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Crime Writers' Week Full Schedule and Replays

Click the drop down arrow beside each session title to see full description, replays, and supplementary materials.

Monday, June 20

Tuesday, June 21

Wednesday, June 22

Thursday, June 23

10:00 AM EDT / 3:00 PM UK

The Secrets of the Crime Genre

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Presented by Anne Hawley and Rachelle Ramirez of Pages & Platforms

fiction

writing

plotting

Developmental editors Anne Hawley and Rachelle Ramirez of Pages and Platforms present how to build, evaluate, and improve your crime story using four tools: marketing categories, story types, essential story elements, and world-building.

You will learn how to evoke empathy for your characters, create tension and excitement, provide emotional satisfaction for your reader, innovate within the crime genre, and finish a professional draft of your story.

12:00 PM EDT / 5:00 PM UK

Creating Credible Cops

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Presented by Graham Bartlett

plotting

adding realism

characters

Get under the skin of the people behind the uniform to transform your writing – what makes them tick, how do they actually communicate, and how do they behave in their professional and private lives. In this fun yet informative workshop, Graham will demystify who police officers actually are and what their world feels like. So you can create authentic yet compelling police characters, he will cover, 

  • Police structures and careers

  • The DNA of a police officer

  • How police work together and speak

  • Jargon and acronyms – the dos and don’ts.

  • Police station settings

  • Police roles and ranks

  • Police humour

  • Standards and discipline

2:00 PM EDT / 7:00 PM UK

Networking Event: Speed Dating

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Presented by ProWritingAid

networking

Get to know the other participants in Crime Writers' Week by speed dating in Zoom breakout rooms.

4:00 PM EDT / 9:00 PM UK

How to Plot With Fictionary

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Presented by Kristina Stanley of Fictionary

software demo

We all get excited when we type “The End” on our first draft. Before you share your story with others, you owe it to yourself to tell the best possible story. Learn how to story edit, and you’ll create a story readers love.

In this session, Kristina Stanley, CEO of Fictionary and ALLi Story Editing Advisor, will teach you where to begin a Story Edit. If your dream is to craft a powerful story, she'll show you how to “see” your first draft in a new way.

6:00 PM EDT / 11:00 PM UK

Writing Emergency Scenes: Paramedic Characters to Die For

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Presented by Harry Colfer

plotting

adding realism

characters

Writing crime stories often involve traumatic scenes and life saving interventions, but if TV shows and popular books are anything to go by, there's a lot of confusion about what a paramedic can and can't do. This session discusses some of the common pitfalls and misconceptions about what happens when an ambulance arrives, and hopes to help prevent your medically savvy readers from rolling their eyes.

10:00 AM EDT / 3:00 PM UK

Polishing Your Book With Beta Readers

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Presented by A.A Abbott

editing

beta readers

Feedback is the most valuable free resource an author can have in perfecting their books. Beta readers can correct factual errors, spot typos and improve characters and plot. But where do you find these unsung heroes and how do you use them? AA Abbott has worked with a variety of beta readers, from avid readers and writers to cops, prison officers, DJs and philosophers. Join her to learn how to harness the power of beta readers to polish your writing.

12:00 PM EDT / 5:00 PM UK

Plotting Your Cozy Mystery

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Presented by Tara Lush

writing

plotting

Mystery writer Tara Lush is a RWA Rita finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow and the winner of the George C. Polk award for environmental journalism.

In this session, discover Tara's best tips for plotting your cozy mystery.

2:00 PM EDT / 7:00 PM UK

Networking Event: The Perfect Crime

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Presented by ProWritingAid

networking

Work in teams with fellow Crime Writers' Week participants to craft the perfect crime.

4:00 PM EDT / 9:00 PM UK

An Interview with Award-Winning Author Mia Manansala

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Presented by ProWritingAid

author interview

In this session, we will be discussing how Mia creates refreshingly new and representitive stories within the mystery genre, through the Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery series. This could lead to a discussion of queerness and diasporic identity, as well as the influence of food on stories and identity.

Mia Manasala is an award winning mystery author and certified book coach from Chicago. Her debut novel, ARSENIC AND ADOBO, came out May 4, 2021 with Berkley/Penguin Random House and is the first in the Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery series. The sequel, HOMICIDE AND HALO-HALO, is out now.

6:00 PM EDT / 11:00 PM UK

Red Herrings Workshop

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Presented by Savannah Gilbo

plotting

red herrings

Want to write a story full of twists that surprises readers? Join Savannah for an in-depth discussion about how to effectively weave clues and red herrings into your story.

Savannah Gilbo is a certified developmental editor and book coach who helps fiction authors write, edit, and publish stories that work. She's also the host of the top-rated Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast where she delivers weekly episodes full of simple, actionable, and step-by-step strategies that you can implement in your writing right away.

10:00 AM EDT / 3:00 PM UK

Catch a Crime Editor's Eye

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Presented by Tash Barsby

traditional publishing

working with editors

Tash Barsby lifts the lid on life inside a publishing house, and gives tips on how to craft a crime story that's sure to catch an editor's eye.

Before joining The Novelry, Tash Barsby was a Commissioning Editor in the commercial fiction team at Transworld Publishers, part of Penguin Random House. She worked primarily on the crime and thriller list, supporting brand authors such as Lesley Kara, Tess Gerritsen and Shari Lapena, as well as publishing her own titles – including recent No.1 Sunday Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick The Sanatorium. In her role as Senior Editor at The Novelry, Tash gives aspiring authors hands-on help with their manuscripts to kickstart their writing careers.

12:00 PM EDT / 5:00 PM UK

Creating Clarity in Your Crime Novel

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Presented by Hayley Milliman

line editing

software demo

As writers, we often spend too much time focusing on what our ideas are instead of how to communicate those ideas most effectively. If we don't sharpen our sentences with our readers in mind, then our ideas will get lost and our writing will be less engaging.

In this actionable presentation, Hayley will walk you through five key ways to improve the craft of your crime writing. By the end of the session, you'll know exactly how to tackle your work to make it more powerful for your readers.

2:00 PM EDT / 7:00 PM UK

Networking Event: The Detective

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Presented by ProWritingAid

networking

Work in groups to create an engaging detective.

4:00 PM EDT / 9:00 PM UK

Save the Cat Writes a Mystery

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Presented by Jessica Brody

plotting

editing

Is there a secret storytelling code hidden behind all well-plotted mystery novels?

In Save the Cat! Writes a Mystery Novel, bestselling author and story coach Jessica Brody, (author of the #1 bestselling plotting guide, Save the Cat! Writes a Novel) introduces you to the 15 beats of the Save the Cat! method, which writers around the world are using to craft engaging stories, compelling character arcs, and unputdownable novels.

Using examples from popular mystery novels, Jessica demonstrates now the Save the Cat! structure blueprint can be used to plot, write, outline, or revise your mystery novel, or simply jumpstart you out of writing slumps. This fun and informative presentation is sure to inspire you and leave you itching to start writing!

6:00 PM EDT / 11:00 PM UK

An Interview with True Crime Writer, Mary Kay McBrayer

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Presented by ProWritingAid

author interview

true crime

In this session, we'll discuss how Mary Kay researched, wrote, and sold her book, America's First Female Serial Killer: Jane Toppan and the Making of a Monster.

Mary Kay McBrayer is a true crime book author, literature professor, podcast co-host, and killer storyteller.

10:00 AM EDT / 3:00 PM UK

An Interview with Award-Winning Writer Nadine Matheson

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Presented by ProWritingAid

author interview

premium users only

In this session, we will discuss how Nadine Matheson's background as a criminal solicitor informs her writing process, as well as how living in London inspired her work.

Nadine Matheson is a criminal solicitor from London. She completed her MA in Creative Writing (Crime/Thriller Novels) at City University of London with Distinction in 2018. Her crime thriller The Jigsaw Man was published in 2021, and her latest novel The Binding Room is avaliable for pre-order now.

12:00 PM EDT / 5:00 PM UK

Marketing Your Crime Book

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Presented by Sue Campbell

book marketing

premium users only

One of the toughest, but most necessary, parts of being an author is tackling your own marketing. Too often, writers rely on tactics without having an underlying strategy and flail around like they've just landed in another realm.

You'll learn why marketing your book using a slapdash playbook of tactics from the internet is likely to fail, your number one book marketing goal, and the foundational 4-part book marketing strategy that will actually grow your audience of crime readers.

2:00 PM EDT / 7:00 PM UK

Networking Event: Book Show and Tell

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Presented by ProWritingAid

networking

premium users only

Meet and connect with other crime writers in breakout rooms. Hear their favorite crime books and share your own.

4:00 PM EDT / 9:00 PM UK

Writing Your Crime Book with Scrivener

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Presented by Scrivener

software demo

premium users only

Scrivener is the premier word-processing program and outliner designed for authors. Join the Scrivener team to receive tips and tricks on how to use Scrivener to write your crime novel.

6:00 PM EDT / 11:00 PM UK

How to Get Out of Revision Hell for Thriller, Mystery and Suspense Writers

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Presented by Samantha Skal

editing

premium users only

Revision is both where the hard work and the magic happens in writing a novel, but sometimes, it can feel hellish, especially if you don't know what's wrong and/or you don't know where to start when tackling vague feedback like "not twisty enough" or "pacing is off." Whether you're on draft two or draft fifteen, in the world of mysteries, thrillers and suspense, pacing and twists are just two of many key aspects to nail, and it can frequently feel overwhelming to tackle these issues in a 90K word manuscript. Geared toward thriller, mystery and suspense writers with full manuscripts, this session will cover a process that works to get from revision hell to revision bliss, as well as covering techniques for the following:

- How to check that twists, reveals, red herrings and clues are shining as brightly as they can, numerous enough, and on the page

- How to identify and fix pacing issues

- How to avoid overwhelm with revision, including how to know what to tackle first when your revision to-do list is a mile long

Plus, this session will cover how and when to use beta readers most effectively.