Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Photos: Harlan Coben; Ian Rankin; Jo Nesbø — Photo: Håkon Eikesdal (; Kate Mosse; and Mark Billingham
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Country and Region United KingdomEngland
Type of Festival Literary
Location of Festival Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, UK
Festival Contact Information

Harrogate International Festivals
Raglan House
Raglan Street
North Yorkshire
HG1 1LE United Kingdom
Phone: +44 01423 562303
Fax: +44 01423 521264

Festival Description

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is Europe’s largest event dedicated to the celebration of crime fiction. Taking place annually over four days each July, the Festival programmes over 70 best-selling UK and international crime authors and over 20 events. It is promoted by the north of England’s leading arts festival organisation, Harrogate International Festivals. 2012 marks the Festival’s tenth anniversary.

We are delighted to announce that internationally bestselling crime writers Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson will be appearing as Special Guests in an exclusive ‘In Conversation’ event at the 2012 Festival. The event will form part of the Festival’s 10th anniversary celebrations, echoing the two authors now legendary appearance at the very first Harrogate festival in 2003.

The 2012 Festival takes place at the magnificent Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate. Programming Chair Mark Billingham has put together an astounding line-up, with Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson joining an already stellar line-up of Special Guests. Special guest authors confirmed so far include Jo Nesbo, Harlan Coben, Kate Mosse, John Connolly and Peter James as well as Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson. 2012 marks the tenth crime writing Festival in Harrogate and as part of the celebrations Mark Billingham returns as Programming Chair. Mark first chaired the Festival in 2006.

The annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival started in 2003 and is held at The Old Swan Hotel in the beautiful 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.

Festival Dates July 18 - 21, 2013
Festival Links

Festival Events:

Award 2012:
  • 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 £3000 prize and handmade engraved beer barrel are Mark Billingham (who scooped the award twice both in 2005 and 2009), Lee Child (2012), 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.
Programming 2012:
  • The full programme for the 2012 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival will be announced in Spring 2012.


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Practical Info:

Tickets 2012:
  • Festival tickets will go on sale from April 2012. For booking information contact the Festival Office at +44 (0) 1423 562303
  • Weekend Break packages are available to book now. Packages include a pass to all Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival events (excludes Creative Thursday and the Come Die With Me Dinner on the Saturday evening of the Festival) with three nights bed and English breakfast accommodation at either the Festival venue, or at other high quality Festival Hotels close by.
  • 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 at +44 (0) 1423 562303
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 Writing Festival has this year been shortlisted for the 2010 Hollis Sponsorship Awards, which reward and recognise the very best sponsorship campaigns in the UK and internationally.
The Old Swan Hotel (Venue):
  • The Old Swan in Harrogate 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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