Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

22-25 July 2021 | Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate


We are working hard on 2021’s Festival and do hope to be able to welcome you back to the home of Crime Fiction this summer.

What a year we had in 2020. Our Festival went online, ensuring that audiences could still get their crime fiction fix from the comfort of their own homes, we held our annual New Blood with Val McDermid event, ensuring a platform for debut authors in this difficult year, 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.

Remember, Harrogate isn’t just for July. We have HIF Player (our free on demand event platform), our podcast, You’re Booked, our Book Of The Month, stand alone events and much more – discover our online Festival now.

Coming soon:

The Psychology of Boredom – James Danckert and John Eastwood

Streaming FREE | From 28th Jan | 7.30pm

Breaking Up With Fast Fashion – Lauren Bravo

Streaming FREE | From 28th Jan | 7.30pm

A Short History Of Truth – Julian Baggini

Streaming FREE | From 28th Jan | 7.30pm

On Demand:

HIF Player

Bringing events to life digitally. Watch and listen here.

Book Of The Month

Read along with us this month.

You’re Booked

Author interviews and book reviews, a must for any reader.

Family Resources

A host of collated fun ideas, activities, lesson plans, and workshops to make life for families just a little bit easier.

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