ONLINE: Writing Ethical True Crime-Inspired Fiction and Crime Memoir

 Registration is closed for this event

A portrait of Ruth McIver
22 March 2020 - 10:00 to 4:00 PM
Ruth McIver
While true crime is nothing new, over the past few years true-crime inspired fiction and true-crime memoirs such as Emma Cline’s The Girls (2015) and Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (2016) have become a best-selling and award winning sub-genre. I propose that fictionalising true crime and real lives in a way that is both ethical and artful, can capture the complex cultural topography surrounding sensational crime events – and this imaginative and personal response to private and collective trauma, is both necessary and cathartic.

This workshop will take place online.

Included in this course:

  • 2.5 hours of information, suggestions, writing tips and learned lessons shared about writing true-crime inspired fiction and memoir
  • A suggested annotated reading list of true crime memoirs and fiction
  • Writing exercises to help hone your craft and reinforce your new skills
  • 1-hour interactive webinar for questions, clarifications, and skills extension
  • Personalised feedback from Ruth on a piece of writing up to 500 words

Learning Outcomes:


  • The pros and cons of writing true crime fiction and crime memoir – and why they differ from ‘straight’ crime fiction and memoir
  • Mapping out the ethical terrain of fictionalising crime and incorporating the real into fiction for publication
  • Research techniques for true crime – how to balance the real and the fictive
  • Techniques commonly used by writers in this genre – reframing, renaming and getting to the essence of the project
  • What to represent? How our rhetorical choices show our ethical intentions

Schedule for the Day:

  • 10 - 11:15am: First webinar with Ruth McIver
  • 11:45am - 1pm: Second webinar with Ruth McIver
  • 3 - 4pm: Interactive webinar for questions, clarifications, and more casual instructions based on your experiences
  • 500-word pieces to be sent to Ruth by Friday 26 March. Feedback to be returned by Friday 3 April


About Ruth McIver

Ruth Mary McIver is a Dublin born, Melbourne-based writer represented by Jacinta Di Mase. She recently completed a PhD at Curtin University, where she wrote I Shot the Devil, which was the winner of the Richell Prize (2018). Her first novel, Nothing Gold, was runner up in the inaugural Banjo Awards, with Harper Collins (2018) was selected as one-in–seven to be pitched at Bloody Scotland (2014). Ruth’s novel-in-verse, The Sunset Club (2014), is a DIY publication that was adapted for the stage and highly commended in the Anne Elder category by the Fellowship of Australian writers. Besides researching and writing true-crime inspired fiction and memoir, she’s a musician and emerging podcaster, coffee fanatic, animal lover and 48 Hours Mystery obsessive.

Not a member?

If you’re purchasing a full price workshop at $215, consider a full price one-year membership ($75) plus member-priced workshop ($155) will cost just $230 and give you discounts on all our services plus six free copies of ‘The Victorian Writer’ magazine.

And if you have a concession card, a one-year membership ($55) plus member-concession workshop ($135) will cost you only $190.

Concession $ 135.00
Member $ 155.00
Non-member $ 215.00
Donation $ 0.00

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