‘Vera’ writer for Theakstons Crime Writing workshop in Harrogate

Author Ann Cleeves.
Author Ann Cleeves.

The author whose novels have inspired not one but two recent hit drama series on TV is lending her talents to a day-long crime fiction workshop in Harrogate this summer.

Ann Cleeves, whose stories have been adapted for both ITV’s Vera starring Brenda Blethyn and BBC’s Shetland starring Douglas Henshall, will be attending Creative Thursday as part of the annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

To be held on Thursday, July 16 at the Old Swan Hotel, Cleeves will be welcoming the public to the event which, as always, will also feature the popular ‘Dragon’s Pen’ – a chance for would-be scriptwriters to pitch directly to a panel of famous names.

With crime stories dominating the TV schedules, from Broadchurch to Midsomer Murders, Creative Thursday will offer fledgling writers a timely programme of workshops and seminars with expert advice.

The day will kick off with an Intensive Writing Workshop on writing for radio with Shelley Silas, the British playwright renowned for award-winning radio plays on BBC Radio, and Simon Brett, the crime author and BBC Radio radio producer, who produced the first episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as well as many episodes I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and Just a Minute.

For fans of Ann Cleeves’ work, there will be an Intensive Writing Workshop: How TV Crime differs from Crime Fiction, with Gaby Chiappe, who has adapted Ann Cleeves’ Vera and Shetland for TV, plus Isabelle Grey, a writer on Wycliffe, Rosemary & Thyme and Midsomer Murders.

Short Stories for Radio is a seminar by BBC Radio 4 producer Kirsteen Cameron who will talk through the process of selecting and recording short stories for broadcast.

As for Dragon’s Pen, a lucky few Creative Thursday participants will get the chance at the end of the day to pitch their script synopsis to an expert panel hosted by Mark Billingham, author of the Thorne detective series, adapted by Sky TV starring David Morrissey.

Places on Creative Thursday are strictly limited. To book, call 01423 562 303.