What’s New With Alan

Mystery Writing Workshop

Beatley Workshop poster

Come join us!

Baltimore Noir at the Bar poster

Writers Center

Want to improve your writing? Take a workshop at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD!

This Saturday afternoon (June 20), I’ll be teaching one, Writing the Dreaded Query Letter:

You’ve spent months (or years) of your life—not to mention copious amounts of blood, sweat, and tears—writing a dynamite novel. Don’t simply spend five minutes slapping together a weak query letter; you owe it to yourself to write a great one that will break through the slush-clutter at top literary agencies. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to entice your dream agent into reading your masterpiece by writing a tight query that really sings (while avoiding those pitfalls that will land your query in the trash). Bring four copies of a draft query and a red pen with lots of ink!


I’ll also be starting a 5-week workshop this Saturday (June 20), Intro to the Novel: Writing Compelling Fiction.

Have you started a novel—or have a great idea for one—but need some direction and feedback? In this workshop, participants will learn about the building blocks—plot, characters, setting, dialogue, conflict—and how they all fit together to create a solid foundation for page-turning fiction. Sessions will include instruction and writing exercises, with an emphasis on giving and receiving critiques of participants’ work. Oh, and it will be fun, too!


Next Saturday (June 27), I’m offering another afternoon workshop, Whodunnit? How to Write a Mystery.

If you’ve always wanted to write a mystery novel but didn’t know where to start, this workshop is for you. Learn about writing fundamentals as they apply to the mystery. You’ll examine characteristics of the many subgenres (thrillers, too!) and learn about mystery-specific conventions and pitfalls such as TSTL syndrome, macguffins, red herrings, killer twists, wacky sidekicks, and smooth clue-dropping, among others. Fun, educational, and… mysterious!


Click thru for details!



Excited that I’m now working with a new agent, the fabulous Eric Smith, with the awesome agency, P.S. Literary!