The 15-Minute Read and 36 Stories – Letting Imaginations Travel

The internationally renowned Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate and Transdev in Harrogate, part of one of the largest public transport operators in Europe, have joined creative forces this summer to bring two exclusive opportunities to readers and writers in North and West Yorkshire.

Passengers of Transdev in Harrogate’s distinctive 36 bus services will have the opportunity to let their imagination travel courtesy of an exclusive 15 Minute Read, which features a collaboration of stories from some of the UK’s most celebrated crime writers. The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – part of Harrogate International Festivals, one of the north of England’s leading arts organisations – challenged ten of the UK’s finest crime writers to come up with a round robin crime story as dark and mysterious as the beer of its title sponsor. The first three chapters of the resulting humorous crime story, Specific Gravity, written by authors Stuart MacBride, Zoe Sharp and Laura Wilson, will be available as a take-one 15 Minute Read mini-book on 36 buses throughout July with the rest of the madcap saga unfolding online at

The story will carry on with chapters from an array of bestselling crime writers including N J Cooper, Martyn Waites, Martin Edwards, Ann Cleeves, Dreda Say Mitchell, Allan Guthrie, Charlie Williams and more from Stuart MacBride.

Nigel Eggleton, Director of Sales and Marketing at Transdev in Harrogate, said “As two Yorkshire based organisations who pride ourselves on high quality delivery, the 15-Minute Reads has been created in partnership with the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate to provide the perfect way for people to enjoy their bus journey. With just 15 minutes between 36 bus services between Leeds-Harrogate-Ripon during the day, this mini-read is designed for making the most of the minutes before another bus comes along. For those who love to read, travelling by bus allows you to make the most of your journey, and with the 15 Minute Read, your imagination can travel to another world!”

As well as offering something brand new for readers across the district, the partnership will also see the launch of an exclusive competition for budding writers. In the run up to the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, which this year will take place 19-22 July at the magnificent Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, the Festival and Transdev in Harrogate are running a short story competition with the aptly titled theme ’36 Stories’. The Festival is asking aspiring crime writers to get creative and submit a short story that involves one of more locations on the 36 bus route. A hand-picked selection of the top short stories will feature in the Harrogate Advertiser throughout June and July, and the Festival will also post their pick of the best of the entries online at

In the same way that the 15-Minute Read booklet promises to intrigue travellers, selected competition entries will be available to read online and with free Wi-Fi available on the majority of Transdev in Harrogate’s 36 bus fleet, travelling by bus has never been so entertaining, especially for passengers with smartphones and iPads.

For further information on the 15-Minute Read or 36 Stories please contact

Gemma Rowland, Festivals Co-ordinator, on 01423 562 303
or email

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