Hachette’s c.e.o. designate David Shelley is stepping down from the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival’s programming committee after seven years, due to work demands. His place will be filled by Julia Wisdom, publisher for HarperFiction’s crime and thriller list.
Wisdom will join authors Val McDermid, Steve Mosby and NJ Cooper and agent Jane Gregory on the committee, with this year’s “reader-in-residence” Mari Hannah. The programming chair rotates annually and in 2018 will be author Lee Child.
Shelley will retain a link with Harrogate International Festivals, by becoming a Future 50 vice president, working on the Future 50 fundraising scheme to secure its future.
Harrogate International Festivals c.e.o. Sharon Canavar said: “The reputation as the best crime writing festival in the world is a large part in thanks to our dedicated programming committee of industry experts.
David’s expertise, professionalism and commitment has been integral to our success and we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to David.” She added: “We are thrilled that Julia Wisdom will be joining the committee with her wealth of experience and passion for the genre.”
Shelley said: “I have had a fantastic seven years on the Harrogate committee and have been so thrilled to see the Festival go from strength to strength. It speaks volumes about Sharon Canavar and her exceptional team, the amazing programming chairs we have been so lucky to have, as well as the incredible vibrancy of crime and thriller writing. It is a genre really close to my heart and I feel that crime fiction is now starting to be treated with the respect by critics and prize committees that it deserves.”
He added: “I am so pleased that Julia is taking my place and can think of no one more experienced or dedicated to crime fiction. I am looking forward to attending many future Harrogate’s as a punter and seeing the Festival continue to flourish.’
Wisdom said: “I have been a huge fan of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival since it started 15 years ago. It’s always attracted a truly remarkable range of writers from around the world, as well as actors, journalists and industry specialists, amongst others, and has grown in international importance year on year. Of course, I am also a passionate reader of crime fiction and thrillers and am much looking forward to contributing to the programming discussions.”
The Theakston Old Peculier Festival was co-founded in 2003 by Val McDermid and literary agent Jane Gregory with the arts charity Harrogate International Festivals. 2018 will mark its 16th crime writing festival.
Arts body Harrogate International Festivals is aiming to raise £1m to safeguard its future.
Writers JK Rowling and Val McDermid hinted which Strictly Come Dancing contestant has their hearts as they Tweeted their support for Susan Calman’s Wonder Woman performance.
The Scottish comedian delighted the audience, judges and viewers with her performance on the BBC One contest’s movie-themed week on Saturday, dancing the first samba of the series with partner Kevin Clifton.
The Harry Potter author lauded it the best television she has ever seen as Calman swapped the traditional man-woman positions by spinning Clifton on the floor, and the pair included Beyonce’s signature body-pump move.
Published October 5, 2017 on The Bookseller, by Natasha Onwuemezi
David Higham Associates is acquiring Gregory & Company, the agency founded by Jane Gregory in 1987 and representing Val McDermid.
Gregory and her staff will be moving into David Higham’s Soho offices at the start of next year, the company said.
Speaking on the decision to acquire Gregory & Co, Anthony Goff, m.d. of David Higham, told The Bookseller the agency had no desire to “simply get bigger”, but that Gregory & Co was the “perfect fit” for the company.
“We are very proud to be teaming up with Jane now and we see our agencies as a perfect fit: she joins her starry list of authors to our bestselling client list and we look forward to contributing our expertise in film and television and to offering the support of our resources”, he said. “Together we will both be stronger and provide an even better service for all our clients.”
Goff also praised Gregory and her list saying that she has won “huge respect” for the way she has “spotted talent and developed careers”.
“As co-founder of both the Harrogate Crime Festival and the Orange Prize (now the Women’s Prize for Fiction), she has also been one of the real game-changers of our industry”, he added.
Gregory told The Bookseller that she was relishing being part of a bigger team and was particularly attracted to David Higham’s film & TV arm.
Gregory added that the move would ensure the “secure” future of Gregory & Co’s authors. “I am so delighted that the Gregory & Co team and authors will be joining DHA”, she said. “It will be fabulous to work alongside like-minded colleagues, to be joining such a well-established and successful agency. This will ensure that our G&Co authors have a secure future. I am really excited by this new chapter for me, our agency and our authors.”
Crime author McDermid, a long-standing client of Jane Gregory’s, said the acquisition would create a “formidable negotiating powerhouse”.
She said: “I’ve been represented magnificently by Jane Gregory for almost thirty years. I owe much of my success to her stewardship of my career, and I’m very much looking forward to the next phase of our publishing adventure. This is a marriage that will build on the strengths of both agencies to create a formidable negotiating powerhouse. I’m delighted to be part of it.”
Along with McDermind, Gregory & Co represents authors including Minette Walters, Nick Brownlee and Rebecca Griffiths. David Higham represents Naomi Alderman, Paula Hawkins and Owen Jones, among others.