Monday, 25 July 2011

Harrogate Opening Evening

After attending Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival at the weekend, I'm a little overwhelmed with facts, information and stories of which to share and discuss on the blog. There is too much to cram into one post or to write about it in consecutive posts so I've decided to write about Thursday's opening event today then wait a couple of posts before discussing more. I don't want to give you Harrogate burnout yet I have so much enthusiasm after attending that I do want to share it with you.

The Weekend started in a relaxing way with an awards ceremony on the Thursday evening. Six great authors were shortlisted for crime novel of the year. All six nominated authors attended and were briefly interviewed on the stage.

The short list was:

From The Dead - Mark Billingham
Blood Harvest - S.J.Bolton
61 Hours - Lee Child
Dark Blood - Stuart MacBride
The Holy Thief - William Ryan
The Anatomy of ghosts - Andrew Taylor

The award winner was Lee Child with the book 61 Hours. He was a gracious winner who stated he would have been happy to come in sixth behind his fellow nominated authors.

The presentation of the lifetime achievement award was something I feel privileged to have been present for. The award was given to P.D.James who at 90 years of age received a standing ovation as she walked to the stage. You could feel the love and respect for her in the packed room. She has a crime writing career spanning decades, with her first novel, Cover her Face being published in 1962. I felt truly honoured to be present.

After the awards we moved to the opening night party where Theakstons Old Peculiar was on tap or, for those of us not up to drinking pints if beer, red and white wine were available. Armed with a glass of red I mingled with published and aspiring crime writers, crime readers and bloggers. I met some wonderful people whom I am now pleased to call friends.


  1. Sounds like you had a good start, I'm looking forward to hearing more :)

  2. Hey, thanks for posting my Sparkfest icon on your site! I recently changed my URL without realizing this would affect the icons. I feel pretty stupid about that, but would appreciate it if you could update to the new icon. (The old one isn't broken, but has my old URL displayed in the image.)

    Sorry for the inconvenience and a big THANKS to your patience as I figure this all out :D

    The new code is posted in my sidebar. (Blogger won't let me send HTML over comments.)

  3. Now I want to read something by P.D. James!

  4. It sounds like you were having a great time. Enjoy the festival fun!

    If you get a chance, check out a fellow writer's zombie story and help me make him wear an embarrassing shirt next year! Details are here:

  5. I'm still trying to put into words just how fantastic the weekend was. But the highlight was definitely meeting you and the rest of the Harrogate Five. Long may it continue xx

  6. Sounds like an awesome time! I'd love to be part of something like that one day. :-)

  7. Sounds like an amazing start to the festival! How fantastic, I can't wait to read more. Loved the photos too. :)

  8. I know of two of the writers on your list. Didn't know P.D. James was still around. I was reading A Second Dalgliesh Trilogy the other day.

    I'll be back to hear more about what went on.

  9. I echo what WriterMels said, it was an amazing, inspiring weekend all round. Amazing authors, published and yet-to-be-published, fans and genuinely nice fun people.

    It was quite surreal at times being at the bar or being in the gardens outside and seeing Lee Child, Martina Cole, NJ Cooper and other lumineries wandering around like normal people! Starstruck? Me? :-)

    Here's to Harrogate 2012. I'm still sad its all over

  10. Sarah - It was a fantastic start and the weekend was brilliant.

    Christine - You're welcome

    Karen - She really is an amazing lady.

    Kelworth files - It was a great weekend.

    Mel - I've definitely made some friends for life and I include you in that!

    Misha - It's worth going to these things if you can.

    Julie - It was such a busy weekend I really won't be able to do it justice.

    JL - The place was filled to the rafters with amazing authors. It was an honour to be there.

    Patrick - It definitely takes some adjusting, being back. It was strange to be sat drinking so close to the crime writing greats. It was lovely to meet you and I hope to be able to see you there next year!