Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Announces Bestselling Author as 2024 Programming Chair

Ruth Ware will be the 2024 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Chair

Harrogate International Festivals is thrilled to announce that international bestselling novelist Ruth Ware will be taking the reins as Festival Programming Chair in 2024, when the world’s largest and most prestigious celebration of crime fiction, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, returns with a world class line-up of authors and special guests.

The acclaimed crime writer will be acting as the new Festival Programming Chair, following in the footsteps of such stellar names as Ian Rankin, Elly Griffiths, Denise Mina, Lee Child, Val McDermid and Vaseem Khan.

Ware’s 2015 debut thriller In a Dark, Dark Wood, about a bachelorette party gone disastrously wrong, was a Richard and Judy Choice, and a Sunday Times and New York Times top ten bestseller. Since then, her novels have repeatedly appeared on bestseller lists around the world and have sold more than six million copies. Her books have been optioned for both film and TV, including her latest thriller Zero Days which was snapped up by Universal International Studios, and she is published in more than 40 languages.

In June 2023, Ware’s psychological thriller The It Girl was shortlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.

Commenting on her appointment, Ware, who lives near Brighton with her family, said: “When I first began writing, one of my most cherished dreams was a panel at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. To be invited to chair the festival is truly an honour I could never have imagined – and it’s been my privilege and delight to work alongside the phenomenal programming committee to create a programme that showcases the strength, diversity and sheer literary inventiveness of our brilliant and bloody craft.

From writers I’ve admired for years to newcomers I’ve been thrilled to discover – I can’t wait to share it with you all.”

Simon Theakston, of T&R Theakston Ltd, added: “It has been a privilege to support the world’s best crime writing festival over the last 21 years, and I’m delighted that such a talented writer as Ruth Ware is taking on the role of Festival Programming Chair.

“We have had the great honour of hearing from numerous crime writing legends as well as brilliant new voices and I am looking forward to celebrating what promises to be yet another wonderful event over a pint of Old Peculier!”

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival runs from 18 – 21 July 2024, bringing together some of the world’s most popular crime and thriller writers to discuss anything and everything to do with crime fiction.

Harrogate’s award-winning Festival is one of the biggest and most talked about dates in the literary calendar, offering audiences from around the world a unique opportunity to discover the next big names in crime writing and hear giants of the genre discuss their work, as part of a programme of exciting panels, creative workshops, and inspiring talks.

With its roots firmly planted in Yorkshire, the Festival is one of the friendliest around and has a longstanding partnership with Theakstons of Masham, one of the country’s most highly regarded brewers and the Festival’s title sponsor since 2005.

Classic weekend break packages are now on sale to Friends of the Festival, and will be on general sale from Tuesday 12 December at 12pm. These special packages, which include a variety of hotel options, can be booked over the phone by calling +44(0)1423 562 303.