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Crime and Thriller Writing Short Course

Key information

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Covid-19 update: The learning doesn’t have to stop, join our online community. We are aiming to deliver courses remotely until further notice. Live tutor support and virtual lessons will take place during advertised teaching hours. The classes are taught in small groups, so you’ll get lots of support from your tutor.

The ideal course for those looking to learn the fundamentals of writing their first crime or thriller book.

Why choose this course?

Gain a solid foundation in what makes a successful crime or thriller story and how to go about planning, plotting and writing one.

Course overview

This ten-week Crime and Thriller Writing course will include an in-depth look at what makes a crime novel and how to make your own writing strong, compelling and ready to submit.

Areas covered will include plotting, characterisation and analysis of all the elements that give a book that page-turning quality. It is suitable for both beginners and also those who have already started writing but need some direction.

After this course, students might also be interested in Short Story Writing, Novel Writing and Longer Works, and Writers' Workshop.

  • “ Excellent course ”

    Anna Leslie

    Former student

  • “ Lots of fantastic tips, which would be useful for all sorts of fiction writing, presented in an interesting and engaging way. ”

    Marina Stubinski

    Former student

  • “ Well-structured, thorough, interesting… It was helpful to be taught by someone with such experience of writing and publishing. ”

    Naomi Baars

    Former student

  • “ The course actually exceeded my expectations. It was very thorough, wide ranging, interesting and - I hope - useful. Caroline was an excellent teacher. ”

    Caroline Hagen

    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

You will learn a variety of techniques from creating characters that live off the page, to how to build a plot and how to use effective description. Other topics include building tension and pace into your writing; creating crime scene settings; and how to use research to bring veracity to your stories.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Define what makes a crime or thriller story work.
  • Create believable characters that will live off the page.
  • Understand plot twists and how to use them to the best effect.
  • Use effective description in your writing.
  • Build tension and pace into your writing.
  • Create settings that evoke a strong sense of place.



English requirements

English requirements: No special requirements but delegates must have proficient written and spoken English

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

There is no formal assessment for the course but students are expected to contribute to class discussions, complete any homework assignments and be open to giving and receiving feedback on their work in progress.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2013

Someone Else’s Skin, Sarah Hilary, Headline, 2016

And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie, Harper Collins, 2007

Slow Horses, Mick Herron, John Murray, 2017

Tutor information

  • Caroline Green

    Caroline Green is an award-winning, best-selling author of fiction for both young people and adults. Her first book, Dark Ride, won the Waverton Good Read Award and the RoNA Young Adult Novel of the year in 2011.

    Cracks, Caroline's second book, was nominated for nine awards and featured on Radio Four’s Open Book as one of its teen reads of 2013. Hold Your Breath, her third, won the Oldham Brilliant Book Award for the Young Adult category. Writing as Cass Green, her adult debut The Woman Next Door was a Number 1 e-book bestseller. In A Cottage, In A Wood, her second adult novel, is a Sunday Times and USA Today bestseller. Her third, Don't You Cry, is out in September 2018.

    Caroline works extensively in schools teaching creative writing and is currently Writer in Residence at East Barnet School.