Free Crime Writers Week For Mystery, Suspense, And Thriller Authors – April 19-23

Free Crime Writers Week For Mystery, Suspense, And Thriller Authors – April 19-23

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tips for crime writers

If you write mystery, suspense, or thrillers (or just love to read them!), then you’ll want to check out ProWritingAid’s free Crime Writer’s Week scheduled for April 19-23. Whether you’re crafting a police procedural, a whodunnit, or a good old-fashioned mystery, you’ll learn how to keep readers turning the pages.

Attend live virtual sessions with bestselling authors, including Karin Slaughter, Lisa Gardner, Ian Rankin, Peter James, Fiona Cummins, and more. You’ll also get insider publishing advice from Katherine Armstrong, the Deputy Publishing Director for Crime Fiction at Simon & Schuster, attend workshops on writing and editing your novel, and learn from real police advisors to help make your book truly authentic. If you’re a crime reader and not a writer, you’ll get an inside look at the behind-the-scenes of the research and writing process.

Monday’s Sessions

The Elements of a Crime Novel: From Planning to Plot
Presenter: Bestselling Author Leigh Russell

Every genre requires a unique approach, and crime writing is no different. In this session, internationally bestselling crime author Leigh Russell will take you through the key elements of the crime writing process.

Crime Writing: Secrets of the Genre
Presenters: Anne Hawley and Rachelle Ramirez of Pages & Platforms

Do you have an idea for a crime novel but don’t yet know how to structure it? Got some bad deeds, clues, and some scenes that don’t really work together or entertain? In this webinar, you’ll learn the crime story essentials.

Tuesday’s Sessions

Crime Scene Management, Police Interviewing, and Covert Tactics
Presenter: Police Advisor Graham Bartlett
Retired detective, bestselling author, and advisor to over 80 crime novelists and TV writers, Graham Bartlett can help your WIP ooze authenticity. Learn how the police use mobile phones, vehicles, CCTV, and social media in their investigations, as well as authentic police interview techniques.

Insider Advice on Getting Published
Presented by: Katherine Armstrong, Deputy Publishing Director, Crime & Thriller Fiction at Simon & Schuster
This session is intended to demystify the publishing process for writers, give advice on how to get published, and answer any questions you might have about traditional publishing.

How to Edit Your Crime Novel with ProWritingAid
Presented by: Hayley Milliman, Head of Education at ProWritingAid
It doesn’t matter how many hours you spent meticulously crafting your crime novel’s plot. If your writing isn’t clear and effective, your readers won’t engage with it. That’s where editing technology can help. In this workshop, we’ll dive into how to use ProWritingAid to make key edits to your crime manuscript.

Wednesday’s Sessions

The History & the Mystery: Selecting and Creating an Authentic Setting for Crime Fiction
Presented by: Fiona Veitch Smith
Author Fiona Veitch Smith will share tips on how to research and build your historical story’s world and the importance of selecting the right investigator within the constraints and possibilities of the period.

Thriller Writer Panel Discussion with Steve Berry, Lisa Gardner, Ian Rankin, and Karin Slaughter
Presented by: International Thriller Writers (ITW)
Author and ITW Executive Director K.J. Howe will be hosting four of their members for a lively discussion around the joys and pains of writing thrillers. Expect great tips and life lessons from these popular writers as they discuss their writing journeys so far.

Common Police Mistakes Made by Crime Writers and How to Avoid Them
Presented by: Police Advisor Graham Bartlett
Graham will be back again to share the most common errors that authors get wrong in their crime novels. Who really runs a homicide investigation? When does a missing person report become a murder enquiry? Find out the answers to these and many more bloopers that could spoil your next bestseller.

Thursday’s Sessions

Debut Dagger Awards Longlist Announcement
Presented by: Crime Writers’ Association
For over two decades, the CWA has been encouraging new writing with its Debut Dagger competition for unpublished writers. The submissions are judged by a panel of top crime editors and agents.

How to Market Your Self-Published Crime Novel
Presented by: Nick Stephenson, Author and Founder of Your First 10k Readers
Marketing your book comes down to mastering three key things: traffic, conversions, and scaling up. With the right systems in place for these three things, you can grow your readership and sales without spending your entire day “worrying about marketing.”

Interview with Author Fiona Cummins

Fiona Cummins is the award-winning author of Rattle, The Collector, and The Neighbour. We’ll be chatting to her about breaking into the world of crime writing, and what it’s like to see her fourth book, When I Was Ten, being adapted for television.

The final day of Crime Writer’s Week is available to ProWritingAid Premium subscribers only. We’ll be hosting an editing deep dive, an interview with bestselling author Peter James, and finishing the week with a police expert Q&A. If you don’t have ProWritingAid Premium yet, don’t worry! Crime Writer’s Week participants will receive an exclusive discount in their confirmation email when they sign up.

Friday’s Sessions

How to Edit Your Crime Novel
Presented by: Hayley Milliman, ProWritingAid’s Head of Education
As nice as it would be, writing your crime novel isn’t over when you type “The End.” In fact, the actual work is just beginning. During the editing process, your novel will go from rough first draft to thrilling final manuscript. In this workshop, Hayley will walk you through the most important edits you should make to ensure your book is publish-ready.

Interview with Author Peter James
Peter James has become synonymous with plot-twisting page-turners. He has won over 40 awards for his work and achieved 17 Sunday Times Bestsellers to date. Learn from the master what it takes to write gripping crime novels that keep readers hooked.

Police Advisor Q&A
Presented by: Police Advisor Graham Bartlett
This is your chance to bring YOUR questions about police work and crime scene investigations to Graham Bartlett, retired detective, bestselling author and advisor to over 80 crime novelists (including Peter James).

Sign up once to get access to every event. You don’t have to attend every event, or attend live—all webinars will be recorded and sent out the following day. So, even if you are not able to make certain dates/times, it’s still worth registering to get the recordings.

 

Behind The Rewrite With @JudyPenzSheluk: Varied Words Aren’t Always a Given

Behind The Rewrite With @JudyPenzSheluk: Varied Words Aren’t Always a Given

 

varied words

When I read Judy Penz Sheluk’s Behind the Rewrite post, I chuckled as boy, does it ring true! We all have crutch words and phrases that we rely on when we’re talking to others. It drives me crazy when I listen to myself in a podcast interview and hear myself say “you know.” Writers also have to worry about using crutch words in their books. One of my favorite, (okay, overused) words in my own fiction is “as.”  As a developmental editor, I’ve discovered that EVERY writer has their favorite overused words. Judy’s post is a great lesson for beginner writers and a terrific reminder for seasoned authors.

It was while golfing this past summer that I first noticed it. Every time one of my foursome hit an errant shot—and there were many—she’d say, “Are you kidding me?” At first, I found it amusing. After a while, I started counting the number of times she’d say it. I stopped at seventeen.

I remember thinking, at the time, that I could never get away with that in a novel. True, characters have quirks, and dialogue needs to be authentic, but too many “Are you kidding me’s” and the reader is going to find it distracting at best, and annoying at worst. 

That thought was firmly in my mind when I was rereading Where There’s A Will, the third and final book in my Glass Dolphin cozy mystery series, before sending out ARCs and getting the manuscript ready for my proofreader. 

Because I’d already read the book more times than I cared to remember, and because it had gone through four beta readers, I didn’t expect to find any instances of “Are you kidding me?” and I didn’t. What I did find was an inordinate number of “given this or that…” And when I say inordinate I mean twenty-nine. How had I missed those? How had everyone else?

Since the “givens” were scattered throughout the book, I’m going to share six examples, before and after. 

Example #1

Before: The break-up with Hudson had caused a few minor ripples in Emily’s life, given that she had recently become engaged to his best friend, Luke Surmanski, but it was nothing they couldn’t work around.

After: The break-up with Hudson had caused a few minor ripples in Emily’s life. She had recently become engaged to his best friend, Luke Surmanski, but it was nothing they couldn’t work around.

Example #2

Before: Emily had hesitated at first, given what she knew about the property’s history. How many people wanted to buy a house where the owner had been murdered, especially since the case had never been solved?

After: Didn’t change a word. Some “givens” are okay, and I thought it worked well in this instance.

Example #3

Before: Emily didn’t believe him, given that he was the CEO of Pemberton Productions and his TV show had been a ratings winner for the past five seasons.

After: Emily didn’t believe him. He was the CEO of Pemberton Productions and his TV show had been a ratings winner for the past five seasons.

Example #4

Before: Arabella wanted to laugh out loud. Trust Poppy to refer to a murder as a “circumstance.” Then again, maybe she was being a hypocrite, given that she’d just signed a contract with Faye Everett.

After: Arabella wanted to laugh out loud. Trust Poppy to refer to a murder as a “circumstance.” Then again, maybe she was being a hypocrite, since she’d just signed a contract with Faye Everett.

Example #5

Before: In Arabella’s experience, all secrets tended to weigh heavily, given enough time and perspective.

After: In Arabella’s experience, all secrets tended to weigh heavily, with enough time and perspective.

Example #6

Before: They agreed to split up, Levon staying at the Hadley house to finish the appraisal, time being of the essence given this latest set of circumstances, and Arabella charged with finding a lawyer.

After: They agreed to split up, Levon staying at the Hadley house to finish the appraisal, time being of the essence with this latest set of circumstances, and Arabella charged with finding a lawyer.

overused words

Want To Read The Book?

Emily Garland is getting married and looking for the perfect forever home. When the old, and some say haunted, Hadley house comes up for sale, she’s convinced it’s “the one.” The house is also perfect for reality TV star Miles Pemberton and his new series, House Haunters. Emily will fight for her dream home, but Pemberton’s pockets are deeper than Emily’s, and he’ll stretch the rules to get what he wants.

While Pemberton racks up enemies all around Lount’s Landing, Arabella Carpenter, Emily’s partner at the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, has been hired to appraise the contents of the estate, along with her ex-husband, Levon. Could the feuding beneficiaries decide there’s a conflict of interest? Could Pemberton?

Things get even more complicated when Arabella and Levon discover another will hidden inside the house, and with it, a decades-old secret. Can the property stay on the market? And if so, who will make the winning offer: Emily or Miles Pemberton?

Buy it on:

Amazon

More About Judy

A former journalist and magazine editor, Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: the Glass Dolphin Mysteries and the Marketville Mysteries. Her short crime fiction appears in several collections, including The Best Laid Plans and Heartbreaks & Half-truths, which she also edited. Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Chair on the Board of Directors. 

Visit her around the web:

Website/Blog

Facebook 

Twitter 

Instagram

Opportunities For Writers

Are you an author interested in writing a Behind the Rewrite guest blog post? Get the guidelines here.

Are you a writer who could use some editing tips? Check out Stacy’s free resources:

Line Editing Made Simple–5 Days to More Polished Pages  – Free e-mail class packed with line editing tips

Shortcuts for Writers: Editing Made Simple Facebook group – Download the guide, 7 Simple Steps to Nailing Your Book Blurb in Unit 1.

How To Name Your Characters: Tips Every Fiction Writer Should Know – Check out this extensive post on naming your characters, an informative video tour of 7 character-naming sites, and a free PDF guide that summarizes all the information.

Book Editing Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Plan to Making Your Novels Publishable – Learn how to streamline the editing process in this affordable, self-paced online course that will empower beginner and intermediate writers to think like an editor so they can save time and money. A steppingstone to hiring an editor.

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