Thursday, 26 April 2012

News about Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Harrogate celebrates the 10th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival
 2012 programme announced: Jo Nesbo, Harlan Coben, John Connolly, Kate Mosse, Peter Robinson, Peter James and Ian Rankin to headline
19-22 July 2012 at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate

This year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival celebrates its tenth year. To mark the occasion, the cream of international crime fiction will once again gather in Harrogate to raise a glass of Theakstons’ finest to the biggest festival in the country championing crime writing, the most popular literary genre in the UK today. 

Headlining the festival this summer are heavyweights Jo Nesbo, Harlan Coben, John Connolly, Kate Mosse, Peter Robinson, Peter James and Ian Rankin. Each year the festival is chaired by a different high-profile crime writer, and this year popular British author Mark Billingham, creator of D.I. Tom Thorne, takes the helm.
Billingham said: “In just ten years, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate has become the biggest and best of its kind in the world and it’s an honour to be chairing the Programming Committee once again. I’m confident that we’ve handpicked a programme this year that will rival anything seen at the festival before. Big names? Of course. But this festival has always been about introducing crime fiction lovers to the very best of the newer talent on offer too, and we’ve got plenty from all over the world. Whether you like your crime fiction cosy as crumpets or dark as a bloodstain in the shadows, at this year’s festival there will be something for everyone!

Other highlights include a dedicated look at award-winning BBC TV series Luther (including insights into the new series) with author/screenwriter Neil Cross, journalist Miranda Sawyer and cast and crew; Swedish superstar Camilla Lackberg discussing the art of translation; Creative Thursday – a master class in writing crime fiction; Dragons’ Pen, where punters get a chance to pitch their would-be bestsellers to a panel of professionals; and Val McDermid revealing the most exciting emerging crime authors in her New Blood panel.

With four days packed with events, and over 80 authors in attendance, the festival will also serve up its usual helping of heated debate including: whether we are currently in a golden age of crime fiction; an author’s moral responsibility when writing in the genre; why women are the biggest consumers of crime fiction; plus former intelligence agents, investigative journalists and criminal prosecutors discuss putting top secrets into print.
The annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year will also be announced on the opening night of the festival, Thursday 19 July.

Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston, said: “I am hugely proud of our association with Harrogate’s world-class crime fiction festival. This year’s line-up is a fantastic mix of household names and brand new talent and, for this tenth festival, we look forward to giving both writers and ticket-holders a warm welcome and catching up on all the latest crime writing gossip over a pint of Old Peculier ale!”
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. 

Many of the authors are available for interview both beforehand and throughout the festival. For press passes, interview bookings, or further information contact Liz Hyder on 07939 372 865/ or Preena Gadher on 07833 431 119 /

About the festival
The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is the UK’s biggest and longest running event dedicated to the celebration of crime fiction. Taking place annually over four days each July, the Festival programmes over 80 of the best UK and international crime authors across over 20 events. It is promoted by the north of England’s leading arts festival organisation, Harrogate International Festivals.

About Theakstons
Title sponsor of the Festival since 2005, Theakstons Old Peculier ale is produced by T & R Theakston Ltd. It is one of the country’s most famous and highly regarded traditional ale brewers. Theakstons was established in Masham, North Yorkshire in 1827 by Robert Theakston. After a brief period in the 1980s when the company was acquired by Scottish & Newcastle plc, the company has been back under family ownership since autumn 2003.  It now operates as an independent brewer producing five permanent brands in the Theakstons range including the iconic Old Peculier – its best-known beer with a rich, dark flavour, celebrated by ale enthusiasts all over Britain and around the world.

Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year
2012 will see the announcement of the eighth Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. A major accolade in the crime writing field, the prestigious prize is voted for by members of the public. Previous winners of the £3,000 prize and handmade engraved beer barrel are Mark Billingham (who scooped the award twice in both 2005 and 2009), Lee Child (2011), RJ Ellory (2010), Val McDermid (2006) and debut authors Alan Guthrie (2007) and Stef Penney (2008). The winner will be announced by broadcaster and festival regular Mark Lawson on the opening night of the festival.
·      Longlist announcement: week beginning 14th May
·      Shortlist announcement week beginning 2nd July
·      Winner announced 19th July

Festival tickets
Festival tickets will go on sale on 26th April. For booking information contact the box office on: +44 (0) 1423 502 116. Weekend Break packages are available to book now. Packages include a pass to all Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival events* with three nights bed and English breakfast accommodation at either the Festival venue, or at other high quality Festival Hotels close by, (*excludes Creative Thursday and the Come Die With Me Dinner on the Saturday evening of the Festival). 
Weekend packages for the 2012 Festival start from as little as £349 per person based on twin or double accommodation) or from £399 per person for single accommodation. For booking and information call the Festival Office on: +44 (0) 1423 562303.

The Old Swan Hotel 
The Old Swan in Harrogate is a fitting venue for the festival as it is where legendary crime novelist Agatha Christie was eventually discovered after her mysterious disappearance in 1926. It is the newest member of Classic Lodges Hotel Group which features nine hotels in fabulous locations from the Scottish Borders to the Sussex Downs, the Cotswolds to the Yorkshire Dales. Each hotel has a fascinating history and shares the Classic Lodges' signature warm welcome, and the very highest standards of comfort and hospitality. All well located, Classic Lodge Hotels are idea for leisure breaks, conferences and weddings.

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