Building a Mystery with Shannon Fay


November 2, 2022

Time (US Pacific):

4:00 pm


Crafting Mystery Stories in Speculative Worlds.


Writing a SF/F mystery isn’t as simple as simply having a corpse on a space station or a murdered cleric in a locked crypt. Most traditional mystery stories operate on the concept of ‘fair play,’ the idea that the reader could possibly solve the mystery themselves if they pay attention and think things through. The traditional mystery model also assumes that the story is set in our world, with no magic or strange science gumming up the works. So, is it possible to write a genre story that is both wondrous and fantastical while also being a satisfying whodunit?

The class will take place over four sessions, with the first two sessions being lectures on the nature of mystery writing and the third and fourth sessions consisting of discussion and critique.

In between sessions, students will also be writing short mystery stories, which they will send out to their fellow students to read and critique.


Session 1 (11/2): Lecture
Session 2 (11/9): Lecture
Session 3 (11/16): Discussion and Critique
Session 4 (11/30): Discussion and Critique

For writers of all levels. No advance preparation is required.


Limited free registration: We offer a percentage of seats in every class to BIPOC writers for free, regardless of financial need. Free seats for this class will be awarded by lottery 7-10 days. To enter, please email us with your name, the best way to reach you, and the name of the class:  For more information, see our equity and inclusion policies.


The Supporting Tuition rate is shown for each class or workshop for folks who are able to pay it. Paying the Supporting Tuition rate enables us to continue to pay our staff and instructors equitably as well as support access to classes for others who may be in a different situation. 


For folks who are under more limited economic circumstances, no matter your background, we offer a discount code for reduced pricing: CWDISCOUNTS4WRITERS. If this will help you take the class, you are invited to use this code for a 26% discount on all online classes and workshops. For more information about when to use this discount, please see our financial aid policies.

Sold Out

Join the waitlist to be emailed when seats becomes available


Total Seats: 15 (0 Left:)

Event Schedule Details

  • November 2, 2022 4:00 pm   -   5:30 pm
  • November 9, 2022 4:00 pm   -   5:30 pm
  • November 16, 2022 4:00 pm   -   5:30 pm
  • November 30, 2022 4:00 pm   -   5:30 pm

Multiple Dates

Hide Date List

Share This Event