2317 Starting to Write Crime Fiction with Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Johana Gustawsson, Guest Reader Doug Johnstone

2317 Starting to Write Crime Fiction with Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Johana Gustawsson, Guest Reader Doug Johnstone

Date(s) - Mon 24th Apr - Sat 29th Apr, 2023
All Day

Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire , IV4 7HT

Get the know-how to start your crime novel

Do you have a killer idea for a crime novel but don´t know where to start? This April two fabulous ladies with funny accents (their words, not ours!) will bring an international flair to Moniack Mhor. Join Johana Gustawsson and Lilja Sigurðardóttir for an inspiring week where you will get the know-how to start your crime novel. Successful crime writers Lilja and Johana will teach you how to structure a strong story and create the multidimensional characters crime fiction readers love. In this beginner´s course you will gain insight into the basics of writing a crime novel such as point of view, using tension, the dramatic world, research and dialogue. You don´t need any experience of writing to attend, only your passion for telling a good story. The goal of the course is that the students leave with a first chapter of their novel done and inspired to continue on their writing journey.

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurðardóttir was born in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. Also an award-winning playwright and screen writer, Lilja has written ten crime novels, including Snare, Trap and Cage, making up the Reykjavík Noir trilogy, the standalone political thriller Betrayal, and her latest out in English are Cold as Hell and Red as Blood, forming the beginning of a new series. Her books are now translated into 16 languages and have hit bestseller lists worldwide and she has won multiple awards and nominations. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner but has a second home in Glasgow. 

Born in Marseille, France, and with a degree in Political Science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French and Spanish press and television. Her critically acclaimed Roy & Castells series, including Block 46, Keeper and Blood Song, has won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte, Balai d’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards, and is now published in 23 countries. A TV adaptation is currently underway. Her latest historical thriller, The Bleeding, has been published in September 2022. Johana lives in Sweden with her husband and their three sons. 

Doug Johnstone is the bestselling author of fourteen novels, three of which have been shortlisted for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year, while one was longlisted for the Theakston Crime Novel of the Year. He’s won the Fiction Uncovered Award and been shortlisted for Capital Crime’s Independent Voice. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions over the last fifteen years, including festivals, libraries, universities, schools, prisons and a funeral director. He’s also a journalist, songwriter and musician, plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, and is a co-founder of the Scotland Writers Football Club. 


Please note, we are also developing a Crime Writing ‘Masterclass’ later on in 2023, for those of you who are more familiar with our Crime Writing courses here at Moniack Mhor. Dates and more details will be announced in early 2023.



The full fee for this course is £650. This includes your accommodation in a single room with shared bathroom, all meals, hot drinks and snacks from Monday afternoon until Saturday morning, and your tuition. For more information about the practicalities of our courses and retreats, please visit our About the Courses page.

A limited number of en-suite rooms are available for a £50 surcharge, and a limited number of Twin Room places are available at a discounted price of £600 per person. When booking a Twin Room place, please tell us in the comments box which gender you are and which gender(s) you are comfortable sharing a room with. This information will remain confidential.

A deposit is required to secure your place, which is non-refundable after a 14-day cooling-off period. The balance payment of £500 is due six weeks before the course begins. If you would like to pay the full amount earlier than this or at the point of booking, please call our booking office on 01463 592 828 or email info@moniackmhor.org.uk.


Please let us know if you have any access requirements, for example a ground floor bedroom and / or access to a wheelchair-accessible shower room. For more information about access to our courses, please visit our Access page.


This course is now fully booked. Please contact us on info@moniackmhor.org.uk or 01463 741 675 to be added to the waiting list.

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