Writing Crime Fiction

The course

Kickstart a new crime idea and hone your writing skills.

This four-week online course guides you week by week as you jumpstart a new idea for a crime novel. Start by finding a setting, choose a central character, then bring them to life in a first chapter.

You’ll delve into the conventions of crime fiction and learn how to inject more suspense into your writing with practical exercises and weekly feedback.


Tom Bromley

Meet your course director

Tom Bromley

Tom Bromley is an author, editor and ghostwriter. He has written ten books under his own name, both fiction and non-fiction, ghosted a further dozen titles, including several UK and international bestsellers, and has edited over a hundred books.

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

Writing Crime Fiction is suitable for writers looking to expand their range and understand the conventions of the genre by exploring and experimenting with crime fiction techniques.

The course is suitable if you:

  • Write crime fiction and would like to broaden your palette of techniques
  • Enjoy reading crime fiction and want to start writing it
  • Are keen to master suspense and add intrigue to your plotlines and characterisation
  • Would like to explore a new genre and assess your potential
  • Want to join a friendly and supportive group of learners
  • Can dedicate 5-7 hours per week for the duration of the course

Pay as you learn

To help you get the most value from this course, you can spread the cost by paying in affordable instalments as you learn. Please get in touch if you’d like to do this.

Tutor Tom Bromley will introduce you to techniques that add suspense to your writing, show you how to research effectively in the crime genre, and help you explore the senses to add depth to your settings.

As you work through the sessions, you’ll develop a new crime story while working within a supportive community of fellow writers keen to share their experiences with you.

Session 1: Settings and the Senses – Why creating a convincing sense of place matters in crime fiction, with practical exercises to help you set your crime story and build a convincing world.

Session 2: Writing Compelling Characters and Creating Suspense – How writers create compelling characters, and ways to create a unique detective.

Session 3: All About Research – Why research is so important for the crime-fiction writer, and how much to incorporate in your work.

Session 4: Write Your Own Crime Story – Try a longer piece of writing (up to 2,000 words) using all the techniques you have learned during the course. Read and give feedback on your fellow writers’ stories and receive feedback in return.

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 courses 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

Commission a report on your work
If you’d like to receive a personalised, detailed report on your final piece of writing from your course tutor, this is available at an extra cost. You’ll receive detailed written feedback assessing your ideas and writing, plus advice on what steps to take next.

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

The team

Meet your course team

Tom Bromley

Tom Bromley


Tom Bromley is an author, editor and ghostwriter. He has written ten books under his own name, both fiction and non-fiction, ghosted a further dozen titles, including several UK and international bestsellers, and has edited over a hundred books.

More about Tom Bromley

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