Harrogate 2014 – #TOPCrime2014

I’m writing this blog post later than I’d hoped as I ended up spending the end the end of July chained to my laptop trying to complete my Camp NaNoWriMo word count. More on that next time!

3 weeks ago I attended Harrogate Crime Writing Festival for the third time. I’ve only just managed to get the final few books that I came home with unpacked and stowed away in my book shelf, and caught back up on the lack of sleep. Regardless it was definitely the best one that I’ve been to yet.

Its always an amazing weekend packed full of Panels, Interviews with Special Guests, a quiz, chances to meet some of your favourite authors and more drinking than it probably should! Once you’ve been a few times you find yourself meeting many of the same Crime Fiction fans, writers and aspiring writers as you have seen on previous years, so that after a while it feels like going back to a school reunion where you all have the same interests in common. I always look forward to catching back up with the people that I have met in previous years as much as I do enjoying the events that are put on.

A couple of my personal highlights from this year included,

-The Interview with J.K. Rowling as Robert Galbraith.
-The Interview with Lynda La Plante, I honestly don’t think that I’ve laughed so much in such a short space of time for years!
-The saturday night quiz, which is always great fun. And we were pretty chuffed to manage to come 4th this year.

If you’ve thought about going before and decided against it I would definitely go next time round. The things that I honestly believe you will get out of going to Harrogate are:

If you are a reader:-

Books – I end up going home with a huge proportion of the books that I am going to read for the following year, some of them from my goody bag, some of them given free at sponsored talks and some bought from the onsite book shop. The thing that they all have in common is that I’ve built up an emotional link with the book itself because of the fun I was having at the event when I got it

Meet your heroes – Theres no better opportunity to meet many of the authors that you love in person whether its whilst getting them to sign your book or in the bar at the end of the day.

Make New Friends – You’ll always meet countless other people who are are similarly passionate about crime writing, you all have that in common and I know I for one have made a lot of friends while there!

If you are a Writer:-

Networking – Harrogate provides an unparalleled opportunity to meet and network with other writers, publishers, agents, bloggers, reviewers.

A reminder that you’re not out there alone – If you’re still new to writing or just used to slogging away at it at home alone, Harrogate is a great opportunity to link in with other people who are writing that may be going through or have encountered in the past the same issues, you can give each other advice and support.

Creative Thursday – The first day of the festival, before things kick off properly is a day of creative writing workshops which culminates in the Dragon’s Pen where could can get the opportunity to pitch your novel to a panel of Editors and Agents, which is certainly an opportunity that doesn’t come round very often!

And the most important reason of all that you should get your self to Harrogate next year is that its quite simply great fun! Well its a weekend away from the day job thinking and talking about pretty much nothing but books what else would it be!

I’m already looking forward to next year!


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