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Murder, Mayhem, and More: Reading True Crime 4-Week Zoom Workshop, June 13th, 2022
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Murder, Mayhem, and More: Reading True Crime 4-Week Zoom Workshop, June 13th, 2022

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Begins Monday, June 13th, 2022

Class will meet weekly on Mondays via Zoom, 7PM - 9PM EST

Open to All writers!

Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.

Taught by Lisa Levy, a founding editor of Crime Reads and a contributing editor to Literary Hub, this class is all about reading and writing True Crime.

True crime has never been as popular as it is now. It’s proliferating in print, online, on film and television, and especially as podcasts. In this four-week class we will look at examples of crime writing from the Puritans to the New Journalists to the memoirs and narrative nonfiction that has hooked readers today. 

In every era, preoccupations with particular types of crimes are indicators of where culture is being contested or challenged.In the Great Depression, people loved stories of bank robberies. Stories of organized crime—the mafia is above all a family business--grabbed the imagination during the 1970s, when divorce rates skyrocketed, feminism flourished, and anxiety about the demise of the nuclear family soared. Now, in an environment where identities are contested or in flux, crimes which hurt or humiliate children, women, and BIPOC communities are being brought to light. Serial killers and confidence men also fascinate us: people who use charm and manipulation to nefarious ends.

We are in boom times for true crime writing, which is much more sophisticated and nuanced than the murder ballads and junky paperbacks of the past. Yet the spread of true crime into all media highlights how we see ourselves as potential victims and asks us to wonder how crime might become a presence in our lives—hence the rise of the hybrid true crime memoir. 

These classes emphasize reading: we will examine the narrative possibilities of true crime and its presence in various genres. Authors include Dominick Dunne, Mary Rowlandson, Truman Capote, Michelle McNamara, Richard Lloyd Perry, Piper Weiss, James Ellroy, Gay Talese, Janet Malcolm, Ann Rule, Chantal Miller, and Robert Kolker. The writing component of the class will include short response papers, close readings of our texts, and a chance to try your hand at writing true crime.

This 4-Week Class is Part I in a two part series of True Crime workshops led by Lisa. Part II will follow Part I and starts July 20th, 2022.

Part 1 (June 13th, 2022 - July 6th, 2022) is an examination of murder: premeditated; crimes of passion; serial killers; and narcotics, particularly the opioid crisis. 

Part 2 (July 20th, 2022 - Aug 10th, 2022) will focus on mayhem: rape and sexual violence; kidnapping; gangs and organized crime; and confidence schemes.


"I really loved the course. You get out of it what you put in. My instructor, Lisa, required a lot of readings, and you obviously don't have to do them, but the whole point of doing one of these is to learn by doing the work. If you don't shortchange yourself, these can really be a great avenue to get feedback on your writing. 10/10 would do again." -Dustin H.

"Lisa is really very good at pop culture. And she's wonderful at pushing you in a good direction without really telling you where to go. A gentle nudge that gets you thinking, basically, and then you're off to the races. I would highly recommend this class if you have any interest at all in pop culture writing. The Wet Ink platform that Writing Workshops uses is pretty coo, too." -Rachel H.


This class meets weekly via Zoom and also uses our online classroom Wet Ink. Lisa will get you all the details after you enroll. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!

You can pay for the course in full or use Shop Pay or Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.
  • Instructor: Lisa Levy

  • Part I Starts June 13th, 2022

  • Course is fully ONLINE.

Instructor Lisa Levy is a writer, editor, essayist, and critic. Her work has appeared in many publications, including the New Republic, the LARB, the Believer, TLS, the CBC, and Lit Hub, where she is  a contributing editor. She is also a columnist and contributing editor to Crime Reads, which she helped found. She is currently finishing her MFA at Goucher College where she is working on collection of essays called The Impatient an account of her transformation from literary critic to desperate patient (or, more specifically, migraineur) to defiant impatient. Using her critical skills and the writings of fellow migraineurs like Sigmund Freud, Susan Sontag, Edgar Allan Poe, and Virginia Woolf, she created an idiosyncratic history of migraine within the current context of chronic illness. She takes a page from the noir fiction she loves and becomes a literary and diagnostic detective determined to crack the case of her 20-year migraine.

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