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The essentials of writing crime fiction

Guardian Masterclasses

Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM - Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 5:30 PM (GMT)

The essentials of writing crime fiction

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price * Fee Quantity
The essentials of writing crime fiction EARLY BIRD Ended £349.00 £0.00
The essentials of writing crime fiction STANDARD Ended £399.00 £0.00
* Prices include VAT

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Event Details


Everybody loves a good, juicy murder. So it's little wonder crime fiction is one of the UK's bestselling literary genres. Whether your tastes tend toward the gritty Jack Reacher procedural or the witty Father Brown whimsical, over the course of a weekend, acclaimed novelists William Ryan and M R Hall, joined by Literary Agent David Headley, will give an intensive and entertaining overview of the building blocks of crime fiction. And whether you're an absolute beginner or a much more experienced writer, this course will be of real value. From understanding the types of fiction agents, publishers and readers are looking for to giving practical and incisive help with your plotting and characterisation, through a series of lectures and workshops, you'll learn how to drive your novel forward without giving everything away - and while keeping your readers gripped. You'll leave the course with a step-by-step guide to developing your crime novel, and invaluable feedback from three professionals at the top of their game on how to continue.

Outline of sessions

  • What makes crime fiction tick
  • The crime fiction market
  • Introduction to plotting
  • Technical aspects of crime writing
  • Developing subsidiary characters and conflict
  • How to create an original central charater
  • Writing good dialogue
  • What agents are looking for
  • The three act structure
  • Workshops on Plotting, Characterisation and Dialogue

Tutor profiles

M R Hall is a Bafta nominated screenwriter, producer and former criminal barrister. He has just been nominated for a second CWA Gold Dagger Award for his novel The Flight. The Chosen Dead is Hall's fifth novel featuring the brave but fragile Coroner Jenny Cooper and the trademark combination of intricate detail, perfect plotting, televisual narrative and flawed but believable characters.

William Ryan is an Irish writer who has lived and worked in London for a number of years. He was called to the English bar, after university in Dublin, before he worked as a lawyer in the City. Ryan's previous novels in the series, The Holy Thief and The Bloody Meadow have between them been shortlisted for the Theakstones Crime Novel of the Year Award, the CWA New Blood Dagger, the Irish Fiction Award and the Ireland AM Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award.

David Headley is the Managing Director of Goldsboro Books, an independent bookseller based in central London, and founder of the DHH Literary Agency. David represents a number of crime writers and has a reputation for championing debut authors, both as agent and bookseller.


Dates: Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January 2013
Times: 10am-5.30pm. Check-in begins 30 minutes before the start time.
Location: The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU
Early bird special (a limited number of places at a reduced price for people who book in advance) £349
Regular price £399
(all prices include VAT, booking fee, lunch and refreshments)
Event capacity: 16
Dress code: There is no dress code for Masterclasses. Please dress however you feel comfortable.

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Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

Have questions about The essentials of writing crime fiction? Contact Guardian Masterclasses

When & Where

The Guardian
90 York Way
N1 9AG London
United Kingdom

Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM - Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 5:30 PM (GMT)

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Guardian Masterclasses

Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.

Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

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The essentials of writing crime fiction
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