Harrogate Crime Writing Festival information - click here for the visually impaired version of www.chrishigh.com

The Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime writing festival prize information page

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2007 Festival
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Theakston's Old Peculier Harrogate Crime Writing Festival 19 - 22 July 2007

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is now the largest event of its kind in Europe and a firm date in the literary calendar. 2007 sees the Festival at the Crown Hotel and once again brings the very best of the crime writing community to Harrogate.
Click here to visit the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival website for more information

Sample the cream of
British crime writing
Crown Hotel, Harrogate


Image: Allan Guthrie - winner of 2007WINNER

Allan Guthrie’snovel Two Way Split is the winner of the 2007 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. The prestigious literary award was presented on the opening night of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, the largest event of its kind in Europe.

Fans worldwide have spent 9 weeks casting thousands of votes both in-store at Waterstone’s and online to choose the winner of this year’s award – the only crime literary award to be voted for by the general public.

Allan Guthrie said ‘I am stunned, overwhelmed and very pleased.  Thank you to everyone who had faith in the book and everyone who voted.’

He beat off strong competition including Stephen Booth, Christopher Brookmyre, Graham Hurley, Michael Jecks and Stuart MacBride to win £3,000 and a miniature, hand made oak beer cask crafted by one of Britain’s last coopers and presented by sponsor Simon Theakston, Executive Director of title sponsor Theakstons Old Peculier.

Executive Director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston today said: “The level of competition was incredible, Allan Guthrie’s page turning novel was particularly outstanding and a very deserving winner.”


uthors that participated in the 2007 Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Special guests include Frederick Forsyth and Lee Child with other guests including Mark Billingham, Simon Kernick, Stuart McBride, CJ Sansom and Andrew Taylor.

The inimitable Frederick Forsyth is Saturday night’s special guest, interviewed by Mark Lawson. Lee Child will be in conversation with Paul Blezard and Val McDermid, first Chair of the Festival and prime mover in creating it, will be appearing for the first time as a Special Guest. American sensation Harlan Coben will be bringing the Festival to a close on the Sunday.

Panels this year include; Plumbing the Depths, which will explore the psychology of violent crime and Reading the Crime Scene where real life CSI’s provide some insight into true life crime. Sunday morning sees a potentially opinionated panel What Really Gets Me Going where four leading crime authors, including Natasha Cooper and Mark Billingham discuss what they love and hate about the genre in which they spend their working lives. There is another wide variety of panel discussions this year, as well as late night cabaret including Simon Brett’s unmissable Festival Foul Play.

There are two other essential ingredients to the Festival. Creative Thursday, returns with a day of interactive seminars and workshops with leading publishers, authors and agents, offering the opportunity for aspiring writers to develop their skills. It is also the third Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. Won by Val McDermid in 2006 for The Torment of Others, the long list will be announced on May 17th and featured in Waterstone’s Bookshops.

Booking information

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival takes place at the Crown Hotel, Harrogate from 19 – 22 July 2007. Accommodation and Weekend Rover ticket packages are available now on 01423 562303. Individual tickets and Day Passes available from late April 0845 130 8840

Event timetable

Thursday 19 July
9.30am – 5pm Creative Thursday – a day in the life of writing crime
7.30pm Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award
9pm Festival opening party

Fri 20 July
9 – 10am Special Guest – Val McDermid
10.30 – 11.30am Country Matters
12 – 1pm New Blood
2 - 3pm Snobbery with Violence
3.30 – 4.30pm Plumbing the Depths
5 - 6pm Daphne du Maurier Centenary Panel
8 - 9pm Special Guest – Lee Child
10pm til late Foul Play

Saturday 21 July
9 - 10am Here come the Cops
10.30 – 11.30am Getting it Right
12 - 1pm Festival Book Group
12 - 1pm Getting Vigorous
2 - 3pm Crime in the City
3.30 – 4.30pm Reading the Crime Scene
5 - 6pm Secrets, Spies and Foreign Affairs
8 - 9pm Special Guest - Frederick Forsyth
10pm til late Festival Quiz

Sunday 22 July
10 - 11am What Really Gets Me Going

11.30am – 12.30pm Special Guest – Harlan Coben


More reasons to visit the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival

Rather than being just one of many other literary festivals, The Theakston's Old Peculier Harrogate Crime Writing Festival is unique in being a single-strand devotee of the ever-popular Crime Fiction genre. As such, the festival is growing in strength and support from authors and readers alike, simply because there is no other Crime Fiction festival like it, anywhere. The Theakston's Old Peculier Award for the Crime Novel of the Year is a unique literary prize in that it is the only award for crime fiction which is voted on by readers.

The festival continues to attract big name authors in the crime writing world each year. Past visitors include Michael Connelly and Ruth Rendell. The 4-day Crime Writing Festival includes a range of writers & readers workshops, true crime specialists, industry seminars and forensic events.

Harrogate Crime Writing Festival History

Beginning in 2003, The Theakston's Harrogate Crime Writing Festival is the literary arm of the overall Harrogate International Festival, which also covers music, theatre and dance throughout July.

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is a celebration of the best in crime fiction. It is promoted by the north of England’s leading arts festival, Harrogate International Festival which was founded in 1966. Set in the attractive floral spa resort at the gateway to the North Yorkshire Dales, Harrogate is forever known as the town where the great crime novelist Agatha Christie disappeared and Sherlock Holmes’ creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle regularly visited.

Now acclaimed as the biggest event of its kind in Europe, the Crime Writing Festival - which attracts a large and avid audience - first began at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate.

In 2004, Theakston’s Old Peculier became title sponsors for Harrogate Crime Writing Festival.

Peculier Crime Writing Prize

From March 2006 Crime writing fans have 12 weeks to cast their thousands of votes for the the only crime literary award to be voted for by the general public.

The winner of the 'Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award' will receive £3,000, plus a handmade, engraved beer barrel from Award sponsors Theakston’s Old Peculier. “Theakston’s is proud to be sponsor of what should become a prestigious literary award, and I hope our association with the award will be long and successful,” said Executive Director Simon Theakston.

Theakston's Website



Official Harrogate Crime Writing Festival website

The Official Harrogate Crime Writing Festival Website contains all the latest up to date information about the festival, author information, message board and ticket news. Join the Crime mailing list and they will forward news and information, keeping you up to date with what's coming up next summer.

Email crime@harrogate-festival.org.uk

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Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
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