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Crime Writing: Murder Squad with Graham Bartlett

The course

Master police procedure with the ultimate Crime Writing Bundle

Whether you’re writing a crime novel, a screenplay or a true-crime podcast, authenticity is key.

Join the Murder Squad to improve your crime knowledge and writing craft month by month under the expert eye of bestselling author and former detective superintendent, Graham Bartlett.

Summary: over 12 months, the monthly subscription fee (or one-off payment) gives you access to:

  •  6 deep-dive week-long masterclasses, each focusing on a different aspect of police procedure
  • Our flagship four-week Write a Murder course, for a deep-dive into homicide investigations
  • Live guest events with expert crime writers and criminal investigators
  • Monthly live Ask Me Anything sessions with Graham
  • Automatic entry into a monthly draw to win a one hour 1-2-1 coaching session with Graham
  • Weekly sit and writes to boost your discipline
  • A hive-mind of committed crime writers available at your fingertips for discussion and support
  • Email drops from Graham with tips and recommendations
  • Monthly live networking socials
  • Regular giveaways of Graham’s bestselling crime novels

Course and Masterclass start dates for 2024/25:

Sign up at any time of the year. There are two payment options:

  • Full year in advance: £995 (that’s a huge saving of up to £460!)
  • 12 monthly instalments: £95/month
Graham Bartlett

Meet your course director

Graham Bartlett

As well as being a bestselling crime writer, former detective Graham Bartlett advises more than 100 authors and TV makers, including Peter James, Mark Billingham, Elly Griffiths, Anthony Horowitz and BBC Studios. He teaches on a number of Masters programmes and has been delivering hugely successful courses for many years.

In partnership with Police Advisor

We work in partnership with experienced police procedural advisor Graham Bartlett and his team of experts who help scores of writers achieve authenticity in their crime fiction, from HBO TV dramas to the genre’s best loved authors.

How it works

We give you the theory in the form of videos, podcasts, written lectures and reading extracts. In the case of our live workshops, this includes a live online seminar.

You put it into practice by completing the writing assignments.

You share your work with the small group of fellow writers and the teaching team.

Your tutor and fellow learners read your work and give professional-style feedback on your submission. Giving feedback notes helps to build your skills as an editor - a critical part of the writing process.

You reflect on the exercises with the group and share what you’ve learned.

You use what you learned from the feedback and discussions to review your work and improve it.

Things to know

This deep-dive year-long experience is designed for people with some crime writing experience.

It’s suitable if you:

  • Want to dig deep into police procedural and build your knowledge month by month
  • Are committed to working on your craft as a crime writer
  • Enjoy the company of fellow crime writers
  • Would like to spend more time with Graham and his team of experts
  • Are working towards a full draft or screenplay, editing a novel or planning a series
  • Would benefit from constantly updating professional input from the publishing world
  • Need the motivation of communal writing sessions and regular deadlines
  • Are keen to give and receive peer feedback and find beta-readers
  • Want to join a friendly and supportive group of crime fanatics

This bundle will suit screenwriters working on police shows and films as well as fiction writers.

Over the year you will gain in-depth knowledge of police procedure, in particular in:

  • Forensics
  • Covert policing
  • Custody and interviewing
  • Dynamic policing
  • Police character and dialogue
  • Murder investigations

Each month you will:

  • Broaden your knowledge of police procedure and roles
  • Increase your potential and practice as a crime novelist/screenwriter
  • Employ greater technical proficiency in your writing
  • Learn how to create credible drama out of flat and often bureaucratic procedures
  • Think about keeping readers at the centre of the action
  • Bring greater judgment in the selection, development and realisation of ideas
  • Further develop the professional skills writers require (e.g. discipline, attention to detail, ability to work to deadlines)
  • Practise giving effective feedback to other writers and receiving critical notes
  • Build greater independence, autonomy and confidence as a writer. 

Over the year benefit from:

  • 6 week-long masterclasses (worth £160 each)
  • 1 four-week course (worth £495)
  • Monthly live Zoom Q&As with Graham
  • Additional live sessions with guest authors, police and crime experts, editors, agents and other publishing insiders
  • Forums open 24/7 for chatting with fellow crime writers
  • Weekly sit-and-write sessions and fortnightly networking socials
  • Dedicated space to share work, give and receive feedback, and find beta-readers
  • Monthly prize draw to win a 1-2-1 with Graham to discuss your writing
  • A thriving community of dedicated writers.

Week-long Masterclasses

Happy Valley Special – meet the creators and learn how to move from procedural to TV script. Starts 18 May 2024.

Forensics – DNA, trace evidence, crime scene management, gunshots and poisons. Starts 22 June 2024.

Custody & Interviewing – what happens after an arrest? Starts 21 September 2024.

Police Character & Dialogue – how do real police officers think and speak? Starts 18 October 2024.

Dynamic Policing – firearms, raids, police car pursuits violent arrests and riots. Starts 23 November 2024.

Covert Policing – surveillance and undercover tactics. Starts 11 January 2025.

 

Four-week Course

Write a Murder – immerse yourself in our virtual crime scene and learn how to plot the perfect murder investigation. Starts 15 April and 28 October 2024.

 

You can access the community, forum discussions and learning materials whenever suits you, day or night, wherever you are in the world.

For the week-long workshops, you’ll attend live Zoom calls*, which include Q&As with Graham and his team of experts. At the end of the live day, you’ll be set a writing assignment based on the learning to work on over the next week, engaging in discussion with your peers and getting individual feedback on your writing from Graham. (*If you can’t join the masterclasses live, you can complete the Zoom element through the recording and writing tasks as if you’d been there.)

For our four-week course, your learning material is divided into weekly sessions, with new drops of information and assignments on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There’s no need to log on at a set time. You can work through the learning materials whenever suits you. Just complete the assignments and join forum discussions by the session deadline. We’ll have three live Zoom calls with Graham and his expert team during the course (these usually take place on a weekday evening UK time). If you can’t make them live, you can post questions in advance and catch up with the recordings.

Our teaching method is based on the science of active learning: you read/listen/watch, try out, share and reflect. It’s a social experience – you become part of a small group, feeding back on each other’s writing to build a supportive bunch of readers you trust. Find out more here.

Join our alumni community 

After your course, you can join our online alumni community – a friendly group of writers supporting each other as they continue to explore and develop their writing. There’s no cost for this. It’s easy to access via the online classroom, where you can:

  • Revisit all your course materials, including tutor notes, feedback, videos, podcasts and forum posts
  • Rejoin your classmates, and continue working together in a private space
  • Meet alumni from other courses to find beta-readers and share work on our critiquing forum
  • Network with other writers working in your genre or area of interest
  • Take part in regular ‘sit and write’ Zoom sessions, to push forward with your work-in progress
  • Join our monthly live alumni events with our expert tutors and industry guests, including agents, editors, publishers, competition and festival organisers, and prizewinning writers.

Feedback on your work

Graham’s other services. For more detailed or ongoing feedback on your work or consultancy for an extra fee, please email [email protected] for details.

Taking things further
If you’d like to continue to another Professional Writing Academy course, please get in touch for details.

The team

Meet your course team

Graham Bartlett

Graham Bartlett

Police Advisor

As well as being a bestselling crime writer, former detective Graham Bartlett advises more than 100 authors and TV makers, including Peter James, Mark Billingham, Elly Griffiths, Anthony Horowitz and BBC Studios. He teaches on a number of Masters programmes and has been delivering hugely successful courses for many years.

More about Graham Bartlett

Start your journey

£495

Earlybird price

£446

(Including taxes)

I simply couldn’t have written my novel, Three Hours, without Graham’s help. He was able to give me detailed factual information, which was invaluable, but also to help with what I was trying to achieve in a more creative way…I wholeheartedly recommend him to any author lucky enough to work with him.

Find out about our payment plans and get in touch.

Course Alumni

Meet our writers

Mike Lisle-Williams

Crime Writing: Making it Real alum

So many thanks to Graham, experts Kate and Lesley, and our moderator for a superb course. I've learnt so much, had fun and managed to be pretty productive. And everyone taking the course has been stunning - talented, highly effective and generous. What a pleasure it's been.

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