Monday, 29 July 2013

A two-day creative writing workshop held at Hotel du Vin Harrogate, 20th & 21st September 2013


Crime fiction is the most popular literary genre on the planet. The fascination with murder on the page has long been recognised by authors and critics, and has been demonstrated by the stratospheric sales of many crime novels.  But how do the successful crime novelists create plot, structure and pace? How do they create believable victims, perpetrators and investigators? How do they get in the head of a killer?

The Writers’ Academy from Random House are holding a creative writing workshop at the beautiful Hotel du Vin Harrogate (home to the famous Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival) to aid participants in the writing process.  Over the course of two days, Henry Sutton, crime author, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Co-Director of UEA’s flagship MA in Prose Fiction, will draw on the past and the present, critics and authors, to teach the key skills needed to create gripping plots, convincing characters, sharp dialogue, startling settings, and suspense. From the police procedural to the psychological thriller, what’s always crucial is the writing – exactly how you tell the story.

Participants will be taught, through a series of examples and exercises, how to control the flow of information and develop pace, how to create cliff-hangers, how to structure their novel, how and where to break convention, when to deploy unreliable narration and devices to tease the reader, what research needs to be done and how, understanding the uses and abuses of violence, humour, and sympathy, and ways of avoiding cliché and being original.

The course is open to people who have made a start on their novel, or are about to. Henry Sutton will read a 1000 words of each participants’ work ahead of the course in order to familiarise himself with each participant’s writing style.  Up-to-date market information will also be highlighted, and advice given on the best next steps to publication.

Henry will be aided by guest tutor S J Watson, author of the bestselling thriller Before I Go to Sleep.  

Places on the course are limited to 14 and cost £375 each to include Hotel du Vin Bistro lunch and refreshments over the two days and a rewarding glass of wine!  Preferential rates at Hotel du Vin Harrogate are offered for the dates of the course alongside the purchase of a place.

For further information please contact
Chloë Johnson-Hill on 020 7840 8490 or

Notes to Editors:

Event details:
Date:                     Friday 20th and Saturday 21st September 2013
Time:                     10am to 5pm daily
Venue:                 Hotel du Vin Harrogate
Tickets:                 £375 (limited to 14 places)
Tel:                  020 7840 8490

My Criminal World by Henry Sutton is published by Harvill Secker, price £12.99. Henry Sutton is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at UEA and Co-Director of UEA’s flagship MA in Prose Fiction.

Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson is published by Black Swan, price £7.99.  The book was the bestselling literary debut of 2012 and spent 10 weeks at number one.  It has been translated into over 30 languages and a film of the book, starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth and directed by Rowan Joffe, will be released in March 2014.  

Harvill Secker is an imprint of Vintage Publishing and Black Swan is an imprint of Transworld Publishers, both divisions of the Random House Group.

Harvill Secker and the Telegraph are currently running a competition to find an unpublished crime writing star. The winner will receive a book deal and a £5000 advance.   Deadline 30th November.  Full details can be found at:

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