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Workshops for Writers
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Agatha Award Winner for Best Non-Fiction Book

Author: Chris Roerden
6"x 9" Trade Paperback Original
$17.95US; viii + 293pp, index, bibl.

ISBN 1-933523-13-1


"Many experienced writers may also find the tips helpful and inspiring if they have hit a roadblock in their current work. I went back and rewrote an entire first page after reading it."
P.J. PARRISH/Kelly, NYTimes Best-Selling author of 7 thrillers
read entire review

"Immensely insightful.... Highly recommended."
Midwest Book Review, Reviewer's Choice read entire review #1

"Invaluable to fiction writers of all genres. An enthusiastically recommended, energetic, easy-to-follow guide."
Midwest Book Review, Reviewer's Choice read entire review #2

"Offers a wealth of good advice, supported by excellent examples."
Mystery Scene

"Roerden has a clear and thoughtful style . . . Don't Murder Your Mystery is smarter, more comprehensive, more effectively targeted, and more accessible than most books on writing . . . a thoughtful tune-up for writers at all levels."
ForeWord Magazine Spotlight review, KATE FLORA (former national president, Sisters in Crime) author of 10 books read entire review

"Based on her 40 years' experience as an award-winning author, manuscript editor and teacher, Chris shares the secrets of how to get past the manuscript screeners. . . . they apply to all genres of fiction."
Mensa Bulletin

"Emphatic thumbs up."
My Shelf

"Even after writing 9 novels, I keep this book by my computer with my thesaurus and dictionary as an indispensable tool. I can truthfully say I've learned more from it than any of the numerous other instructional manuals I've read."
SCOTT NICHOLSON, Absolute Write read entire review

"Every thoughtful writer will find at least a half-dozen tips that will directly apply to his or her own work. I certainly did!"
MARGARET MARON, award-winning author of the Judge Deborah Knott series (2005 President of Mystery Writers of America)

"On the level of the William Noble writer's guides. I wish this excellent manual was available when I began my career!"
CHARLES TODD, NYTimes Book Review Notable Books of the Year author, the Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery series

"Noteworthy small press book. . . Get a copy."
Southern Review of Books read entire review

"I couldn't put it down. Another benchmark. She shows us how to avoid all the mistakes writers make that drive readers nuts. I find myself quoting from it when I teach workshops."
LONNIE CRUSE, author of 4 mystery novels

"It's one of the best books of its type on the market. Of all my books on wrirting, it's the one I would not part with."
PHIL HARDWICK, author of 10 mystery novels

"Don't let the title fool you. This book is not just for mystery writers. ALL fiction writers can benefit. 5 stars!"
FUTURES Magazine, Catherine Chant

"The required reading will be Don't Murder Your Mystery by Chris Roerden."
VICKI LANE, author of 4 mystery novels and instructor, UNCA Great Smokies Writing Program course description

"One of the more fascinating guests at this year's Cape Fear Crime Festival was an editor, Chris Roerden, who's worked in . . . publishing for more than 40 years. In case you missed her workshop . . . you can get her coaching through her book."
BEN STEELMAN, Wilmington Star-News

"Lots of good information, even for experienced writers, presented with wit."
CYNTHIA RIGGS, author of 7 mysteries

"I urge you to think of Don't Murder Your Mystery as a short (and well-written and often funny) lesson in 'author appreciation.' We take art appreciation without any thought to becoming an artist. Even tone deaf students take music appreciation."
Diana Vickery, Cozy Library

"I believe your advice on avoiding rejection may comprise the best technique book I've ever read." read more
—Dan Birlew (blogger)

"Yours is the only craft book I've ever been able to stick with. Love it!"
—Stacey Wilk, Romance Writers of America member


"Chock full of practical advice for the novice writer. Even seasoned writers could use a copy as a refresher course."
Charlaine Harris, New York Times best-selling author of 29 books in multiple genres; Sookie Stackhouse series is HBO hit True Blood

"Best book of its kind by far. Required for my college level students. Recommended for all aspiring writers."
Reed Farrel Coleman, two-time Edgar nominee; Shamus, Barry, and Anthony winner

"Without qualification, I recommend this book to fiction writers, be they literary, mainstream, or genre writers."
John Thornburg, Professor English/Creative Writing, San Jacinto College, Pasadena, Texas

"A savvy writer's guide to creating a manuscript that will SELL!"
Carolyn Hart, two-time winner of Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards


About the Author:
An accomplished editor, writer, and teacher, Chris Roerden shares knowledge gleaned from more than 50 years in niche publishing—a career that began upon graduation from New York City's H. S. of Music & Art at age 16. It took publication of a first book for Chris to act on the urge to go to college, which produced a BA in English summa cum laude, an MA, and an invitation to stay on at the University of Maine to teach writing.
    Eventually returning to publishing, in 1983 Chris left a busy managing editor's position to become a busy independent book editor, taking time out to teach communication skills in South Korea one summer, serve as president of a regional trade association of 250 commercial publishers and university presses, teach classes in publishing at night at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and serve six years on the southeast regional board of Mystery Writers of America, receiving its Magnolia Award for service to the organization.
    Her clients have been published by St. Martin's, Berkley Prime Crime, Midnight Ink, Rodale, Walker, and Viking, and have won more than 21 awards, including an Agatha for Best First Mystery and two Benjamin Franklins.
    Chris is also a member of Sisters in Crime and Mensa, and a proud parent and grandparent—with one son, three grandsons, and a daughter-in-law (also an editor) in Boston, and a son and two granddogs in Los Angeles.
    Now settled in Greensboro, NC, Chris enjoys seeing pansies bloom in February and hasn't put on snow boots since the 20th century.

Author's website:


Workshops for Writers:


Thu.-Sun. Oct. 8-11 - Raleigh, NC: Bouchercon: World's Largest Mystery Readers Convention. (Chris will either present a Sisters in Crime workshop or head a panel--or both--designed for writers)


Sat. Feb. 8, Greensboro, NC: Writers Group of the Triad, Greensboro Central Library, 3 pm: Chris is guest speaker.

Aug. 1-3, Deadly Ink Mystery Conference, New Brunswick, NJ: Hyatt Regency, 2 Albany St. The best small mystery writers conference with top-notch authors, mostly from the Tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT, as well as elsewhere). Friday 1-4:30pm: Chris presents a half-day intensive on The Writer's Voice and Show or Tell? Also Saturday 9am: Chris is the editor on a panel of authors discussing revision. For more information:

Aug. 7-10, Cape Cod Writers Conference, Hyannis, MA: Hyannis Resort & Conference Center, 35 Scudder Ave. Chris presents "Four Levels of Showing vs Telling to Engage Readers' Emotions," Friday intensive, continued Saturday. "The Writer's Voice," Sunday half-day intensive.

Sun. Oct. 19, 2-4 pm, High Point, NC: The Writer's Craft series: "Dialogue: Watch What You Say (or Put in the Mouths of Your Characters)!" Chris presents a two-hour interactive workshop at the High Point Library, 901 N. Main St. Cosponsored by Sisters in Crime of the Triad and High Point Library. Free.

Sat. Nov. 1-Sun. Nov. 2, Fayetteville, NC: "Writer's Workshop at Your Library 2014." Fayetteville Library, 300 Maiden Lane. "The Writer's Voice," and other techniques of effective writers.


Sat. Feb. 9, Burlington Writers: Graham, NC, 10 am; see

Sun. Feb. 10, Triad Sisters in Crime: High Point, NC, "What Do Editors Want? Secrets to Getting Your Submission Read," High Point Library, 2-4 pm, 1st floor

Sat. Feb. 23, Book 'Em NC: Lumberton, NC, all day workshops, authors' displays, autographing. Proceeds donated to literacy: "Buy a Book, Stop a Crook!" See

Thu. Mar. 7, Greenville, SC: Workshop on how to get right 1 special craft most writers get wrong; UpState South Carolina Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Fri. May 3 - Sun. May 5, Bethesda, MD: MALICE DOMESTIC 25, Hyatt Hotel. Chris is panel moderator for authors Carolyn Hart, Gregg Herren, Kathleen Ernst, and Ellen Byerrum.

Sun. Aug. 11, Triad-Piedmont Sisters in Crime 10th Anniversary Celebration & 3rd Annual Networking Event for Writers: Claremont, NC (near Hickory). FREE except for your own lunch -- an opportunity, whether published or unpublished, to meet and network with published authors and others working in the book industry. PLUS: Everyone gets 3-5 minutes at the mic to promote (and sell) your books or ask for assistance from others in the industry -- such as: whom to contact for what? solutions to a sticky writing problem? nearest critique group? other advice? or whatever info or contacts YOU need to reach your goal! Limited to the first 50 to preregister:

Tue. Sep. 17, Poughkeepsie, NY: Writer's Workshop by Chris Roerden: An Editor's Secrets for Getting Published, 6:30-8:30 pm, Adriance Library, ground fl. meeting room, 93 Market St. Tel: 845-485-3445.

Wed.-Sat. Sep. 19-22, Albany, NY: Bouchercon, Empire State Plaza. On Saturday, 1:50-2:15pm, Chris moderates the panel of authors covering: "Tomorrow is Today: Keeping Deadlines at Bay." Several booksellers will be offering for sale her Agatha-award-winning DON'T MURDER YOUR MYSTERY.

Sat. Sep. 28 - Sisters in Crime Central New Jersey: Jamesburg Center, 139 Stevens Ave., Jamesburg, NJ 08831. As speaker for the chapter's annual meeting, Chris presents "An Editor's Tips to Help Get You Published," 11:30am-1:30pm. Guests and new members are welcome at any time. Contact Sue Ortiz, or see website:

Author: Chris Roerden
6"x 9" Trade Paperback
304pp; Retail: $17.95US

ISBN 1-933523-13-1

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Workshops for Writers

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