Val, who chaired the first ever festival in 2003, returns full circle as Programming Chair of the 2013 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival with a veritable Who’s Who of international crime authors.
To mark the occasion, the Festival was launched at The British Library in London.
As we now approach our 11th Festival, it’s a perfect opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate a decade of crime together, which in turn allows me to draw attention to a decade of significant support from two people … the great author, programmer and friend to the Festival – Val McDermid, whose tireless support has helped shape this Festival into being the very best of its type anywhere in the world – and Simon Theakston of T&R Theakston – our title sponsor, whose support, equally, has helped to ensure world-wide profile and security for this festival, but which in turn contributes significantly to the survival and development of Harrogate International Festivals more generally.
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2013 sees some very Special Guests in Harrogate, including Oscar-nominated actress Brenda Blethyn and the UK’s favourite comedienne, Sarah Millican, as well as up to 90 authors from around the world.
Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakstons and title sponsor, has brewed a special beer to raise a glass in celebration of the occasion, called A Shot in the Dark. He said:
“We’re so proud and privileged to have sponsored the event from the very early days and see it grow to such tremendous heights. It grips the literary world and is now the most acclaimed event of its kind in Europe.”
Festival goers are invited to join the world’s most celebrated crime authors ‘in conversation, in action and in the bar’ from 18 to 21 July.
Special Guest authors for 2013 include Jackson Brodie creator Kate Atkinson and Chief Inspector Wexford author, Ruth Rendell, who will be interviewed on stage by Jeanette Winterson. From America, Charlaine Harris, whose Southern Vampire Mysteries inspired TV’s True Blood and Lee Child, of the famed Jack Reacher series, who will be questioned by comedienne Sarah Millican.
Susan Hill, author of the iconic Woman in Black, is also a Special Guest as well as award-winning crime novelist and poet, William McIlvanney, interviewed by Inspector Rebus creator, Ian Rankin.
The annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival started in 2003 and is held at The Old Swan Hotel in the beautiful spa town of Harrogate. Ranked one of the top three literary festivals in the UK by The Guardian, featuring in The Independent’s ‘The 50 Best Festivals’, and with fans including broadcaster Mark Lawson, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is a must for both dedicated crime fiction fans and newcomers to the genre.
Val McDermid said:
When I was ‘persuaded’ to chair the Programming Committee for the first festival all those years ago, what tempted me to take it on was the prospect of helping to showcase the range and quality of contemporary crime writing. I know that my passion for this genre is shared by the thousands of readers who have attended our events over the years, and we’ve all had some memorable encounters with those writers who have given us so much delicious, disturbing terror over the years. 2013 will be no different.
With four days packed with events, the festival will also serve up its usual helping of heated debate including a special panel on TV’s Vera, featuring author Ann Cleeves and actress Brenda Blethyn; the fine line of social media as a tool for success or online suicide for authors; showcasing the German crime wave which looks set to take over the Scandinavian phenomenon; the annual New Blood panel featuring crime fiction’s Next Big Things; a day-long writing workshop, ‘Creative Thursday’, and the crime writing equivalent of The Oscars, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, in association with retail partner, WHSmith.
Keep up to date with all the latest news and programme announcements at www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/crime and on Twitter @TheakstonsCrime