31 December 2017
Winslow to Wow at World’s Biggest Celebration of Crime Writing
Crime author Don Winslow has been announced as the first headliner in Harrogate.
The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has announced the New York King of Crime, Don Winslow, will be a Special Guest.
In the first announcement from the festival’s 2018 Programming Chair – the fellow blockbusting author Lee Child - Winslow will join the line-up of up to 90 authors at the festival, which takes place 19-22 July in Harrogate.
Winslow has sold over 100 million books worldwide. His latest, The Force, about a corrupt New York cop, has earned him the best reviews of his career.
Don Winslow said: “I’m really thrilled to be coming to the UK. I’ve heard great things about the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival from my dear friend Lee Child who was kind enough to invite me to come this year. It's always great to hang out with Lee and I look forward to meeting the authors, readers and booksellers who will be attending the festival.”
Dubbed ‘America’s leading crime writer’ he has been profiled in Rolling Stone magazine; Hollywood directors like Oliver Stone and Ridley Scott promptly turn his novels into blockbusters.
Variety recently announced The Force will be released by Fox in March 2019, with Logan’s James Mangold slated to direct, and Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet as screenwriter, whose credits include Glengarry Glen Ross, The Postman Always Rings Twice and The Untouchables. Leonardo DiCaprio is set to star in a £40 million Hollywood version of another of his books, The Cartel, to be directed by Ridley Scott.
Lee Child, who lives in New York, is a long-time supporter and fan of the Festival. Lee said: “I have access to people in America so we’re going to see some big names from America, and I think people are going to be thrilled with the line-up when we reveal the full list of names, I think everyone’s going to say ‘wow’.”
Title sponsor and executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “As a festival that seems to get better each year it’s hard to know how to top the previous year, but 2018 looks like it will be a very special year indeed. It’s a testament to the programming committee, chaired by the legendary Lee Child, and Harrogate International Festivals that the event has secured Harrogate at the centre of the international literary map.”
Giants of the genre have featured over the years including JK Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith, Ian Rankin, Jo Nesbo, PD James and Ruth Rendell.
The festival was co-founded by crime author Val McDermid, agent Jane Gregory and arts charity, Harrogate International Festivals in 2003. It has grown into the biggest celebration of the genre in the world.
The event features the coveted Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award supported by media partner, the Mail on Sunday.
Fans of Winslow’s The Force, include Stephen King, who said it was: “Mesmerizing, a triumph…Think THE GODFATHER, only with cops. It's that good.”
Winslow spent five years researching the novel on NYPD stakeouts. He said, it was “the book I’ve wanted to write my whole life.”
2018 Special Guests will be announced in the coming months. harrogateinternationalfestivals.com
Notes to Editors
The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival
The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is Europe’s largest event dedicated to the celebration of crime fiction. Taking place annually over four days each July (19-22, 2018) the Festival programmes over 90 best-selling UK and international crime authors and over 30 events. It is delivered by the north of England’s leading arts festival organisation, Harrogate International Festivals.
The event features the prestigious Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.
2017’s event sold-out with 16,500 individual tickets over four days. Cited as one of the UK’s top literary festivals in the Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle magazine, the 2017 Festival reached over 5 million Twitter users, with 15 million impressions during the week of July.
Quotes about the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival
“Takes the good name of Harrogate around the world in a way no amount of advertising could achieve” – The Guardian
“The biggest event devoted to crime fiction in Europe… Harrogate fosters a special intimacy between writers and readers; you see a different, more personal side to the authors… In short, a weekend that combines first-class entertainment with stimulation of the little grey cells. What better tribute could Dame Agatha’s many literary descendants pay to her shade?” – The Telegraph
“Harrogate has an extensive literary festival programme but the jewel in its crown is the crime festival. Known as being particularly friendly, and particularly drunken, the biggest crime writers will descend on the town for one weekend for pints, debates and panel events.” – Elle magazine
“Some crime festivals keep the writers away from the readers. But at Harrogate all the writers are there in the bar and readers can approach them… The panel sessions and guest interviews are packed with insight and intelligence.” – Val McDermid, author
“It’s the best festival in the world and all the big-name writers clear their diaries and want to be there. It’s just so well run, and the difference with other festivals is that the writers and the readers aren’t kept apart.” – Mark Billingham, author
“Parties! Readers! Authors! What a great Festival – can’t wait to go back!” – Harlan Coben, author
“Harrogate is a must. With beautiful locale, smart panels and superb author interaction, it’s one of the best festivals I’ve ever attended” – Michael Connelly, author
“The US has Bouchercon, and the UK, Europe and Scandinavia have Harrogate…it’s every bit as good, and it’s about the only reason I willingly return to the old country…” – Lee Child, author
“The Festival has launched many literary careers, boosted others and introduced the joy of reading to thousands” – Jane Gregory, Literary Agent
“It was a terrific festival - one of the best yet, I think, and a real pleasure to take part.” – Sarah Hilary, author
“It is by far the best organised and planned festival of its kind. My American publishers commented on how much more enjoyable it is than anything they attend in the US because of the thought and consideration that goes into the arrangements every year. ” – Jane Casey, author
“The spectacular Harrogate Festival is a must-go Festival for everyone who loves crime fiction. Harrogate is friendly, intimate and best of all – it’s in England. I loved it, you will too.” – Robert Crais, author
“Harrogate is my favourite literary festival. A charming relaxed atmosphere and interesting literary events with some of the brightest talents in the crime fiction field. A treat for writers and fans alike.” – George Pelecanos, author
“Harrogate was so much fun and, without a doubt, one of the best Festivals I have ever attended.” – Peter Robinson, author
T&R Theakston Ltd
Title sponsor of the Festival since 2005, Theakston Old Peculier ale is produced by T & R Theakston Ltd. It is one of the country’s most famous and highly regarded traditional ale brewers.
Theakston was established in Masham, North Yorkshire in 1827 by Robert Theakston. After a brief period in the 1980s when the company was acquired by Scottish & Newcastle plc, the company has been back under family ownership since autumn 2003. It now operates as an independent brewer producing five permanent brands in the Theakston range including the iconic Old Peculier – its best-known beer with a rich, dark flavour, celebrated by ale enthusiasts all over Britain and around the world.
Harrogate International Festivals
Harrogate International Festivals is one of the north of England’s leading arts & cultural organisations, offering a year-round programme of music and literature festivals and events, plus education and outreach work across the Harrogate district.
Established in 1966, the charity has a history of attracting the world’s most enthralling performers to Yorkshire’s doorstep, and of nurturing young talent. Its diverse portfolio has dramatically increased the cultural and tourism offer for Harrogate and the surrounding area.
It has a strong heritage and ambitious future. Its vision is to be the leading portfolio of arts festivals, with an evolving and innovative offer.
2016 marked its 50th anniversary.
It features a portfolio of events including:
Harrogate International Sunday Series (Jan-April)
Harrogate Music Festival (July)
The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (July)
The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival (October)
Berwins Salon North (across the year)
HIF+ (engagement and educational projects, across the year)
About Future 50
The Future 50 Appeal aims to raise £1m, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Harrogate International Festivals by helping to secure the future of the organisation, looking to the next 50 years of arts and cultural events in Harrogate.
Harrogate International Festivals is one of the leading cultural organisations in the North of England.
To stage what is one of the most ambitious programmes in the North of England, each year Harrogate International Festivals is required to raise over £500,000 from grants, donations and sponsorship.
The Festivals has a huge impact on tourism, attracting 90,000 people resulting in an £8.2m economic impact for the District. It also works year-round to change lives, from community outreach work to safeguarding a performance platform for aspiring musicians.
The last 50 years has seen world-class names headline in Harrogate, including acts as diverse as Judi Dench, Stephen Fry, Alfred Brendel, Paloma Faith, the Halle, BB King and JK Rowling.
The Festivals was at the forefront of classical music in the 60s, the vanguard of comedy and street theatre in the 80s and 90s, and now delivers over 300 events per year, celebrating its heritage and developing innovative new strands.