ProWritingAid Presents: Crime Writer’s Week

Love writing crime? This FREE event is for you.

Our first ever Crime Writer’s Week is jam-packed with events for crime and thriller authors.

Attend live sessions with bestselling authors, including Karin Slaughter, Lisa Gardner, Ian Rankin, Leigh Russell, Peter James, K.J. Howe, Steve Berry, and Fiona Cummins.

There will also be insider publishing advice from the Deputy Publishing Director for Crime Fiction at Simon & Schuster, workshops on writing and editing crime novels, as well as sessions with former police detective, Graham Bartlett, on how to make your crime scenes and police procedures more realistic.

This free summit will take place online, so you are welcome to join from anywhere in the world.

Can’t make a session? No problem. We’ll send you a replay to watch at your convenience.

Click the button below to go to the registration page and save your spot for Crime Writer’s Week.

Crime Writer's Week Banner

As a Crime Writer’s Week participant, you get access to:

  • Training sessions, workshops and Q&As specifically curated for fantasy writers
  • Daily networking events where you can meet other writers
  • Our dedicated closed Facebook group, just for Crime Writer’s Week participants

Did we mention that Mon-Thurs is free?

Note: All session times are in Eastern Time. Click here to use the Time Zone Converter to find your local time.


Crime Week Schedule at a Glance

Scroll down for more detail about each event.

Crime Week Schedule


Monday, April 19

The Elements of a Crime Novel: From Planning to Plot (12PM ET / 5 PM UK)

Presented by: Leigh Russell, Bestselling Author

Every genre requires a unique approach, and crime writing is no different. In this session, internationally bestselling crime author Leigh Russell will take you through the key elements of the crime writing process.

Crime Writing: Secrets of the Genre (2PM ET / 7 PM UK)

Presented by: Anne Hawley and Rachelle Ramirez of Pages & Platforms

Do you have an idea for a mystery, heist, or puzzle story but don’t yet know how to structure it? Got some bad deeds, clues, and some scenes that don’t really work together or entertain? Want to introduce moments of heightened danger and plot twists into your writing? You’re in the right place. In this webinar, you’ll learn the crime story essentials so that you can create intrigue for your readers and have them recommending your story to others.


Tuesday, April 20

Crime Scene Management, Police Interviewing and Covert Tactics (12PM ET / 5 PM UK)

Presented by: Graham Bartlett, Police Advisor

Retired detective, bestselling author and advisor to over eighty crime novelists and TV writers, Graham Bartlett will help your WIP ooze authenticy. Learn how police use mobile phones, vehicles, CCTV, and social media in their investigations, as well as authentic police interview techniques (avoiding the good cop/bad cop trope) that are used by police today. Getting police tactics right is essential if you want to write a realistic and sizzling crime novel.

Insider Advice on Getting Published (2PM ET / 7 PM UK)

Presented by: Katherine Armstrong, Deputy Publishing Director, Crime & Thriller Fiction, at Simon & Schuster

The session is intended to demystify the publishing process for writers, give advice on how to get published and answer any questions you might have about traditional publishing.

How to Edit Your Crime Novel With ProWritingAid (4PM ET / 9PM UK)

Presented by: Hayley Milliman, Head of Education at ProWritingAid

It doesn’t matter how many hours you spent meticulously crafting your crime novel’s plot. If your writing isn’t clear and effective, your readers won’t engage with it. That’s where editing technology can help. In this workshop, we’ll dive into how to use ProWritingAid to make key edits to your crime manuscript.


Wednesday, April 21

The History & the Mystery: Selecting and Creating an Authentic Setting for Crime Fiction (10AM ET / 3PM UK)

Presented by: Fiona Veitch Smith

Fiona Veitch Smith is the author of the Poppy Denby Investigates novels, Golden Age-style murder mysteries set in the 1920s (Lion Fiction). Fiona will give tips on how to research and build an historical fictional world and the importance of selecting the right investigator within the constraints and possibilities of the period.

Thriller Writer Panel Discussion (12PM ET / 5PM UK)

Presented by: International Thriller Writers (ITW)

ITW Executive Director, K.J. Howe will be joined by four of their members for a lively discussion around the joys and pains of writing thrillers. Expect great tips and life lessons from these popular writers as they discuss their writing journeys so far.

Moderated by K.J. Howe

Panelists: Steve Berry, Lisa Gardner, Ian Rankin, Karin Slaughter

Common Police Mistakes Made by Crime Writers and How to Avoid Them (2PM ET / 7PM UK)

Presented by: Graham Bartlett, Police Advisor

Graham will be back again to share the most common errors that authors get wrong in their crime novels. Who really runs a homicide investigation? When does a missing person report become a murder enquiry? Find out the answers to these and many more bloopers that could spoil your next bestseller.


Thursday, April 22

Debut Dagger Awards Long List Announcement (11 AM ET / 4 PM UK)

Presented by: The Crime Writers’ Association

For over two decades the CWA has been encouraging new writing with its Debut Dagger competition for unpublished writers. The submissions are judged by a panel of top crime editors and agents.

How to Market Your Self-Published Crime Novel (12PM ET / 5 PM UK)

Presented by: Nick Stephenson, Crime Author and Founder of Your First 10k Readers

Marketing your book comes down to mastering three key things: traffic, conversions, and scaling up. With the right systems in place for these three things, you can grow your readership and sales without spending your entire day ‘worrying about marketing’. Join USA Today Bestselling author Nick Stephenson as he breaks down some real-world results using examples from his Crime/Thriller series (and others too) and shows you how to find your first 10,000 readers by implementing these three core strategies.

Interview with Fiona Cummins (2PM ET / 7PM UK)

Interviewed by: Lisa Lepki, CMO at ProWritingAid

Fiona Cummins is the award-winning author of Rattle, The Collector and The Neighbour. Her work has received widespread critical acclaim from authors including Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Lee Child. We’ll be chatting to her about breaking into the world of crime writing, and what it’s like to see her fourth book, When I Was Ten, being adapted for television.


Friday, April 23

Get access to the final day of Crime Writer’s Week with your ProWritingAid Premium license. We’ll be hosting an interview with bestselling author Peter James, an editing deep dive, and a Q+A with a police adviser. Don’t miss out!

The Three Stages of Editing Your Crime Manuscript (9AM ET/ 2PM UK)

Presented by: Hayley Milliman, ProWritingAid’s Head of Education

As nice as it would be, writing your crime novel isn’t over when you type “The End.” In fact, the actual work is just beginning. During the editing process, your novel will go from rough first draft to thrilling final manuscript. In this workshop, Hayley will walk you through the most important edits you should make to your manuscript to ensure it’s publish-ready.

Interview with Peter James (11AM ET / 4PM UK)

Interviewed by: Lisa Lepki, CMO at ProWritingAid

Peter James has become synonymous with plot-twisting page-turners, and has won over 40 awards for his work and achieved 17 Sunday Times Bestsellers to date. Learn from the master what it takes to write gripping crime novels that keep readers hooked.

Police Advisor Q&A (1PM ET / 6PM UK)

Presented by: Graham Bartlett, Police Advisor

This is your chance to bring YOUR questions about police work and crime scene investigations to Graham Bartlett, retired detective, best selling author and advisor to over eighty crime novelists (including Peter James).

Connect with Fellow Crime Writers

Writing can be lonely—especially in current times. We want to help you find your partners in crime writing.

Join our dedicated Crime Writer’s Week Facebook group meet other writers who love writing thrillers as much as you do.

Many of our presenters will also be accessible in the group to answer your questions.

See you there!

Join Daily Networking Sessions During Crime Writer’s Week

We will also be hosting daily networking sessions with fun activities all based around your love of crime fiction.

Details to follow.

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