Line-up announced for 2015 Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate

The world’s biggest celebration of the crime genre has unveiled its full programme.

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, which runs over a long weekend from July 16 to 19, is considered to be the best crime writing festival in the world.

Val McDermid and Mark Billingham (s).

Val McDermid and Mark Billingham (s).

Jo Nesbo, one of the world’s leading crime writers, who dominates the bestseller charts and is published in 40 countries will be in conversation with broadcaster Mark Lawson, for the Harrogate launch party on April 8 at the Old Swan Hotel.

2015 Special Guests include author of the much-loved Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth books, M.C. Beaton. Beaton will be in conversation with fellow Scot, comedian and presenter, Fred MacAulay.

Attendees are invited to join up to 80 of the world’s most celebrated crime authors ‘in conversation, in action and in the bar’.

From overseas, Icelandic crime sensation Arnaldur Indridason features, alongside the American author and New York Times bestseller, Sara Paretsky, who is credited with transforming the mystery genre through the creation of her female private eye, V I Warshawski. Paretsky will be in conversation with Val McDermid.

Each year I wonder how this unique celebration of the crime genre can throw up a new plot twist or bigger revelation than the previous year’s killer line up. 2015’s incredible programme is thanks to this year’s Programming Chair, Ann Cleeves

Title sponsor, Simon Theakston, Executive Director, T&R Theakston

Actor David Morrissey and author Mark Billingham also star. In a special event, the bestselling crime writer and the acclaimed actor who played Tom Thorne on TV will discuss bringing crime fiction to the screen. Ann Cleeves will be in conversation with the New York Times bestselling author, Lisa Gardner.

There will also be a TV Panel, featuring Yorkshire born Sally Wainwright, the BAFTA winning writer known for Happy Valley, Scott & Bailey, and Last Tango in Halifax.

The festival features a dedicated writing workshop, Creative Thursday, which this year focuses on script writing, featuring seminars led by TV and radio industry professionals.

Panels include The Morality of Murder with Belinda Bauer, Jonathan Freedland and Nicci French. Yorkshire Pride featuring local talent Peter Robinson, Steve Mosby and Lee Child, and The Black Art of Criticism with Anne Widdecombe, SJ Parris and Telegraph journalist Jake Kerridge. There will also be a special exclusive event on the ‘new’ Stieg Larsson book, exactly ten years after the publication of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Title sponsor, Simon Theakston, Executive Director, T&R Theakston said: “Each year I wonder how this unique celebration of the crime genre can throw up a new plot twist or bigger revelation than the previous year’s killer line up. 2015’s incredible programme is thanks to this year’s Programming Chair, Ann Cleeves.”

The event is one of the most important in the crime publishing calendar; agents, publishers, publicists and authors attend from all over Europe and the world. It also features the 11th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, one of the most prestigious awards of the genre.

It is ranked as one of the top three literary festivals in the UK by The Guardian, and featured in The Independent’s ‘The 50 Best Festivals’.

Ann Cleeves has a long association with the Festival as its first Reader-in-Residence, she said: “This year we focus on crime fiction’s ability to take us to strange lands and to see familiar places in a new and unsettling way. From our comfortable base in North Yorkshire we’ll be travelling the globe.

“Throughout the weekend we’ll be sharing our passion for the best crime writing around. There’ll be intense debate during the panels and special guest conversations, arguments late into the night in the bar and fascinating discussions at a new innovation for 2015: our Thursday afternoon Readers’ Tea.”

For tickets, tel: 01423 562 303 or email: crime@harrogate-festival.org.uk

For latest news, visit www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com