Book lovers delight as Crossing The Tees returns

Published Friday, 31st May 2024

There’s a real treat in store for book lovers in Hartlepool with the return of the Crossing The Tees Book Festival.

This popular event – a collaboration between the library services of Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Darlington Borough Councils supported by funding from Arts Council England – runs from Thursday 6th to Friday 21st June.

It brings together some of the brightest and best authors from around the country in special events across the Tees Valley where people can meet the authors and hear them read from some of their books. Plus there are workshops and much more!

The Hartlepool events – each of which costs £5.50 per person, including a booking fee - are:

  • Tuesday 11th June – Meet The Author – Lesley McEvoy. Community Hub Central, York Road, 7pm.

After working in some of the toughest prisons in the UK, Lesley McEvoy gave up her day job in 2017 to focus on writing gritty crime novels full-time.

Find out all about Lesley's writing process, her inspirations, and more.

  • Wednesday 12th June – Trisha Ashley in Conversation with Juliet Greenwood. Community Hub South, Wynyard Road, 2pm.

Join Trisha Ashley, Sunday Times bestselling author of over twenty romantic comedy novels, and Juliet Greenwood, author of eight historical novels inspired by the histories of women in her family, for an afternoon of discussion about their books and writing.

  • Friday 14th June – Backbone of the Nation. Community Hub Central, York Road, 2pm.

Robert Gildea will be discussing his new book Backbone of the Nation, exploring the Miners’ Strike as the last great industrial battle of the 20th century, which mobilised 170,000 miners, their families and communities in defence of their pits and way of life.

There will be a particular focus on the experience of the strike and its aftermath in County Durham.

  • Friday 14th June – TWOOMPH – The Open Mic with Extra Oomph! Community Hub Central, York Road, 7pm.

Hartlepool native Theodore Forcer (they/them) is a queer poet who currently attends Durham University, where they lead the UniSlam performance poetry team and study sociology.

They are a graduate of the TWP Spoken Word Boot Camp 2023, and have previously been published in Recesses and the Agapanthus Collective.

Writers of all genders and any genre are welcome to bring five minutes of their words to our friendly open mic – new performers are especially welcome!

Come along for the Tees Women Poets‘ trademark mix of brilliant writing and half-time shenanigans, where you’re invited to play some word-related games. 

  • Saturday 15th June – Gods Like Us – Making New Myths of Place and People for Teesside. Community Hub South, Wynyard Road, 10am.

What if the trickster Loki, Medusa and her serpentine hair, or Red and her wolf decided to relocate to Teesside? Greeks, Norsemen, fairy tale tellers who wove stories to explain the origins of a place, the gods of those places grew out of the landscape and gave curses and blessings to the people.

Come and learn how to make gods and their stories for Teesside, inspired by our places and people in a workshop suitable for all levels led by Carmen Marcus, a published author, poet and playwright. As the daughter of a Yorkshire fisherman and an Irish chef, her writing brings together the practical and the magical.

Jill Harrison, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Director of Adult and Community-Based Services, said: “Whether you just love the written word and a good book or you’re a budding author, Crossing The Tees is not to be missed!

“One of the highlights of the Hartlepool creative calendar, it’s a fascinating opportunity to meet a range of authors, hear them read from their own work and learn about their writing processes and how they gain their inspiration.”

For further details of the whole Tees-wide programme and to book tickets, visit