Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

22-25 July 2021 | Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate


To ensure that you still get your #TheakstonsCrime fix this summer whilst you stay safe at home. We launched our online Festival, bringing a host of the best names in crime fiction straight to you home.

We also celebrated UK and Irish crime fiction with the biggest and most wanted award of the genre, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel Of The Year. Many said this was the strongest, and most competitive longlist yet, and as a result of the public vote and our esteemed judges we were thrilled to crown the 2020 winner: The Chain, by Adrian McKinty.

We’ve also launched HIF At Home and HIF Player to bring you more crime fiction fun. Packed full of never heard before audio of Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival events, alongside many more literature events, author interviews and our Book Of The Month on You’re Booked, and our crime flavoured HIF Player podcast. Click here to visit HIF AT Home.

The world-class, award-winning Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, would have celebrated it’s 18th year in 2020. Sadly, due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, we have made the disappointing decision to cancel the Harrogate International Festivals Summer Season. For more information please visit our statement here.

Many months of dedicated work went into planning this exceptional season and we were so looking forward to the fantastic programme curated for 2020 from our programming partners, led this year by Ian Rankin.

I’m devastated this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival can’t happen. Devastated for everyone who’s worked so hard to put together the programme. Devastated for all the authors and readers for whom the festival is so very special. If Covid ends up stabbed, poisoned or bludgeoned there will be no shortage of suspects. But…2021 will be all the more special. Everyone involved will make it so – that’s a promise. See you then. Mine will be a Theakston’s if you’re asking.”  Ian Rankin, Programming Chair 2020

We hope to welcome you back to the Festival next year, and one thing is for sure, we are all the more determined to make 2021 a year to remember – for all the right reasons. The dates for 2021 are the 22-25 July.

Crime Writing Festival Sponsors