The World of Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Writing

Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States

May 18 - May 18, 2018


SCHOLARSHIP:None Available

CONTACT: Admin Office at Santa Fe Workshops
PHONE: (505) 983-1400, ext. 111

Solve the riddle of writing for the lucrative mystery and thriller market in this one-day whodunit with the award-winning author of First Blood.

Mystery and thriller editors know the history and theory of their specialty. It makes sense for authors to be equally knowledgeable about what’s already been done in order to build on it and create something new.

This one-day fiction-writing intensive focuses on mystery and thriller writing. The two are distinct elements in the larger category of crime fiction. One purpose of the workshop is to help participants understand the distinction between them and become aware of the history of each group. A second purpose of the workshop is to introduce participants to the network of mystery and thriller organizations around the country, which provide access to readers groups and events where agents and editors make themselves available for pitches.

Throughout the day, David Morrell, author of the award-winning First Blood, emphasizes mantras such as “Don’t imitate. Be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of another author,” and “Don’t chase the market. You’ll always see its backside.” Expect extensive discussions about craft and a chance for critiques of first pages of projects.

Effective mystery and thriller writing begins with the proper professional attitude, and achieving that attitude is the guiding purpose of this workshop. Ultimately, mysteries and thrillers require the same high standards of writing as any other type of fiction.


This program is open to writers of all levels.


Enrollment limited to 16 writers.


Tuition includes one lunch.


Featured Writers Include:

David Morrell




50 Mount Carmel Rd.
Santa Fe
New Mexico, United States

Santa Fe Writers Lab

In the Santa Fe Writers Lab education programs we hold values of community, craft, and the creative process in the highest regard. With our collaborative and affirming environments, a passion for writing and storytelling—and a hunger for shared experience—are the most important ingredients.

Rolf Potts, Hampton Sides, Natalie Goldberg and others renowned in the literary world, provide daily lessons on the art and craft of writing in a variety of genres and travel destinations. In quiet settings, they encourage constructive conversation and motivate you to muse and write.

Our private campus in Santa Fe has long been a sanctuary for learning and study. We share this enchanted place with a neighboring Carmelite Monastery. Dramatic views of the surrounding Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges, warm sunshine, cool mountain air, beautiful courtyards, access to hiking trails, convenient on-campus lodging—and a private caterer to provide fresh, healthy meals—are the elements that converge to make this the perfect place in Santa Fe to find inspiration and hone your craft.

In Cuba, our home is Convento Santa Brigida, a beautifully restored convent in the heart of Old Havana. Featuring simple but comfortable accommodations, light-filled group meeting spaces, a breakfast room, a library, a chapel, and Italian nuns as our lovely hosts, this convent is a serene base to reflect and write.

Whether you are joining us in enchanting Santa Fe, or dynamic Havana, the Writers Lab provides you with a hub of creativity and community, extraordinary instructors, supportive staff, and the opportunity to take your writing to the next level.