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Writing Workshops

How to Write a Literary Thriller with Nicola Maye Goldberg (Sold Out)


6 Sessions

Out of stock

Once a week Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EST - 8:00 pm EST March 21 to April 25, 2023

Online via Zoom

This workshop has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist, please email Randy Winston at [email protected].

Literary thrillers contain elegant prose, thematic richness, and propulsive plots. In this class, we will examine different elements of the genre, including character, style, tone, and voice. We will also discuss plots and subplots, and how to brainstorm plot twists, manage disparate timelines, and how to generate suspense throughout a novel.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt will be our touchstone, and all students will be expected to read it prior to the first class. Students will also be recommended a number of other books depending on what the instructor feels will be most useful for their projects. We will also use Raymond Chandler’s “Ten Commandments for the Detective Novel,” and discuss what writers of literary fiction can learn from more traditional mysteries and thrillers.

Each student will have the opportunity to workshop both an outline for a novel and an excerpt. The workshops will focus on character, voice, and setting as well as building and sustaining suspense. Previous workshop experience is recommended, but not a requirement.

We will also discuss the challenges unique to the genre and how students can meet them as they continue the writing process. By the end of the class, students will be ready to write a full-length literary thriller.

Course Outline
  • Session I: Discuss The Secret History (plot, character, voice, structure, etc.) Discuss what brings students to this particular class and the projects they have in mind.
  • Sessions II–VI: Each student will workshop both an outline of a literary novel and an excerpt from that project. They will be able to choose which order will be most helpful for them.

Capacity: 12


Led by

  • new author photo 300 - Nicola Maye Goldberg Large

    Nicola Maye Goldberg

    Nicola Maye Goldberg

    Nicola Maye Goldberg is the author of Other Women and Nothing Can Hurt You. Her work has appeared in Vogue, New York Tyrant, Joyland, and elsewhere. She has taught at Catapult and Columbia University. She lives in New York City.