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East Coast gets criminally creative with Harrogate crime writing festival

East Coast gets criminally creative with Harrogate crime writing festival

East Coast and bestselling author Martyn Waites have teamed up to launch the first ever crowd-sourced real time short crime story using the social media site Twitter.

The train operator will work with Martyn, who is this year’s reader in residence at the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, part of the Harrogate International Festival, to kick-start the East Coast Crime Story on Thursday 19th April using the Twitter alias @eastcoaststory.

Martyn, who will post the opening 140 character line to the story, has laid down the gauntlet and set the challenge to budding crime writers to contribute and submit suggestions for its subsequent lines to make it as creative and gripping as possible.

East Coast Director of Communications Paul Emberley said: “East Coast has sponsored this year’s Harrogate Crime Writing Festival and has teamed up to launch the East Coast Crime Story using Twitter, to bring two popular train travel past times together - reading and social media.

“Crime is one of the most enduring and much loved genres of writing and what better way to get people talking, and thinking, than to be part of the first ever short crime story written using the social media site.


“We are looking forward to reading the final version of the story and hope that the public get their thinking caps on to come up with some novel suggestions to keep the story as thrilling and intense as only the best crime stories are.”

The story will be created using suggested lines from Twitter followers, and once submitted, will be edited by the Harrogate Festival organisers, who will choose the best suggestions and retweet the updated story, which will help to keep it moving and the tension building as it reaches its criminally creative climax on Friday 20th April.

Martyn Waites said: “Crime is the number one best-selling fiction genre in the country, and we hope to engage the millions of people who read crime novels, by challenging them to write one.

“The East Coast Crime Short Story is a fantastic chance for members of the public to work alongside top name crime writers and craft a thrilling tale of intrigue and murder that’ll keep you engrossed throughout your train journey.  It’s an opportunity to create something totally new, something that’s never been attempted before, and that’s damned exciting.”

Harrogate International Festival Chief Executive Sharon Canavar said: “The partnership between two celebrated Yorkshire brands - Harrogate International Festivals and East Coast - will allow everyone to have a go at crime writing and contribute to a unique crime story alongside award-winning crime authors.

“The story, which will be published on-line and be included within the 2012 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Event Guide, is a great opportunity to guide a new crime story and to have your say about characters, plot and of course, whodunit.”

The complete story will be posted online at, and the public will be able to compete for the chance to come up with a title for the story to win two First Class tickets to Harrogate and tickets to the festival courtesy of East Coast.