Spring 2019 Crime Fiction Academy

Founded in 2012, The Crime Fiction Academy is the first program exclusively dedicated to crime writing in all its forms! 



Crafting the Perfect Crime Novel with Alison Gaylin

Class Postponed - Start date TBD

$495 | 10% off for members with code

Course Description:

Like the proverbial “perfect murder,” the perfect crime novel is well-timed, seamlessly plotted and leaves a lasting impact. In this workshop, we will explore all the elements that go into the perfect crime novel—from creating complex, interesting characters to crafting effective dialogue, plot and pacing to finding a unique voice to tell the story. Each week will include a discussion of a specific element, as illustrated by a prompt to be completed at home (and read aloud the following week). In addition, we will focus on 5-10 pages from three workshop members, remembering to consider each of these elements when giving our criticism. Whether you’re looking to perfect a completed manuscript or embarking on something new, this workshop will sharpen your skills—and take you where you need to be to tell stories that “kill.”


Students can enroll in a variety of workshops taught by successful practitioners of the genre and are invited to our series of Master Class events featuring all-star writers. Each Master Class is followed by a private reception for CFA students only. In spring 2017 we were joined by Ian Rankin and we hosted part II of our special Women in Crime panelIn fall 2017 we hosted Master Classes with Colin Harrison and Caleb Carr and a special event on the spy novel with Paul Vidich and Joseph Kanon.


Our classes culminate at the end of the year in a Crime Fiction Slam featuring readings by our students with an audience filled with the editors, agents, and publishing professionals that the Center invites. And we have a new exclusive program for CFA students with Amazon Kindle Singlesfeaturing stories by our students selected by some of the best crime writers working today. 








"Crime Fiction Academy absolutely exceeded all expectations. Dedicated and enthusiastic instruction from accomplished novelists and up-close and personal contact with the top writers and industry professionals in the game. It was total immersion into the world of crime fiction writing–hosted in an amazing landmark building by The Center For Fiction."

 — Jonas Paterno


"[CFA is] a wonderful workshop, the best I've ever participated in. [Jonathan Santlofer's] experience and perspective has been and will be invaluable ... It's as if I have a brand new tool to apply, one I should have used before but perhaps loved my book too much to do so."

 — Vito Racanelli, whose story "Eyes" appears in The Literarian.


"It was such a pleasure, treat, honor and wonderful experience to have met [Jonathan Santlofer], worked with him and been in his class. He is a dedicated teacher and a warm, generous person."

 — Michael Harvey


Amazon Kindle Single

"Gym Rat" by Lawrence Block
and "The Murder Club" by Matt Plass


Our first Amazon Kindle Single featuring stories by Lawrence Block and CFA student Matt Plass is available now! BUY NOW


Our Amazon Kindle Singles program is an exciting new initiative exclusively for students enrolled in CFA. Students now have the opportunity to submit their stories for inclusion in the CFA-branded Amazon Kindle Singles program. Some of the best crime fiction writers working today, many of whom have been Master Teachers at CFA, will select the stories and pair it with one of their own in a final downloadable double e-story. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the great writers in CFA and for students to have their work recognized and made available to readers across the country. 





Watch videos from previous Master Class talks, given by authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Lee Child, Elmore Leonard and many more! Click through to see our entire archive! 


In 2014 we were honored to host Ruth Rendell with Sisters in Crime. We hope you enjoy! 

 Support for CFA comes from:






Post Comment
  • Erika Jakubassa Posted on May 20, 2019 14:15"Post comment" at the bottom of the CFA page only gives me a blue wheel .... how do I post a comment on my experience with CFA? Thanks. Erika Jakubassa
View all comments