Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Reveal Full 2021 Programme

Val McDermid Reveals Best New Crime Writer Picks for Harrogate Festival main

By Sarah Morgan

The full programme for next month’s Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has been revealed.

Thanks to a few hints and the fact that genre legend Ian Rankin is this year’s chairman, we knew it was going to be special, but it’s lining up to be the best yet – and will more than make up for the disappointment of 2020’s no-show.

“It is with great pleasure that I can finally share with you the full programme for Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2021,” says Rankin. “After nearly a year-and-a-half of successive lockdowns and restrictions, it is going to be absolutely marvellous to be able to safely gather together and celebrate the genre that we all love so dearly.”

The event, which runs from July 22-25, gets under way in traditional fashion – with the announcement of the winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year awards ceremony. It’s one of the biggest nights on the crime writing calendar, with each of the six nominated writers eager to get their hands on the famous barrel-shaped prize.

“Feast of entertainment”

Then, on Friday morning, the hugely acclaimed Mick Herron is interviewed. The weekend ends on Sunday lunchtime when Mark Billingham chats to TV producer and bestselling writer Richard Osman about his The Thursday Murder Club books.

In between is a veritable feast of entertainment and inspiration, which includes talks and discussions on a wide range of subjects, including historical crime fiction, short stories and Val McDermid’s ever-popular New Blood panel.

Among those taking part in the proceedings are Ann Cleeves, Erin Kelly, SJ Parris, Mark Lawson, George Alagiah, Alan Johnson and, of course, Ian Rankin himself.

For further details, including the full timetable of events and booking information, check out:


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