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Harrogate International Festivals launches award for new writers

Harrogate International Festivals has announced the launch of a new award for new writers - the McDermid Debut Award.

Harrogate International Festivals launches award for new writers Harrogate International Festivals has launched a brand new award for new crime writers. Submissions have opened for the new McDermid Debut Award, with the award set to be presented on the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. The award is named in recognition of world-famous crime writer, Val McDermid, who co-founded the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in 2003. Val is known for her dedication to fostering new voices in crime fiction through the New Blood panel. This new Award seeks to continue her legacy, celebrating and platforming the best debut crime writers in the UK. Val McDermid said:

“Curating the New Blood panel over twenty years exposed me to an extraordinary range of crime fiction I might otherwise have missed. “I’m hoping that this new award will do the same for the army of avid readers out there looking for new talent.”
The McDermid Debut Award is open to full-length debut crime novels by UK and Irish authors published for the first time in hardback or paperback original between 1st May 2023 and 30th April 2024, with submissions closing on the 21st March. A shortlist of six titles, selected by an academy of established crime and thriller authors, will be announced on Thursday 13th June, with the winner determined by a judging panel of industry experts, including literary, broadcasting and media figures. All shortlisted authors will receive a full weekend pass to the Festival. The Award will be presented at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Awards event on Thursday 18th July, the opening night of the Festival, with the winner receiving a £500 cash prize. Simon Theakston, Chairman of T&R Theakston Ltd, said:
“The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has always highlighted the best in crime fiction and the new McDermid Debut Award will help readers discover the next generation of crime fiction authors. “I am sure this new award will attract even more of the best of crime writing talent and I very much looking forward to welcoming them along with all our friends to this year’s Harrogate gathering.”
Submissions are also now open for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, the UK and Ireland’s most prestigious crime and thriller writing award. Previous winners include Mick Herron, Lee Child, Stef Penney, Val McDermid, Clare Mackintosh, Mark Billingham, Chris Brookmyre, Steve Cavanagh and Denise Mina. Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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