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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Theakston's Old Peculier Harrogate Crime Writing Festival 17 - 20 July 2008

In only five years the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has become the biggest and most glamorous in the UK, if not the world. In 2008, once again the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival brings the very best of the crime writing community to Harrogate. The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival takes place in Harrogate from 17 – 20 July 2008.
Click here to visit the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival website for more information

Sample the cream of
British crime writing
Crown Hotel, Harrogate

Congratulations to Stef Penney

Image: The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef PenneyCongratualtions from all at ChrisHigh.com to Stef Penney - this year's winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Novel Of The Year Award.

The debut novelist who has taken the literary world by storm has won with her book 'The Tenderness of Wolves'.

Stef Penney, was chosen by the Theakston panel of judges against competition from 12 other best-selling top authors including Alexander McCall Smith, Peter Robinson and Mark Billingham.

The book, which is set in Canada in the 1860s, is also a former winner of top fiction prize the Costa Book of the Year Award.

The Short List:

· Simon Beckett - The Chemistry of Death
· Mark Billingham - Buried
· Christopher Brookmyre - A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil
· Reginald Hill - The Death of Dalziel
· Graham Hurley - One Under
· Peter James - Not Dead Enough
· Simon Kernick - Relentless
· Stuart MacBride - Dying Light
· Alexander McCall Smith - Blue Shoes and Happiness
· Stef Penney - The Tenderness of Wolves
· Peter Robinson - Piece Of My Heart
· C.J. Sansom - Sovereign

The only award of its kind to be voted for by the general public, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year has generated a real mix of winners in the past, from well established authors like Val McDermid who won in 2006 for The Torment of Others to the surprise win in 2007 of Allan Guthrie for his first novel Two-Way Split.
The shortlist went forward to the judging panel, whose deliberations joined with a readers group block vote to decide the winner. The triumphant author , Stef Penney received £3,000 and a handmade Theakstons cask.

Image: Author Simon KernickA NEW CHAIRMAN FOR 2008

Simon Kernick is one of the hottest names in Crime Fiction at the moment. His latest paperback Relentless has sold over 250,000 copies, was featured on Richard and Judy's Summer Read and reviewed as "pretty much unputdownable" by the Observer.

But more importantly, as chair of the Programming Committee, he has spent the last 12 months putting together the programme for the 2008 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

Join the Friends of the Festival

Make sure you don't miss out on any of the news, gossip and announcements by joining the Crime Festival Friends. Benefits include:

5% off packages for 2008

  • Guaranteed first come first served stay at the Crown Hotel (availability dependant)
  • Exclusive newsletters from the Chair (e-mail)
  • Receive the Event Guide before anyone else
  • Exclusive Chair's Reception at the 2008 Festival
  • Priority Seating at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award 2008

Call The Festival Hotlineon 01423 562303 to join.


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

Chris High has been writing for some 25 years and has built up quite a collection of work. Why not check out some of his -

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Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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