Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Learn to Write a Mystery

Special announcement! Annamaria Alfieri is passing on a fabulous opportunity for our readers within hailing distance of New York City.

Mystery Writers of America is offering a great course at an unbelievable price.  For just $50, you can learn or hone your skills under the tutelage of award-winning mystery writers.  I know most of the teachers.  They will be fascinating speakers as well as practical instructors.  This is a great opportunity.  Here are the particulars.

August 13, 2011

MWA University - New York | New York, National
Register NOW for MWA University - New York

Location: Fordham University School of Law
McNally Auditorium - Atrium Level
140 W 62nd St (between Columbus & Amsterdam Avenues)
New York, NY 10023
What: An entire day of top-notch classes. Novice or pro, you will benefit from hearing the experts discuss their strategies for all facets of writing and publishing.

Below is a schedule preview (subject to change).

8:15 - 8:50: Check-in

8:55 – 9:00: Welcome – MWA's Executive Vice President – LARRY LIGHT

9:00-10:00: After the Idea

Teacher: Jess Lourey (Jess Lourey is the author of the Murder-by-Month mysteries and a tenured professor of English and sociology at a two-year Minnesota college.)

"If you wish to be a writer, write." But how? You've got the great idea, the one that won't let you go, that embellishes itself as you walk around your day. But how do you grow that kernel into a compelling story, and where do you find the time? This class gives you the tools to turn a good idea into a great novel. Bring a notebook and writing utensil.

10:15 -11:15: Dramatic Structure & Plot

Teacher: Hallie Ephron (Hallie Ephron is the author of psychological suspense Never Tell a Lie, crime fiction book reviewer for the Boston Globe, and author of the Edgar-nominated Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel.)

Since Aristotle, the three-act structure for storytelling has reigned supreme, but does it still hold true for modern crime writers? Is it the best way, or the only way, to tell your tale? Is plotting simply sequencing your scenes or is there more to it? This class will teach you the art of storytelling and plotting so your manuscript will attract the attention it deserves.

11:30 – 12:30: Setting & Description

Teacher: Daniel Stashower (Daniel Stashower is a two-time Edgar award winner, and a recipient of the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective and Crime Fiction Writing.

"I guess God made Boston on a wet Sunday," Raymond Chandler once said, and this seemingly tossed-off remark has much to teach us about the gentle arts of setting and description. This class will guide you through the process and potential pitfalls of choosing a setting, and explore the ways in which descriptive passages can be honed to illuminate characters and themes.

12:30 – 1:30: Lunch Break

1:30 – 2:30: Character & Dialogue

Teacher: Cordelia Frances Biddle (Cordelia Frances Biddle is an adjunct professor at Drexel University's Honors College. Her courses include "Writing Killer Fiction", "Character as Catalyst", and "Histories and Mystery." She has taught at Philadelphia's University of the Arts and Temple University. She's the author of a critically-acclaimed mystery series featuring heiress Martha Beale: The Conjurer, Deception's Daughter, Without Fear.)

From Agatha Christie's Miss Marple to Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlings, character is arguably the most memorable element of a mystery novel and a series. How do you create a full-realized unique protagonist that leaps from the page? How should you develop secondary characters as well as the protagonist's nemesis? This class will challenge you to eliminate cardboard characterizations and create something new and fresh.

2:45 – 3:45: Writing as Re-Writing

Teacher: Reed Farrel Coleman (Twice nominated for the Edgar® and a three-time winner of the Shamus Award, Reed Farrel Coleman is an adjunct professor of English at Hofstra University.)

If editing was good enough for William Shakespeare, it's good enough for you. More often than not, it's the things you remove, the tweaks you make, and the tinkering you do, that are the difference between another slush pile manuscript and a new book contract. There are some easy methods to learn and follow to help you develop an editorial ear. Give us fifty minutes and we'll give you a better chance with agents and editors.

4:00 – 5:00: The Writing Life

Teacher: Hank Phillippi Ryan (Winner of two Agatha Awards as well as the Anthony and the Macavity, Boston TV reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan has won 27 Emmys for her investigative journalism.)

"I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning." That's how Peter DeVries balanced art and craft. What's the reality of the writing life? The journey from your great idea to 90,000 words will mean hours of solitude. Days of self-doubt. Revision. Rejection. And then--rejoicing. You'll often say: "I wish someone had explained this to me!" In this class, they will.

Cost: $50 for both members and non-members of Mystery Writers of America. You must register by Wednesday, August 3, 2011. Registration is limited to 200 people.

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Registration Form

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1 comment:

  1. Our colleague at Carnegie Hill Writers Claire Moise went and enjoyed this program. I hope more people can take advantage of this when it returns.