SOME of the finest crime writers from across the country will learn from the region's top sleuths at their annual conference.

The Blackwell Grange Hotel, in Darlington, has been chosen as the host of the annual conference of the Crime Writers' Association (CWA), which represents the interests of crime writers around the country.

Attendees will be addressed by speakers including retired Detective Superintendent Tony Hutchinson, formerly of Cleveland Police, Michael Banks, Assistant Chief Constable, from Durham Police, and forensic anthropologist Dr Tim Thompson, of Teesside University.

There will also be a trip to Teesside University Crime House, in Middlesbrough, where delegates will learn about forensic investigation.

CWA chairman Tom Harper said: "The annual conference is always a wonderful occasion when old friends can catch up with each other, while broadening their knowledge through a series of fascinating expert talks.

"The conference is a celebration of what we do, and Darlington promises be a great location for our criminal minds to run riot."

The event runs from April 1 to 3. It is closed to the public but a number of writers, including Edward Marston, Judith Cutler and Joan Lock, will be at Darlington library at 2.30pm on Saturday, April 2, to meet readers.