Actions and Detail Panel
Noel 'Razor' Smith - Illiterate criminal to bestselling author
Sun 25 June 2017, 16:00 – 17:30 BST
NOEL SMITH entered the prison system at the age of 15 unable to read or write. He taught himself to read whilst serving nine months in solitary confinement at the age of 17. He spent the next three decades in and out of prison and in 1998 he was given a life sentence under Michael Howard’s 2-Strike Act. He began writing short stories and poetry and set up a prison magazine, Sorted, at HMP Highdown, which won 3 Koestler Awards. He gained an A-level in Law and an Honours Diploma from the London School of Journalism.
His autobiography A Few Kind Words and A Loaded Gun reached number 28 on The Times Best Sellers list. Released from prison in May 2010 he has now written six books, including the newly released The Criminal Alphabet, and works as the Commissioning Editor at the national prisoners’ newspaper Inside Time.