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Writing Mysteries for Middle Grade, Chapter Books, and Series 2018 | June 17 – June 20, 2018

For writers eager to begin or complete a mystery for middle grade readers.

Children love to cozy up with a good mystery. What they love even more is finding out that the clever characters in Book One have more stories to tell. In this workshop, you will explore the foundations of a stand-alone mystery along with the elements needed to create a successful middle grade or chapter book mystery series.

At the workshop, you will:

  • Hear lectures by experienced faculty
  • Have time to write and revise your project
  • Meet one-on-one with a faculty member for feedback

Lecture topics include:

  • Developing a protagonist your readers will love
  • How to conceal clues
  • Hooking your readers early on
  • Finding the right publisher to submit your story to
  • SKYPE sessions with two agents
  • and more!
  • Preliminary schedule:

    Day 1
    Afternoon
    Arrivals and check in

    Evening
    Appetizers & Dinner
    After dinner: Introductions

    Day 2
    Morning
    Breakfast
    Identify and define the elements and types of mysteries, and why kids love them, Dian
    Writing exercise #1: Exploring the First Page: Character and a Promise, Varian

    Afternoon
    Lunch
    Writer Roundtables, 2 groups, Varian and Dian
    Skype guest: Doug Cushman (Intro, Q/A, Art Talk)

    Evening
    Appetizers & Dinner
    After dinner: Fireside book signing with Varian Johnson and Dian Curtis Regan

    Day 3
    Morning
    Breakfast
    Research, Plotting, and Revision: The tools of a mystery writer , Varian
    Writing Exercise #2: Finding Connections and Brainstorming, Dian

    Afternoon
    Lunch
    Free Writing Time/ Office Hours (one-to-one sign ups for informal feedback)
    A word from Curtis Brown: Do agents LOVE mysteries? (Skype with Sarah and Steven)
    Let’s Talk Series (panel informal discussion with Varian, Dian, and Elizabeth)

    Evening
    Appetizers & Dinner
    After dinner: Q&A, Book signing with Elizabeth Eulberg

    Day 4
    Morning
    Breakfast
    Writing Exercise #3: Concealing clues, Varian
    Finding Mysteries Everywhere: Chapter Books vs Middle Grade Novels, Dian
    Goal setting, questions, farewells

    Afternoon
    Lunch & farewells

    Faculty & Special Guests

    Sarah Perillo
    Sarah Perillo Participating via Skype
    Steven Salpeter
    Steven Salpeter Participating via Skype
    Doug Cushman
    Doug Cushman Participating via Skype