2013 Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate

theakstons-bottles1-190x1902013 marks a decade of Crime Writing Festivals in Harrogate and boy have they pushed the boat out for this one. The event, part of the Harrogate International Festival kicks off on Thursday 18th July 2013.

The first event is the only one I am familiar with, I was lucky enough to attend this event in 2012. Indeed I enjoyed it so much I am gong back for more and managed to buy the last available ticket today!

The inaugural event is known as CREATIVE THURSDAY and is aimed at aspiring and would-be crime writers. Ok thats me then!

Here is what awaist me this year ( and I am glad to see its different to 2012 in content!)

9.00am Registration and Welcome from 2013 programming chair Val McDermid.

9.30am Workshop A – 2 hr Intensive Writing Workshop: Learning from the Greats

This exercise-based workshop from crime novelist and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, Henry Sutton, looks at six modern crime masters, including Raymond Chandler and Patricia Highsmith, translating their originality and inspiration into practical writing tips. (Though knowledge of the authors’ works could be helpful, it’s not necessary.)

Or ……Workshop B – 2 hr Intensive Writing Workshop: Constructing Character and Plot

Join Bafta nominated screenwriter, producer and former criminal barrister, M.R. Hall, and Irish writer and former lawyer, William Ryan, on this activity-filled two-hour workshop. With a mixture of presentations and workshop exercises, Hall and Ryan will take you through the mechanics of constructing the central character and plot of a crime novel.

Note the two workshops are repeated in the afternoon so A and B groups just swap workshops

11:45am Callum Sutherland

Interactive Session with the Forensic Science Society

Callum Sutherland of the Forensic Science Society invites you to become the Detectives and Forensic Scientists, asking you to assess and investigate real crime scene scenarios. Following a theme of ‘Do we really see what we think we see’, the session focuses on where the psychological and profiling aspects of an investigation can mislead and take you down the wrong path. Heuristics and biases affect all of us in everything we do, even crime writing.

12:45pm Lunch ( AND its in the same dining room as used by Agatha Christie when she famously bolted off to Harrogate!)

1:45pm An Introduction to HW Fisher

Andrew Subramaniam and Barry Kernon are Chartered Accountants at HW Fisher, specialising in the Authors and Journalism sector. They have vast knowledge in advertising entertainers, authors, journalists, broadcasters, actors and musicians on accounting and tax issues, and will be on hand to advise writers about overcoming possible accounting and tax issues.

2.15pm Workshop B – 2 hr Intensive Writing Workshop: Constructing Character and Plot

Workshop A – 2 hr Intensive Writing Workshop: Learning from the Greats

The two diff groups of people simply attend the workshop they missed in the morning

4:30pm The Dragons Pen – Dare you enter?

Four brilliant publishing professionals. Two minutes to convince them your synopsis and first chapter are worth reading. One audience full of your fellow would-be writers watching how you fare. This literary version of the popular TV show, the Dragons’ Den, is not for the faint-hearted.

Well I found this last session particularly interesting in 2012 so I have put my name forward, if I am picked out I will reveal all in this blog, indeed I intend to publish a live blog about the event with just about time to get a post online in the dinner break.

That same evening the event really hots up with the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and Festival Opening Party at 8.00pm , Tickets are £16 each. Welcome to crime writing’s Oscars with host, Mark Lawson. The anticipation is worthy of a nail biting thriller from any of the guest writers. Who will be the victor and who the victims in one of crime fiction’s most hotly contended and prestigious award ceremonies?

The event doesn’t stop there. There’s a whole host of events Friday through Sunday, kicking off on Friday morning with a SPECIAL GUEST EVENT: Ruth Rendell interviewed by Jeanette Winterson. Oh did I say Kate Summerscale ( Suspicions of Mr Whicher) will be there the same day. I am hoping to get to her event, a PANEL DISCUSSION: Victorian Crime: Fact or Fiction? I have a particular interest in her Victorian whodunnit which centres around the work of one of England’s very first detectives. When my book is finished and published I will explain what I mean!

There are so many other events, on Saturday NEW BLOOD at 12.00pm takes my eye.. The return of the panel dedicated to showcasing the year’s most dazzling debut authors, these are Introducing Derek B. Miller (Norwegian by Night), Anya Lipska (Where The Devil Can’t Go), Malcolm Mackay (The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter) and Colette McBeth (Precious Thing).

If you want to learn more check out the hyperlink below, if crime writing interests you either reading it, writing it or both, then head for Harrogate this July!!



About bakersfieldlad

July 2015...... I published my first book on Amazon - "Savilles Spinnney". On April 1st 2015 I published my second book - "Arsenic Sally". Christmas Day 2015 I published my third book " Murder Mystery and Mayhem on the Railways 1830-1899. That's 3 books in roughly 18 months. I enjoy researching and see no reason to stop writing. There will be many many more books and while I would love to be taken in by a publisher I am content to make my books available via Amazon. Keep checking my blogs for updates about my upcoming projects......
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