2427 Tutored Retreat: Crime Writing with Helen Fitzgerald and Doug Johnstone, Guest Reader Karen Sullivan

2427 Tutored Retreat: Crime Writing with Helen Fitzgerald and Doug Johnstone, Guest Reader Karen Sullivan

Date(s) - Mon 1st Jul - Sat 6th Jul, 2024
All Day

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

Sharp Focus on your Work-in-Progress

Are you working on a crime novel and want to make it sing? This intensive tutored retreat is an opportunity for writers of crime fiction to focus closely on their works-in-progress, finessing and polishing all aspects of their writing. Crime writers Helen FitzGerald and Doug Johnstone will be on hand to offer specific and tailored one-to-one advice on your manuscript, from plotting and character to narrative voice and prose style. If you feel stuck with your writing and not quite sure how to proceed, this will be a chance to jump-start your inspiration. This will also be the opportunity to meet like-minded writers in a supportive and tranquil setting.


Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of 11 adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and adapted for a major BBC drama. Her 2019 dark-comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in the Literary Review, Herald Scotland, Guardian and Daily Telegraph, shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and won the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award. Her next book, Halfway House, is out in January 2024. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over 15 years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband. Follow Helen on Twitter @FitzHelen.

Doug Johnstone is the bestselling author of 14 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 15 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.

Guest Reader

Karen Sullivan was born in Canada, and moved to the UK at the age of 21, ostensibly to travel around Europe. Unexpectedly landing her dream job in publishing, she settled in London and hasn’t looked back. After a few years working for an independent, starting as PA to the editorial director and eventually becoming commissioning editor, she left to raise her young family, working as a freelance editor and author of a wide range of non-fiction titles – predominantly relating to children’s health and wellbeing – and appearing on TV and radio. She returned to the ‘other side’ of publishing in 2013, taking on the role of managing editor for a small independent. This – and her own experience as an author – was the catalyst for founding Orenda Books, where author care and high-quality, culturally diverse, bold and original writing are paramount. Karen lives in London with her partner and two of her three sons, and remains a voracious reader and a passionate supporter of the book community. You can find Karen on Twitter @OrendaBooks.


The full fee for this course is £725. 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, which can be booked in advance for a £50 surcharge. We will also reserve an en-suite room for anyone who may need it due to a medical condition. This will be offered out as an upgrade nearer the course start date if it is not needed.

A limited number of Twin Room places are available at a discounted price of £675 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 £595 is due six weeks before the course begins. Refunds are not always available – please read our Terms & Conditions for full details about our cancellation policy. If you would like to pay the full amount in advance, please call our booking office on 01463 592 828 or email info@moniackmhor.org.uk.

Bursaries are always available, and you also have the option to pay in instalments. If you have any problems paying online, or wish to discuss paying in instalments or applying for financial help, or would simply like assistance, please contact us by emailing info@moniackmhor.org.ok or phoning us on 01463 592828.


Please let us know in your booking form if you have any access requirements, for example a ground floor bedroom and / or access to a step-free accessible shower room. We also reserve one en-suite bedroom per course for anyone who may need this due to a medical condition. For more information about access to our courses, please visit our Access page.

Terms and Conditions

Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking.


Ticket Type Price Spaces
Single Room (Deposit) £150.00
Twin Room (Deposit)
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.
Single Room (Deposit) with En-Suite Upgrade
Limited availability. We also have 1 extra en-suite reserved for participants who may need it for medical reasons. If the en-suites are sold out but you need one for medical reasons, please book a standard single room then let us know in the booking form below.
£200.00 N/A




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