Must-have resources, great tips, competitions and more... join our community today!
Sign up

Crime and Thriller Writing

Danger, action and adrenaline-pumping tension

Want to make readers squirm, cover their eyes and grip their seats? Learn where to hide the twists and build suspense. More detail

Upcoming course dates


StartsSaturday 3 September 2016

Location Sydney
Ground Floor
55 Lavender Street
Milsons Point NSW 2061

WhenSaturday and Sunday classes
(2 consecutive days)


Presenter L.A. Larkin

Book Now

We run this course in Sydney every six months (or so). Click here to be the first to know about new dates!
Want the online version of this course?Click here to register your interest

Course description

Danger, action and adrenaline-pumping tension

  • You love the idea of writing a crime or thriller novel.
  • Maybe you’ve already written the first chapter(s) or have an amazing premise that’s just waiting to unfold.
  • You want to write a nail-biter that readers can’t put down – and that publishers love.

The top 10 living crime fiction authors have sold 450 million books and that figure just keeps rising. Even J.K. Rowling is now writing crime fiction. Do you love gritty detectives, troubled PIs and cool FBI agents? Or are you a fan of fast-paced, high stakes thrillers with a hero plunged into danger on a seemingly impossible mission? Crime and thriller novels dominate the bestseller lists around the world. Just think of Michael Connelly, Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson, David Baldacci, Patricia Cornwall, Janet Evanovich or Michael Robotham? Or shows like The Bourne Identity, Law and Order, Sherlock and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Learn the art of crime and thriller writing

Join author L.A. Larkin for an intensive two-day weekend workshop that will take you on a journey into the murky and murderous world of crime fiction and thrillers.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • different types of crime fiction and thrillers – and what kind of story yours is
  • core ‘ingredients’ of a detective story and a classic thriller
  • techniques to discover your story
  • researching your story
  • creating intriguing and well-rounded central characters
  • opening paragraphs to your novel, hooking your reader
  • creating a sense of place in your story
  • writing action scenes
  • managing pace and building suspense
  • discovering your story’s climax
  • publishing options available, and the market for crime fiction and thrillers today.

Exclusive access to our AWC Graduates’ Club

Want to know where all the cool kids hang out? The Graduates’ Club of course! Now, calm down – there’s no cigars, leather armchairs or loud ticking grandfather clocks here. But it IS exclusive invitation only (on completion of a course) and it’s free!  Meet other writers online and share successes, seek help or just get something off your chest. Many students believe this ‘legacy learning’ is one of the most valuable things about our AWC community, and who are we to argue?

So if you want to receive feedback, support and a heads-up on opportunities … join the Club!

Your presenters

  • L.A. Larkin

    L.A. Larkin, Sydney

    L.A. Larkin is a British-born writer who emigrated to Australia in 1998. Her latest book, published under the... View Profile

Graduate testimonials

  • "L.A. Larkin was great. The course was well structured and I particularly liked the opportunity to do writing exercises. Go to a Thriller Writing course with L.A. Larkin. It's fab – useful and exciting."

    - Penny Crofts

    "I gained a very strong understanding of the essential aspects of thriller writing and now know what publishers would be looking for when presented with a thriller manuscript. Louisa is very knowledgeable on all aspects of thriller writing and I really liked the way she incorporated a range of other author's thriller work into the course."

    - Belinda Williams

    "I really enjoyed getting a personal perspective of crime and thriller writing from a presenter that has "been there and done that." The course was logically put together and covered a lot of very useful information. L.A. Larkin is a fantastic presenter. She has great subject knowledge and was able to get everybody involved in the various discussion points. It was a fantastic course that was well worth undertaking."

    - Liam Saville

    "No matter how well progressed you think you are with your writing, there is always something valuable to learn, and the thriller course really lays it all out for you in both a practical and inspiring way. My ideas really developed on this course."

    - Kerry Rogerson