Posted in Blogging

Crime & Publishment 2016 – Book now!

On the 26th – 28th February 2016, Crime and Publishment returns with its fourth edition.  This fantastic writing course has seen no less than 5 of its previous attendees awarded publishing contracts and it aims to help you improve your writing, improve your pitches and teach you the networking skills you need so you can go out and get yours.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by those involved in this course from the first event, and in my opinion just one of the things that makes this course so special is that when you say goodbye to the friends you will make over the three days and leave The Mill Forge, your weekend, your course and your lessons are far from over.

The support network I have watched grow over the last three and a half years has been amazing.  Previous attendees will return, to help ‘newbies’, and as the year unfolds and you meet up more and more (and you will meet up again) across both the crime fiction festival calendar and other more informal get togethers and gatherings, it’s an amazing opportunity.

Crime and Publishment always has a great line up of authors and industry insiders signed up to share their knowledge and experience with you.  The 2016 weekend is no exception, with the likes of thriller writer Tom Cain (a pseudonym of David Thomas), action writer Matt Hilton and ex Hollywood screenwriter and successful author Alexandra Sokoloff

Once again taking place at The Mill Forge, Gretna Green, there are several package options available to choose from, from single day passes, to full weekend passes including accommodation (and from numerous visits I can tell you the place is beautiful and the staff are delightful).  Full details of costs along with how to book your place can be found on the Crime & Publishment website.  Places are limited so if you want to secure your place then do make sure you book up soon.

Fancy a sneak peak at the programme?  Then cast your eyes below…

Friday 26th February
Induction and introductions

10.30 – 1.00pm
Group A – Writing your Fights Right – Matt Hilton
Thriller author, ex-cop and 4th Dan Kempo Ju-Jitsu martial artist Matt Hilton, will both discuss and demonstrate ways to write believable fight and action sequences, while also dispelling some myths often found in fiction.

Group B – Structuring your Story – Alexandra Sokoloff
Former Hollywood scriptwriter Alexandra Sokoloff will explain the black arts of story mapping and the three act structure


2.00 – 2.30pm
Networking for Authors – Graham Smith
Graham Smith will briefly revisit his 2014 session on networking and show ways in which authors can create opportunities to network both online and face to face

Group A – Structuring your Story – Alexandra Sokoloff

Group B – Writing your Fights Right – Matt Hilton

Saturday 27th February
10.00 – 12.30pm
Group A – Fact in Fiction – David Thomas (Tom Cain)
David Thomas (Tom Cain) has set his novels against such real events as the London Riots, the death of Diana: Princess of Wales, and the Holocaust. Listen as he gives practical advice on blending fact and fiction to enthral your readers.

Group B – Synopsising your Novel and Preparing your Pitch – Sara Hunt
Who better than a publisher to teach you how to pitch your novel? Sara Hunt of Saraband Publishing will teach attendees on the best way to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. She will explain how to grab their attention with a professional pitch and well thought synopsis.


1.30 – 4.00pm
Group A – Synopsising your Novel and Preparing your Pitch – Sarah Hunt

Group B – Fact in Fiction – David Thomas (Tom Cain)

4.30 – 5.30pm
1-2-1 Surgeries – Various Speakers
Pick the brains of our speakers on a 1-2-1 basis to solve that thorny problem with plotting, characters or setting with advice and insight from an experienced professional.

Sunday 28th February
Pitch session – Sara Hunt
Sara Hunt from Saraband Publishing will be accepting pitches from all attendees. Wow her with a well delivered pitch about your unique novel and you could be on the way to literary stardom.

Optional Extra
Friday 26th February
8.00 – 10.00pm
Nurturing your Characters – Graham Smith & Michael Malone
Graham & Michael will examine some well known literary characters and identify some of the traits which make them so memorable and will also discuss ways to make your characters stand out from the crowd.

N.B. This workshop is not included in the overall price and would be charged extra.



Still not sure?  Then cast your eyes over the testimonials featured on this page, along with founder Graham Smith’s page on the 2014 event here, and returning attendee Ann Bloxwich’s article on the 2015 weekend here.  Maybe next year it will be you writing a feature for  Who knows? There’s only one way to find out…

Further updates on the 2016 event can be found via twitter, just follow  @GrahamSmith1972 and @CrimeandPublish

Posted in Blogging

Crime and Publishment is what you need…

Just finished NaNoWriMo?

Embarking on your novel and need some expert advice?

Still got that trunk novel under your bed you feel like digging out but you’re not sure what to do next?

Want some expert advice and an opportunity to pitch to an agent?

You can find the answers to all your questions and more available here….


Crime & Publishment is a two day course for writers, by writers, agents and industry insiders and will be held at The Mill Forge hotel, just outside Gretna Green from March 7th – 9th 2014.

They are also running a competition to win a complete package to attend the weekend.  To enter all you need to do is submit your 2,000 word short crime story or the first 2,000 words of your opening chapter.

You can find all the details you need here.

I was around at the Mill for Crime and Publishment last year and can guarantee you will have a have a fabulous weekend, with great opportunities to learn, improve and network in a relaxed encouraging and informative atmosphere. Above all that it will be fun.

So if you want to win that weekend get your writing caps on because the competition closes on the 31st December, and if you don’t win, just book it up, because it’s an experience you will never forget.