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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Interlochen Mystery Writing Intensive Workshop

This past week, as the result of a generous scholarship provided by Ludington Writers, I was able to attend the Mystery Writing Intensive Workshop at Interlochen Fine Arts Camp. The instructor was Aaron Stander (author of the Ray Elkins mysteries).

It was a great week of writing exercises, writing assignments on our own works, guest speakers, networking, and playtime.

We began by hearing from a retired policeman who gave us a run-down of what the proper procedure is at a crime scene. Then we went and analyzed our "own" murder scene.

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

When we returned to the classroom, we split into groups and each was given a time period- say the 1930s. Then we had to group-write (not easy!) a scene incorporating the dead body we'd just found and place the story in that era.

We huddled up closer to share our samples with the whole group, and have discussion.

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

There were instructional segments about writing place, character, and showing vs. telling.

At the end of one of the days, Aaron invited us to his home, where he and his wife Mary Kay had snacks prepared and we all got better acquainted. I think this is a nice picture of Aaron (with Hamish!)

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

It was not insignificant that our workshop was treated respectfully! The music instruction group just down the hall from us was told not to disturb us.

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

In addition to the in-class writing, we had assignments every night. These were usually to advance our own works in progress, but focusing on the lesson of the day.

First thing each morning, we'd share our homework in the smaller groups, provide and receive feedback, and then revise our own work accordingly.

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

There were fun times too. Wednesday evening, most everyone went along for a walk on the Lake Michigan beach. Participants were not all local. We had people from as far away as Arizona and Maryland. Then we all went to dinner together.

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

We had a second guest speaker, Mardi Link, who has written true crime stories.

Those of us who actually have books done had a chance to tell a bit about our journey in publishing.

Finally, just a group picture without one of our folks who had already left to catch a plane, and with one of the guest speakers.

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

This was an awesome opportunity, and I'll be soaking in the positive effects for a long time to come.

See Blood and Tea

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