Workshops

This year we have exciting workshops from Imran Mahmood, Mary Paulson Ellis, E.S. Thomson and Paul Willetts.

Each workshop runs twice so that you can find a time to suit your schedule. Sessions cost just £35.

Burden of proof

Writing courtroom and interview scenes with Imran Mahmood

Learn to write gripping, realistic courtroom and interview scenes for your story in this workshop led by practicing criminal defence barrister and crime novelist, Imran Mahmood.

Drawing on 30 years’ experience of fighting violence, fraud and sex offences in court, Imran will provide quick-fire writing tips and advice for making any legal scene feel razor-sharp and authentic, without relying on heavy jargon or boring procedure. 

Imran’s debut novel You Don’t Know Me is a genre-bending whodunnit told from the courtroom in which a young man stands for murder. The Daily Express called it ‘a startlingly original courtroom drama . . . perfectly executed, gripping the reader from the first sentence with the defendant’s unique voice and not letting go until a surprising twist at the end.’

This online workshop will take place online via Zoom. Instructions will be sent to you a few days in advance.

Choose your session:

10am BST, Friday 10 September

2pm BST, Friday 10 September

Poison pen writing with E.S. Thomson

In a genre as broad and boundless as crime fiction, methods of murder are varied. However, nothing gives the crime writer as much scope as poison! Beloved by ‘golden age’ writers, such as Christie and Allingham, poisons have much to offer in your story.

  • Creating a murderous atmosphere – how location and description are your friends
  • Arsenic or cyanide? Jimsonweed or monkshood? What poison works for you?
  • Talking about death, poisons and poisoning – using dialogue affectively
  • Research, and how to be creative with it

Come prepared to kill your characters!

This online workshop will take place online via Zoom. Instructions will be sent to you a few days in advance.

10am BST, Saturday 11 September

2pm BST, Saturday 11 September

Con artists, spies, gangsters

Non-fiction crime writing with Paul Willetts

Join Paul Willetts, the critically acclaimed author of King Con and Rendezvous at the Russian Tea Rooms, for a friendly writing workshop packed with practical tips and advice on how to research, structure and write your non-fiction story. Paul is a master of non-fiction storytelling, spinning true-life accounts of con artists, spies and gangsters into gripping stories steeped in detail and atmosphere. 

In this two-hour session, you will explore:

  • How to research your story and use true life details to enhance atmosphere and characterisation
  • Approaches to structuring your story
  • Possible routes to publication, including how to pitch your story to an agent

Whether you are new to the genre or have some writing experience, this workshop offers an essential snapshot of how to approach your non-fiction project.

This workshop will take place at the National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall. Instructions will be sent to you a few days in advance.

Choose your session:

10am BST, Saturday 11 September – one place left!

2pm BST, Saturday 11 September – fully booked!

The Sins of the Past with Mary Paulson Ellis

Times bestselling novelist Mary Paulson-Ellis is known for her dark, atmospheric dual-timeline detective novels set in Edinburgh. Join her for an informal, interactive online workshop exploring the ways that memory and history can be used to haunt the present in your crime story.

A brilliant opportunity for insight and advice from the award-winning author of The Other Mrs Walker (Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year) and The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing.

This online workshop will take place online via Zoom. Instructions will be sent to you a few days in advance.

Choose your session:

10am BST, Sunday 12 September

2pm BST, Sunday 12 September

Latest news

Five tips on embarking into the dark heart of crime fiction

Fiction writing advice from Mary Paulson-Ellis, the award-winning author of The Other Mrs Walker.

Read more

Essential, gripping true crime reads

Paul Willetts, the critically acclaimed author of King Con and Rendezvous at the Russian Tea Rooms, recommends six essential true crime reads for readers and writers.

Read more

Win a crime fiction book bundle

We've teamed up with The Crime Vault to gift one lucky winner with ten unmissable crime fiction books.

Read more

Noirwich Crime Writing Festival 2021 announced

Internationally acclaimed writer Megan Abbott ('A legend for good reason' – The Washington Post) will deliver the 2021 Noirwich Crime Writing Festival Lecture, it has been revealed today.

Read more
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