COURSE: Writing Short Crime Fiction

Price: 175.00

Discount Price: 120.00

Writers in receipt of benefits or in financial hardship

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23 May 2024


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About the event

About the course:

This online writing course will give you the skills to write a great crime story. You will practice crafting memorable characters, writing believable dialogue, and bringing the world of your crime story compellingly to life using research and atmospheric settings. We will talk about finding the right pacing for your stories as well as ways of enhancing tension using clues, suspense, twists, and turns. We will begin short crime fiction projects and discover effective ways to develop them, discussing how to move forward with your writing after the course. The final session will help you polish your best piece of writing for publication in a Comma press eBook anthology.


During this course, you will learn how to:

· Craft memorable characters that leap off the page.

· Use the techniques of mystery and crime fiction.

· Build atmospheric and immersive settings for your stories.

· Create believable dialogue and compelling character conflict.

· Plot short crime stories using suspense, twists & turns.

· Make your work tight and taut by editing.


Session One – Thursday 23rd May 2024



· What makes a good crime story?

· Different subgenres, tropes and devices.

· Asking ‘what if’ makes the ordinary exciting.


Session Two – Thursday 6th June 2024

Crafting Compelling Characters:


· Invent memorable & compelling characters.

· Detectives, villains, heroes and antiheroes.

· Whose story is this? Find your POV & voice.


Session Three – Thursday 20th June 2024

The suspense is in the details:


· Clues, crime scenes and procedure.

· Using detail to create atmospheric settings.

· Researching your world to make it feel believable.


Session Four – Thursday 4th July 2024

Plot & pace, tension & twists:


· Finding the best pacing for your story.

· Heighten tension using story beats.

· Working twists and turns into a plot arc.


Session Five – Thursday 18th July 2024

Dialogue, Subtext & Conflict:


· Suspense-building dialogue with subtext.

· Conversations that propel your story forward.

· Dialogue, conflict, clues & character.


Session Six – Thursday 1st August 2024

Editing & polishing your story:


· How to choose your best story for the eBook

· What to look for when editing your work.

· Questions for current and future projects.


About the Tutor:

Dr Kate Horsley did her BA at Oxford and her PhD at Harvard, where she also lectured. Since returning to the UK, she has taught Creative Writing at Lancaster and Chester Universities and held a writing fellowship at Chester. Her first novel, The Monster’s Wife, came out with Barbican Press and was shortlisted for the Scottish First Book of the Year Award. A subsequent novel, The American Girl, was published by William Morrow (US) and Harper Collins (UK) and translated into Korean by Tomato Publishing. Her short stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Best British Crime Stories, and all her longer fiction has been optioned for film and television. She is currently finishing up her fourth novel and working on her first collection of short stories.