July 22nd, 2015

The Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival at Harrogate

For one weekend every July the Yorkshire town of Harrogate, specifically the bar and front lawn of the Old Swan Hotel, becomes the most exciting place to be for mingling with top editors, writers, and agents in the world of crime publishing.

Jessica Craig has enjoyed attending The Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival for the past 9 years, and enjoyed this year the most as it was her first year looking for new crime writers for Pontas to represent. It also was a good chance to connect face-to-face with British, German and Dutch editors in the middle of summer and between book fairs.


This festival is always the best place for getting informed about the most important crime writers, trends, and themes. The most interesting events Jessica attended were Sara Paretsky in conversation with Val McDermid, “Your Perfect Match:  How can you identify the books you’ll love and want to press on everyone who crosses your path?”, and “The Morality of Murder: Is the crime novel essentially an up-dated morality tale?”

There were not any Pontas authors on the program, but Dolores Redondo’s debut, The Invisible Guardian, was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger, and Jessica enjoyed meeting her British editors, Sarah Hodgson and Julia Wisdom of HarperCollins and celebrating the recent new deal, over a pitcher of Pimms, for the two next books in the Baztan trilogy.

And with other distinctive emerging voices in international crime-writing such as Federico Axat, Sara Lövestam, Lisa Hågensen, Jamie Mason, and Olivier Truc we look forward to discovering new English-language authors of crime or noir fiction, and more international noir voices too.