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Crime and Thriller Writing Summer School Short Course

Key information

Dates and fees to be confirmed

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Course Code:
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Booking Deadline:
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Covid-19 update: The learning doesn’t have to stop, join our online community. We will be delivering 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. Book now.

The ideal course for those looking to learn the fundamentals of writing their first work of crime fiction, including thrillers.

Why choose this course?

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

Course overview

An intensive week-long crime writing short course. Taught at our Central London campus, the 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.

Delivered over five days in a short intensive burst, you will learn the key elements of crime and thriller writing, including plotting, pacing, tension, characterisation and analysis of all the elements that give a book that page-turning quality. This highly practical course 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.

  • “ An excellent mixture of theory and practical advice ”

    Jennie Jones

    Former student

  • “ It met all my expectations ”

    Helen Adrian

    Former student

  • “ Structure of the course is excellent ”

    Hannah Moore

    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.

The structure of each day will be as follows:

Morning session 10:30-12:30, lunch 12:30-13:30, afternoon session 13:30-15:30.

a.m. – Introduction to crime fiction and thrillers
p.m. – Heroes, villains and victims: creating characters that live off the page

a.m. – Writing effective dialogue
p.m. – ‘Voice’ and point-of-view

a.m. How to plot your novel
p.m. – Handling pace and adding tension

a.m. – Writing settings that hook the reader
p.m. – Using description for tension and atmosphere.

a.m. – Editing your book
p.m. – Getting published

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

  • Define what makes a crime 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

Delegates must have fluent 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 crime fiction and YA.

    Writing as Cass Green, Caroline has published four bestselling crime novels with HarperCollins. Her first, The Woman Next Door was a Number 1 e-book bestseller. The follow up, In A Cottage, In A Wood, was a Sunday Times and USA Today bestseller. Writing as CS Green, she is writing a new genre busting supernatural police procedural, with the first book out in March 2021.

    As Caroline Green, she has published three award-winning novels for young adults. Caroline works extensively in schools teaching creative writing and is currently Writer in Residence at East Barnet School.