Building a Mystery Novel,
with Dale Phillips

Part I: Saturday, October 19, 2019

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

FREE and Open to the Public


Part II: Saturday, 

October 26, 2019

10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Fee: $40 with preregistration required 

Thayer Memorial Library, 717 Main Street, Lancaster, Massachusetts


In this workshop, you’ll learn about the broad scope and various types of mystery stories. We’ll work through the building blocks involved in creating a good framework for a book. Then we’ll drill down to the finer details of the craft: why voice is critical, the importance of pace, dialogue, and planting clues, and how to create conflict and tension. We’ll pull it all together by looking at developing a mystery from start to finish, creating a plan for completion, and then going beyond, to writing a series. Please bring your questions. A resource guide will be available.

Part I is free and open to public walk-ins. Part II requires pre-registration and is limited in class size. Part II participation requires attending Part I. Please see the Intensives page for more information.

Dale Phillips has published novels, story collections, non-fiction, and over 70 short stories. Stephen King was Dale’s college writing teacher, and since that time, Dale has found time to appear on stage, television, in an independent feature film, and compete on Jeopardy (losing in a spectacular fashion). He co-wrote and acted in a short political satire film. He’s traveled to all 50 states, Mexico, Canada, and through Europe.