Monthly Archives: February 2014

ITW Announces Its Premiere Best First Sentence Contest

ITW White-Red

To celebrate our first year of Master CraftFest, a one-day intensive retreat on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, we are running a special event called the Best First Sentence Contest.  All you need to do is send your VERY best first sentence (for a novel) along with your name, email address, and phone number to for a chance to win a critique of 10 pages of your work.

Five winners will be selected, and the Master CraftFest teachers—Steve Berry, Steven James, John Lescroart, and David Morrell—along with CraftFest Director, D.P. Lyle, MD will be choosing their favorite sentences and critiquing ten pages of the winners’ work.  This is an incredible opportunity for feedback, whether you are an aspiring writer or a seasoned author.

To qualify to enter this contest, you need to either be registered in any of the following events:  Master CraftFest/CraftFest/ThrillerFest OR be an active or associate member of ITW.

Please send in your entry before midnight EST on May 31, 2014.

ONE ENTRY PER PERSON.  Winners will be announced at the CraftFest luncheon on Thursday, July 10, 2014.  Any winners who are not in attendance will be notified shortly thereafter.

Wishing you good luck, and don’t forget to sign up for Master CraftFest at  It’s a fabulous chance to study with the Masters!

Warmest regards,

Kimberley Howe
Executive Director, ThrillerFest

DP Lyle, ITW VP for Education and CarftFest Director

REGISTER for ThrillerFest/CraftFest/Master CraftFest

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Posted by on February 6, 2014 in Writing


THRILLER SCHOOL: ITW’s New On-Line Craft School

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It is often said that learning to write well is a life-long pursuit. That writers should never cease improving their craft. I think every writer understands this simple truth.

There are many books, classes, and on-line sources that will help you improve your storytelling craft. But where can you learn directly from the best? From New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors? That’s a bit more problematic.

We at ITW have been accomplishing this for years through CraftFest, an integral part of our annual meeting, ThrillerFest. Each year, we assemble the giants of the thriller world to help students improve as writers and storytellers.

Now ITW has developed a new program to help writers continue their growth: Thriller School, ITW’s new on-line craft school.

In this seven-week program, which begins April 7, 2014, the craft of thriller writing will be front and center. Each instructor will teach an aspect of craft though a podcast, written materials that include further reading and study suggestions, and an entire week of on-line Q&A with the registered students. The goal is simple: To make each student a better writer.

We are very excited about this new endeavor. I think you will be also. Here is the schedule for the inaugural program:

Storytelling: What Makes A Good Story?—Steven James

Voice: Who’s Telling the Tale?—DP Lyle

Character: Who Are These People and Where Did They Come From?—Andrew Gross

Plot: Not Just One Damn Thing After Another—Gayle Lynds

Point Of View: Who’s Driving The Scene?—Bob Dugoni

Dialog: What Are Your Characters Really Saying?—Linwood Barclay

Setting, Mood, Atmosphere: What’s the “Feel” of Your Story?—Heather Graham

Please join us and let us help you take your writing and storytelling to the next level.

Information and Registration


Hope to “see” you there.

DP Lyle

ITW VP for Education & Members Services

CraftFest Director



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Posted by on February 4, 2014 in Writing


Book Review: Notorious by Allison Brennan




Notorious by Allison Brennan

Minotaur Books

March 25, 2014

ISBN-10: 1250035058

ISBN-13: 978-1250035059

336 pages

… a fun and fast-paced thriller …

Maxine “Max” Revere, investigative reporter turned TV crime show host, returns to her hometown for the funeral of an old school classmate, Kevin O’Neal, who apparently committed suicide. Another of Max’s classmates, Lindy Ames, had been murdered years earlier while they attended Atherton Prep in California. Kevin, though never arrested or tried, was the only suspect and was deemed guilty by public opinion. Thus the motive for his taking his own life. Or did he? Max believes not. That his death was at the hand of another. But how can she prove it? And what about Lindy’s murder some 13 years earlier? Is it in anyway connected to Kevin’s “suicide?” Add to this the untimely death of a young construction worker at Atherton and Max’s radar is on full alert. She launches into solving all three deaths and runs against obstacle after obstacle, some of which threaten her own life. This is a fun, fast-paced thriller that will keep up late. Max is a character you will definitely want to hang with again and again. Hopefully more Max books are coming.

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Posted by on February 2, 2014 in Book Review, Writing

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