Crossing the Tees, Teesside’s biggest literary festival returns between Wednesday 9th June and Saturday 20th June 2021.

The event, now in its seventh year, has been programmed entirely by Tees Valley library services, with support from local councils and Arts Council England, and features a huge range of interactive literary events from author-hosted discussions to writing workshops.

Due to the uncertainty over ongoing Covid-restrictions, this year’s festival will take place entirely online, meaning that attendees can enjoy the wide variety of workshops and talks from the comfort of their own homes.

Highlights of this year’s festival include:

  • Award-winning environmental journalist Tim Smedley discusses his book Clearing the Air: The Beginning and the End of Air Pollution on Wednesday 9th June
  • A contemporary poetry workshop led by Linda France, followed by readings from Manchester based poet Hafsah Aneela Bashir on Thursday 10th June
  • A session with bestselling crime fiction author Vaseem Khan will take readers on a journey from the days of the Raj to the heart of modern India, a colourful and conflicted environment of vast new wealth and historical problems. How do you fit an elephant into a crime story? Find out on Friday 11th June.
  • Poet Anna Woodford will lead a writing workshop based on themes of nostalgia, memory and childhood to tie in with former Coronation Street writer Keith Hutson’s fantastic poetry collection Baldwin’s Catholic Geese which he will be reading from. Saturday 12th June.
  • An online murder-mystery night with Tall Tales Mystery. With a nod to Peaky Blinders, Murder & Flat Caps will see attendees trying to figure out a classic whodunnit. Ask the right questions, find the clues and become Top Detective on Monday 14th June.
  • On Tuesday 15th June, join Laura Degnan, founder of Writers’ Block North East, as she chats to a panel of three massively popular writers including Linda Green (The Last Thing She Told You), CJ Cooke (The Blame Game) and Clara Barley (The Moss House).
  • Nancy Revell will be hosting a tea and chat session focusing on her wildly popular Shipyard Girls series of novels on Wednesday 17th June.
  • Sci-fi writer and publisher Gillie Hatton will host authors GX Todd and Claire North on Thursday 18th June, as they chat about sci-fi and fantasy fiction and their own work.
  • The Perfect Crime Author Panel takes place on Friday 19th June and is hosted by Dr Noir (aka Dr Jacky Collins) with special guests William Shaw, Trevor Wood and Nell Pattison.
  • On Saturday 19th June, Sixth Element Publishing will be hosting a Writers’ Day including workshops on Getting Published, Writing Genre Fiction, Writing Children’s Books and Marketing Your Book.

All events can be booked online with many events priced on a Pay What You Decide basis.

Budding authors and creative writers are once again invited to share their stories as the Crossing the Tees short story anthology returns giving writers the chance to appear in a published anthology and take home a cash prize. There is no theme to the competition so imaginations can run wild!

For more information about the festival and events, as well as the competition, please visit the new Crossing the Tees website at or by contact ARC’s Box Office on 01642 525199.