The Course

What do I get from the course?

You receive 12 modules, in the form of pdfs, 11 written by Martin Edwards and one by Dea Parkin. Each is over 12 pages long and deals with different aspects of writing crime and the writing life, referencing other authors and crime novels, past and contemporary. You also receive 12 podcasts where Martin is interviewed by Dea, and an array of additional material. See course content for details. This content will help you to consider the different elements of writing a crime novel, with explanations of tried and tested tips and tricks from Martin and many other quoted authors. It also prepares you for the writing life and shines a guiding light on the publishing world.

Or if you prefer to pay in instalments, we offer the course in three batches with three payments, or at a price per module scheduled to suit. If you’d like to take advantage of these prices, see Buy the course

Are my chances of getting an agent and traditional publishing contract improved if I take this course?

We think so; yes. It shows you the various elements of what makes a successful crime novel, how to use them to create a strong and marketable book, and it also prepares you for the writing life, with advice on approaching agents and publishers and what they actually do for you.

Is the course relevant if I’m thinking about publishing independently?

Very much so. The content regarding how to write a crime novel is relevant no matter what publishing route you take, and Module #11 deals specifically with editing and discusses the pros and cons of the various publishing avenues. Other modules about the writing life and what you can expect are relevant to all authors.

I’ve seen other courses that are cheaper…

Yes, and others that are more expensive, too! Our USPs are, first of all, Martin Edwards’ own experience and expertise, which isn’t available elsewhere, and second, that the course doesn’t exclusively focus on the components that make for a good crime novel: the course also discusses making room for writing in your life, what it’s like to be a professional writer and hints on how to deal with aspects of the writing life. Thirdly, the pdf modules contain quotes from international best-selling writers so the pearls of wisdom you receive have a breadth and wider relevance not found on other courses.

How do I buy the course?

You can choose to buy the course in three ways: all at once in one payment, in three batches, or in 12 separate instalments. Simply click on your preference in Buy the course. You will be asked to pay via Stripe (or contact us if this method isn’t suitable for you). You’ll receive a password which is valid for login for the module(s) you’ve bought for six months. Please note the course must be paid for in full before you can claim the free critique or any other special offer that depends on purchase.

May I download the course materials?

Yes of course, but it’s a condition of purchase that you undertake not to share either your access means or the materials themselves – see Terms and Conditions for full details.

The Critique

How do I send my work for the critique?

You’ll be provided with a special email address. Send the opening and synopsis as two separate files attached to the email. Please ensure your name is included in the file names. Word, rtf or pdf files are acceptable. You must quote the name, email address and password that you’ve used to purchase and access the course within the email message. The subject should be Crafting Crime Critique.  And you must send it within six months of buying the course.

Is your critique service confidential?

Totally. Our editors and admin staff undertake to keep your work private. Neither your work nor any of your details are shared with any third party. Copyright at all times remains with you, the writer.

What happens if the opening is a little more than 8,000 words, or the synopsis longer than 1,000 words?

We will contact you and ask you to shorten it! Please ensure that both documents fall below the maximum, once you’ve excluded any chapter or section headings. Agents, publishers and competitions are strict regarding word count, so it’s a good habit to get into.

If I preferred, could I send a novel opening of up to 9,000 words and no synopsis for the free critique?

Yes. Just let us know when you send the work in. However we do recommend you send a synopsis.

If you would like to send a longer extract for critique, please contact us and we’ll work something out with you.

Do you write comments on the manuscript? Or make alterations?

No. Within the critique service, we make no annotation or alteration to your manuscript.

If I make any changes you might suggest, will this improve my chances of acceptance with an agent or publisher?

Almost certainly. It always helps to have other, informed opinion on your writing and often an objective eye can pick up flaws you’re unable to spot for yourself. Professionals who are used to reading, editing and reviewing crime fiction can identify areas where you can improve and suggest how.

Will Martin Edwards be involved in the critique service?

No, I’m sorry, this is a Fiction Feedback service. Besides, Martin is too busy with his writing!

Do you only critique crime novels?

No, we also critique contemporary fiction, fantasy, humour, horror, romance and chick-lit, together with novels written for older children and young adults. We also critique and edit memoirs, biographies and of course real crime and crime non-fiction. Check out the service here.

Do you critique short stories?

Yes. Our rates are different, though, and not to be confused with those for critiquing novels.

If I get a good critique, will I definitely be published?

No, sorry. No one can guarantee that. But knowing that professional editors have shown you how to improve your work will give you confidence when you approach publishers and agents.

Can you recommend my work to a literary agent or publisher?

Maybe. We have established certain links which might work to the benefit of customers with outstanding submissions, and some of our editors are themselves agents and publishers. No promises, though. In your own approach to agents or publishers you might want to say that you’ve had your novel opening critiqued by us, as it shows you’re taking a professional approach to your writing.

What if I’d like to send a novel extract longer than 8,000 words for critique?

Contact us and we’ll be happy to arrange a discounted price, provided it’s within six months of your buying the Crafting Crime course.

Do you offer an editing service?

Yes, we offer highly regarded structural and copy-editing services. For full details, visit here. Please note editing is not part of the Crafting Crime critique service.

I am not writing in the UK. Can I still submit my work for the free critique?

Yes. Providing the work is in English, that’s fine. If you need work translating, we recommend you approach the Society of Authors for referrals.

My question isn’t answered here. What do I do?