Writing Crime Fiction with a Twist

Mon 9 October 2023 - Fri 13 October 2023
Tutors / Alis Hawkins & Katherine Stansfield
Guest Reader / Vaseem Khan
Course Fee / From £625 - £675 per person
Genre / Crime and Thriller
Language / English

If you’re a fan of crime fiction but a bit bored of modern-day police procedurals, or a crime writer looking to take a sleuth in a new direction and find new storytelling strategies, then this course is for you! We’ll explore the aspects of crime fiction that aren’t the ‘usual suspects’ on crime writing courses, including the alchemy and opportunity of blending crime with other genres such as historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy, the gothic and the supernatural. Unreliable detectives will be interrogated to see what they might offer us as writers, plus we’ll dive into the fascinating world of the unorthodox detective, aka private and amateur sleuths, and gumshoes with unusual skills. This course is suitable for those starting to write as well as more experienced writers looking for a new direction and to broaden their knowledge of contemporary crime fiction.

This course is in partnership with Crime Cymru, the Welsh crime writers’ collective – although writers and emerging writers from far and wide are encouraged to join the course. Crime Cymru is a diverse collective of Welsh crime writers, spanning crime fiction and non-fiction. The collective is responsible for both the Crime Cymru First Novel Prize which promotes new crime writing talent from Wales, and the Gŵyl Crime Cymru International Crime Literature Festival.

Associate and Full Members of Crime Cymru are eligible for a 10% reduction for this course’s fees. Please contact us for more information.


Alis Hawkins

Alis Hawkins was raised on a dairy farm in Ceredigion and currently lives on the Welsh-English border. Her Teifi Valley Coroner historical crime series, set in the area where she grew up, has twice been shortlisted for the prestigious CWA Historical Dagger. She also writes fiction set in the medieval period. Alis is a proud Cymraes and, in an effort to promote Welsh culture and Welsh crime fiction in particular to the wider world, in 2017 she co-founded Crime Cymru, the collective of Welsh crime writers which now numbers forty published authors. She is also chair of Gŵyl Crime Cymru Festival, Wales’ international crime fiction festival, and was instrumental in establishing the Crime Cymru First Novel Prize with other Crime Cymru members. When not writing her own books, Alis works with both published and yet-to-be published authors as a freelance editor and mentor, as well as being a speaker and interviewer at crime fiction festivals and book events. She is currently working on a new historical crime fiction series, set in Oxford in the 1880s. 

Katherine Stansfield

Katherine Stansfield is a multi-genre novelist and poet. Her historical crime series Cornish Mysteries has won the Holyer an Gof Fiction Prize and been shortlisted for the Winston Graham Memorial Prize. The most recent instalment is The Mermaid's Call (Allison & Busby, 2020). She co-writes a fantasy crime trilogy with her partner David Towsey, publishing as D. K. Fields, and has also published two full length poetry collections and a pamphlet with Seren. Katherine is co-editor, with Caroline Oakley, of Cast a Long Shadow, a collection of new crime short stories by women writers from Wales, published by Honno (2022). She teaches creative writing for a number of universities and has been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. In 2021, along with fellow members of Crime Cymru – the Welsh crime writers’ collective – Katherine launched a new prize for debut crime writers in Wales. 

Guest Reader

Vaseem Khan

Vaseem Khan is the author of two award-winning crime series set in India, the Baby Ganesh Agency series set in modern Mumbai, and the Malabar House historical crime novels set in 1950s Bombay. His first book, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra (Hodder, Mulholland Books, Hachette, 2015), was selected by The Sunday Times as one of the 40 best crime novels published 2015-2020, and is translated into 17 languages. The second in the series won the Shamus Award in the US. In 2021, Midnight at Malabar House (Hodder & Stoughton, Hachette, 2020) won the Crime Writers’ Association Historical Dagger, the world’s premier award for historical crime fiction, and was shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year in 2022. When he isn't writing, he works at the Department of Security and Crime Science at University College London. Vaseem was born in England, but spent a decade working in India. Vaseem also co-hosts the popular crime fiction podcast, The Red Hot Chilli Writers. www.vaseemkhan.com

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