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Best-selling authors in Harrogate for crime writing festival

Crime writing festival old swan

Published by Lisa Darvill at 4:00pm 19th July 2018. (Updated at 4:01pm 19th July 2018)

Thousands of people are once again descending on Harrogate for the start of the annual Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival.

The Old Swan hosts the event due to its links with the author Agatha Christie. She was found at the hotel after her famous disappearance in 1926. 

Lee Child, author of the global bestselling Jack Reacher series, is the programming chair for this year's festival. 

Other American authors in attendance  include Don Winslow, who has sold over 100 million books worldwide and Laura Lippman, a former journalist on the Baltimore Sun turned New York Times bestselling author, considered one of the most acclaimed novelists in America.

The festival starts today and runs and runs until Sunday. 

Lee Child said: 

"I’ve been to all the festivals in the world and Harrogate is by far my favourite, so it’s a joy to be 2018’s chair. For authors, it’s a chance to hang out and socialise in beautiful Harrogate, and more crucially we get to meet the most important people – our readers.

"Crime writers deal with some of the biggest issues of our times, so I promise our incredible line-up will inspire thought and debate. I love it because this festival also has such warmth and camaraderie - it’s the most fun book event out there."

Special Guests also include Linwood Barclay, Denise Mina, Sophie Hannah, Nicci French, and Festival co-founder Val McDermid, who will be in conversation with Professor Dame Sue Black, director of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at Dundee University.

Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakstons and title sponsor, said: 

"The crime genre dominates more than ever. There’s huge thirst for the genre’s moral framework where usually, justice prevails, proven by the fact our chair this year, Lee Child, is a hero to millions of readers. I’m delighted, as 2018’s festival looks even bigger and better than ever, our celebration of the genre is no doubt the best in the world."

Today the festival opened with a day-long writing workshop, Creative Thursday, which is followed by the crime writing equivalent of The Oscars, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

Festival goers will join crime authors in conversation, in action and in the bar, including panel events with Alafair Burke, Karen Cleveland, AA Dhand, Gregg Hurwitz, Simon Mayo, Chris Brookmyre, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Ann Cleeves and Eva Dolan. There’ll be a Late Night Event with BBC’s Pointless star, Richard Osman, and stand-up turned crime author, Mark Billingham.

crime festival

Authors Steve Mosby, Mark Billingham and Lee Child at The Old Swan Hotel on day one of the festival 

Established in 2003 by Val McDermid, agent Jane Gregory and arts charity Harrogate International Festivals, 2018 marks the 16th Festival.

Famed for its no barriers approach, fans, fledgling writers and established superstar authors mingle in the hotel bar. 

You can find out more about the event at harrogateinternationalfestivals.com

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