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Mysteries and thrillers are some of the most popular and diverse genres in fiction today. They sell by the millions, and hundreds of authors have established long and successful careers in mystery or thriller writing. These stories offer opportunities for the creation of quirky or intriguing protagonists, unusual settings, stories with social or political relevance, and even for books that put new twists on the genres. Nevertheless, writing a mystery or thriller demands certain key skills and a knowledge of what works in this area of fiction.

If you want to try your hand at a mystery or thriller, or have already started but aren’t sure how to pull it all together, this workshop will get you going and give you tips for how to stay on track.

"We’ll look at the key components that make the mystery or thriller successful," says instructor Elaine Beale, "from developing a compelling protagonist and maintaining page-turning momentum, to creating a plausible, keep-them-guessing-to-the-end plot.

"If you’re new to these genres, you’ll learn the key tricks and craft of the thriller and mystery writing trade. If you have a story in progress, this workshop will help you generate fresh ideas and strategies to make your story truly shine. And everyone will walk away with a deeper understanding of how to combine the necessary ingredients to create a standout work that will keep your readers hooked to the very last page.”



    Elaine Beale has published two novels, the most recent of which, Another Life Altogether, was featured in Oprah Magazine and received praise from the Boston GlobeLambda Literary, and Publishers Weekly, among others. Elaine was the winner of the 2007 Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange Award and has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her latest book is Write for Wellness, a guide to using expressive writing to promote emotional and physical health.

  1. Saturday, February 2, 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Elaine is an excellent, dynamic teacher and very organized with materials and communications. Her critiquing of our writing was extremely valuable. In addition to her considerable experience, she has a gift for it. . . . I wish she could always be my reader, and would definitely take another course taught by her and recommend her classes to others.

    Adele Mendelson
  • I am a big fan of Elaine's classes. She immediately puts the novice at ease and her enthusiastic love of the craft is contagious.

    Rick Kelley
  • Elaine knows her stuff, obviously, and articulates her insights in an inspiring style. She respects how challenging writing is and accentuates that by constantly providing positive support. She is warm, honest, and helpful for fledgling fiction writers!

    Karolina Garrett
  • Elaine was a fantastic teacher. Supportive, kind, clear, and direct. Her teachings about craft - and the time we spent talking about student projects - were especially helpful.



Saturday, February 2, 2019
6:00 pm - 12:00 am PST
Event Category:


2121 Bonar St, Studio D, 2nd Fl
Berkeley, CA United States
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Cancellation Policy

10 days or more before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 10% fee OR a refund minus a 20% fee.

3-9 days before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 20% fee OR a refund minus a 30% fee.

2 days or less before the start date for a class, the registrant will not receive a credit or a refund.

The Writing Salon cannot offer refunds, credits, or makeup sessions for classes a student might miss.

In the event of an emergency, we may consider a refund or credit, whether partial or full. We review these requests on a case-by-case basis, and we ask that you notify us as near as possible to the start date for the class.

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