Creative Writing Teaching


I believe that writing a novel is one of the most exciting and fulfilling things you can do - a huge act of will and faith. I love helping people to achieve their dream of finishing one. Have a look at my blog for more thoughts on writing. 

Ahead of my workshop at this year’s Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, I guested on the National Centre for Writing’s podcast to discuss techniques for crafting characters for crime fiction. Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna.


I regularly give workshops on the following topics (and others!) I've taught for many people including the Arvon Foundation, Guardian Masterclasses, Spread the Word, Skyros, Chalk the Sun, Queen's University Belfast, and more. I also give talks at festivals and for writing groups. I also ran the Crime Writing MA at City University London for five years. If you'd like to book me for something, please do drop me a line! And check the events page for any upcoming ones. 

  • Creating Suspense

  • Writing Crime Fiction

  • Just get on with it! How to finish your book

  • What is a story? The nature of story and plot

  • Working with viewpoint and character 

  • Dialogue 

  • How to Get Published 

  • Dealing with blocks and barriers

Book festivals

I love attending these and have been to many including: Cheltenham, Belfast, Harrogate, Bristol Crimefest, Crawley Wordfest, Henley, Get Writing, Festival of Writing, Alfriston, and more. I'm available to be on panels, teach workshops on creative writing, or act as chair. 

"First of all a big thank you for yesterday's page turner masterclass at the Guardian. It was great to get a combination of validation of most of what I'm doing, an understanding of what and why things do and don't work and a smattering of 'uh oh' moments that will soon be followed by some pretty savage cutting"- Tracy

'Claire has taught me a lot. Her hands-on teaching style makes workshopping writing much less scary, and her feedback is always insightful and very helpful. Thank you!'- Fran Dorricott (now published by Head of Zeus)

"I contacted Claire about mentoring in April 2017 after attending her Guardian Masterclass on writing suspense. Claire is an expert in crime writing and her guidance and encouragement has been invaluable. Her editorial feedback on my novel was spot-on and enabled me to make changes that improved my book. She also provided advice on approaching agents, based on her in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry. 


By Christmas I had a couple of agents interested in my novel and a publishing deal on the table. I'm now signed with Bookouture and my psychological thriller, The Mother's Mistake, is due for release in June 2019." -RJ Heald

Video: Writing Tips

Chairing a panel on the future of publishing at the Festival of Writing, 2015. Apparently there is one! Who knew? 

few of the books I've worked on!

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© 2015 by Claire McGowan