

This 1-2 hour walk will take in many of Colchester’s most haunted areas, including parts of the Roman wall and will even allow time for a drink or two in some spooky pubs.

The walk will be led by David Mayhew of Essex & Suffolk Paranormal who you may have seen on TV.

Tickets cost £5 and can be purchased from the shop.

For more information visit the ghost walk page.

Unconvention Bookrays

A travelling book

To help attendees get the most from the Unconvention weekend, we are offering a selection of bookrays for books by the authors speaking at the event. A bookray is a travelling book which is started off by an individual BookCrosser and posted (or passed in person) between a list of readers.

Visit the brand new Unconvention Bookrays page for more information about what bookrays are available. At the moment we have two bookrays for our first confirmed author Elizabeth Haynes, which have kindly been provided by ardachy. Keep an eye on the news for updates about new bookrays as they are added.


Payment Options

Cash by Images_of_Money on flickr

If you are purchasing items from the shop you will see that there is currently only an option to pay via PayPal. However, this does not mean that you need to have a PayPal account to make a purchase – the payments go via PayPal into our Unconvention PayPal account, but from the buyer’s end the payment can be made using either their own PayPal account or a debit or credit card.

We are hoping soon to be able to enable options for direct bank transfer or cheque payments, but at the moment we do not have the final go ahead on our physical bank account for these payments to go into. As soon as the bank confirm that the account is available we will activate these options on the site and let you know, so if you are keen to use one of these options keep an eye on the news stories or sign up for our email news updates by entering your email address into the Subscribe box at the bottom of this webpage.