Writing Compelling Crime Fiction

Mon 24 July 2023 - Fri 28 July 2023
Tutors / Jacob Ross & Helen Sedgwick
Guest Reader / Mary Paulson-Ellis
Course Fee / From £575 - £675 per person
Genre / Crime and Thriller
Language / English

How do you write crime fiction that despite their startling and often shocking subject matter become well-loved books? This practical crime-writing course will take you through the many facets of crime writing, through the horror and gore to those touching moments that brings you back to those characters and locations that capture your heart.

During the week, you will gain a better understanding of how to structure your idea into a story. We will look at the building blocks of a successful crime novel: from skilfully developing an intricate plot which avoids the common pitfalls and obvious twist and turns, to creating those all-important round characters. We will teach you how to escalate your dramatic writing and embrace conflict, as well as creating the perfect world for you to set up your perfect crime. On this course at Tŷ Newydd, an old, secluded mansion on the top of the hill, who knows what this week will bring…

Through workshops, discussions and one-to-one tutorials, tutors Jacob Ross and Helen Sedgwick will inspire, challenge and support you to bring out the very best in your crime writing.


Jacob Ross

Jacob Ross is a novelist, short story writer, editor and creative writing tutor. His crime fiction novel, The Bone Readers (Inpress Books, 2016) won the inaugural Jhalak Prize in 2017 and was selected for the BBC's 2022 Big Jubilee Read. His recent crime novel, Black Rain Falling (Sphere, 2020), has been listed among the best crime novels in 2020 by The Sunday Times.His literary novel Pynter Bender (Fourth Estate, 2008) was published to much critical literary acclaim and was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Regional Prize and chosen as one of the British Authors Club’s top three Best First Novels. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a judge of the V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, the Olive Cook, Scott Moncrieff and Tom-Gallon Literary Awards, The Commonwealth Short Story Prize and The Scottish Book Trust Award. Jacob is Associate Fiction Editor at Peepal Tree Press, and the editor of several collections of short stories. 

Helen Sedgwick

Helen Sedgwick is a cross-genre author of literary fiction, science fiction and crime. Her debut, The Comet Seekers (Harvill Secker, 2016), was selected as a Best Book of 2016 by The Herald and her sci-fi novel The Growing Season (Harvill Secker, 2017) was shortlisted for the Scottish Fiction Book of the Year. Most recently she has written a folk horror crime trilogy, The Burrowhead Mysteries (Point Blank press), consisting of: When the Dead Come Calling (2020), Where the Missing Gather (2021) and What Doesn’t Break Us (2022). In 2021, she was awarded the Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship to write an interplanetary science fiction series about rebuilding after environmental collapse. Before becoming a writer, Helen was a research scientist with a PhD in physics from Edinburgh University. She lives in the Scottish Highlands with her partner, their daughter, and an ever-increasing number of chickens.

Guest Reader

Mary Paulson-Ellis

Mary Paulson-Ellis lives in Edinburgh where she writes across the genres of crime, historical and literary fiction, exploring the world of people who die with no next-of-kin. Her critically acclaimed debut, The Other Mrs Walker (Mantle, 2016) was a Times bestseller and Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year. Her second, The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing (Mantle, 2019) was long-listed for the McIlvanney Prize for best Scottish crime novel and a Historical Writers Association Gold Crown. Mary’s short fiction and non-fiction have featured in the Guardian and on BBC Radio 4. In 2019 Val McDermid selected her as one of ten compelling LGBTQ+ writers working today. She has an MLitt in Creative Writing from Glasgow University where, on graduating, she was awarded the inaugural Curtis Brown Prize for Fiction. Emily Noble’s Disgrace (Mantle, 2021) is her third novel. 

Online Booking

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