Looking to learn the foundational tools of crime writing, or to sharpen existing weapons already at your disposal? This masterclass will refine your essential plot, pacing, and genre-specific techniques, and teach you how to get paid for your crimes (the fictional variety)! We discuss the responsibilities of writers in representing criminalisation and violence, and how to develop a critical and ethical approach to writing in this thrilling genre.
10.15am Keynote: Conventions of Crime
Angela Savage takes us on a whirlwind tour through the most notable subgenres, tropes and conventions of the crime genre and how to work with them. The perfect introduction for new conspirators, and an engaging refresher for long-standing crime aficionados.
10.45am Plot and Pacing
Three acclaimed crime writers give you the lowdown on perfecting your planning for a juicy and thrilling plot. We’ll hear what it takes to lay a solid groundwork for your narrative while remaining flexible to developments as you write, and share tried and tested strategies for pacing your writing to keep readers on their toes. Don’t forget to keep track of subplots and loose ends so you finish with a watertight seal and you’ll be on your way to a page turner in no time!
With Mark Brandi, Anna George and Christian White
12pm Representing Criminalisation
How can we write gripping crime fiction that is socially aware of the realities of criminalisation and the complexities of the criminal justice system? Gala Vanting, Nayuka Gorrie and Queenie Bon Bon give us a chance to think critically about cultural and legal ideas of ‘the criminal’ and ‘the victim’. We discuss the effects of criminalisation and over-policing on politicised communities, and the importance of unpacking one’s own ideas about deviance, investigation, punishment and criminality as a writer of crime.
1.45pm Pay for Your Crimes: Marketing Crime Fiction
Sisters in Crime President and founder of Clandestine Press, Lindy Cameron, speaks with a guest author Anna Snoekstra to discuss tips on writing marketable crime fiction, what publishers want from contemporary crime and how to get past the slush pile.
1.45pm True Crime: Writing Fear
Eileen Ormsby and Laura Elizabeth Woollett are two crime writers whose work draws from true cases and events. We hear their perspectives on the undeniable surge in popularity of true crime storytelling and what it means for writers and audiences alike. What is the pull of true crime for women readers – the genre’s largest audience? Why are so many of us drawn to consuming and writing fear, and what are its effects? Are we contributing to a collective desensitisation around violence and harm, or is there much more to the representation of true crime in this age?
3pm Workshop: Killing Your Darlings
Conundrum: you’ve carefully constructed and cared for a character, but now you need to kill them. Kat Clay is here to teach us how to artfully put characters through the wringer. We’ll question how to create powerful character arcs, how to write death with sensitivity, and timing the right moment for murder in your plot.