In 2023, our course compiler Martin Edwards won the Anthony Non-Fiction award for The Life of Crime.
This prestigious prize is awarded by the Mystery Writers of America at Bouchercon World Mystery Convention

In 2024 Crafting Crime will see exciting developments. If you’re looking for more hands-on help with writing your crime novel, please visit our site then, or if you can’t wait to know more, email us on:

Do you want to be a crime writer? Would you like expert guidance from a master of the craft?

Crafting Crime, the online course on writing crime fiction, could be your perfect solution. Course material is composed by Martin Edwards, the award-winning author and CWA Diamond Dagger winner, in association with Dea Parkin, editor-in-chief at Fiction Feedback editorial consultancy.

  • A course of 12 modules to work through independently in your own time
  • Twelve detailed information documents and 12 Q&A podcasts
  • Complementary how-to material
  • Modules include tried and tested author tips and tricks from Martin and others
  • Tips from top international crime writers such as Elly Griffiths, Michael Robotham, Steve Cavanagh, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Soji Shimada.
  • Specific information regarding the writing life and the publishing world
  • Free critique worth £165 of your opening 8,000 words plus 1,000-word synopsis
  • Until 31 December 2023, a half-hour video conference with Fiction Feedback about your publishing goals. Available for writers who purchase the entire course during 2023 for six months afterwards.
    Contact us to find out more: we need info beforehand to make it meaningful for you.

This is a comprehensive, detailed course guiding you through how to create and construct a crime novel, the options on getting published, advice on editing and how to prepare yourself for a writer’s life.

  • Learn from Martin Edwards, recipient of the CWA’s Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement in crime writing
  • Work in your own time, accessing the course material as and when you like*
  • No classroom sessions with other participants
  • No requirement to send in regular work, or comment on other people’s
  • Ideal for the independent writer who wants to learn without distractions
  • Exercises are included to work through as you please
  • You can submit up to 500 words for a free copy-edit from Fiction Feedback

*All course material remains accessible for six months from payment, during which you’re welcome to submit your novel opening for a free critique.

‘The feedback is really helpful. The criticism is spot on and, like all good criticism, reveals truths that may be obvious once they are pointed out, but to which you’ve become blind from being too close to the writing. The comments all made perfect sense. I’m encouraged now to take this further…’

M Wilson, UK


Thank you so much for your feedback, which I’ve read, underlined and highlighted ready for the next steps with the novel. The positive comments will keep me going through the re-writes and to the stage where the assessment and/or synopsis services would be useful. Many thanks again for the course and the critique. The work starts now!

D Waters, UK

‘I want you to know how much I enjoyed the course. The interviews and texts were interesting, informative, and a pleasure. Some things I knew or suspected. Other things were a revelation. One of the most valuable parts of the course is the references to writers and books, some of whom I’d never heard before. I made my own list of books and authors mentioned in the course and am adding many to my library. I’d say I’m a reader before I’m a writer and have always felt daunted in measuring up to the authors I love. Your course gave me confidence in just enjoying the process of writing. For that alone, it was worth the price of admission.’

Chris Stuart, US

Crafting Crime contents

  • Twelve modules – see a full list on the Course Content page
    –   each with a detailed written element in PDF form, including tips from foremost crime writers of the day;
    –   each complemented by a podcast of Martin Edwards answering questions posed by Dea Parkin (Module #11 is vice-versa), containing several hours of dedicated discussion and recorded at Gladstone’s Library, home of the UK crime writing archives;
  • Extra information sheets.

For details, see the Course Content page

The material is created by Martin Edwards, an award-winning crime writer hailed as an expert by his peers and renowned by the crime publishing world. There is a wealth of knowledge, valuable advice and insightful tips distilled into this readily comprehensible course.

The material is created by Martin Edwards, an award-winning crime writer hailed as an expert by his peers and renowned by the crime publishing world. There is a wealth of knowledge, valuable advice and insightful tips distilled into this readily comprehensible course.

The course content covers all key elements of writing crime fiction – not only analyses of what techniques work and which traps to avoid, but also how to go about getting published and what happens next.

It’s up to you how and when you study the modules over six months.

You’re not required to interact with other writers or to submit work.

Free critique worth £165 of your novel opening and synopsis by specialist crime editors Fiction Feedback.

The course costs £499. On receipt of payment, you’re sent an email with a unique password that allows you to return throughout the next six months to access all the course material.

Watch this short video to learn more about the course. It’s filmed at historical Gladstone’s Library, home of the British Crime Writing Archives.

Martin Edwards

Martin Edwards received the CWA Diamond Dagger in 2020. He is the author of twenty novels, including Gallows Court and Mortmain Hall. He also conceived and edited Howdunit, an award-winning masterclass in crime writing by members of the Detection Club and is the author of a new and ground-breaking history of crime fiction, The Life of Crime.

He has received five major awards for his crime writing in the United States and six in the UK, including the CWA Dagger in the Library, voted by British librarians. He has been nominated for CWA Gold Daggers three times and has also been shortlisted for the Theakston’s Prize for best crime novel of the year. He is consultant to the British Library’s Crime Classics series, a former chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, and current President of the Detection Club. His novels include the Harry Devlin series and the Lake District Mysteries, nine non-fiction books and seventy short stories; he has also edited more than forty anthologies of crime writing which have yielded many award-winning stories.

Martin knows more about crime fiction than anyone else working in the field today… his passion shines through in his work: the fiction, the non-fiction and the short stories. In his editing, he’s brought new writers and forgotten favourites to discerning readers.
– Ann Cleeves (author of the Vera and Shetland books).

Fiction Feedback

Fiction Feedback was established in 2008 by editor Dea Parkin. The editorial consultancy has helped numerous authors get publishing contracts or to self-publish, especially in the crime genre, and offers critiques and both developmental and copy-editing.

Dea is Secretary of the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) and co-ordinates the CWA’s prestigious Debut Dagger competition and the Margery Allingham Short Mystery Prize.

She is also MD of Competitive Edge Advertising & Marketing Ltd, the company behind the Crafting Crime website.

Fiction Feedback gave me invaluable and insightful structural analysis of my MS, and then copy-edited it to within an inch of its life! Wonderful, painstaking service, which I shall certainly use again.
– Simon Michael, traditionally published author of crime novel Corrupted and the Charles Holborne series.


I’ve now read through everything and am so pleased with the editing report! It’s the kind of thing where you look at it and think – why didn’t I see that? Lots of work to do but I really appreciate all the suggestions and ideas (several of which I will definitely be using). It makes such a difference to have a crime fiction specialist. Those who don’t read crime (but might still be good editors) tend to miss a lot of areas re plot and giving good crime plotting suggestions.
– Sherryl Clark, published crime writer.

Fiction Feedback (established 2008) is a trading name of Dea Parkin, MD of Competitive Edge Writing & Marketing Ltd (1991; incorporated 2011).