Online Thriller School

Eight Weeks! Eight Bestselling Authors!

Includes a Bonus Learn-to-Pitch Session!

Join Allison Brennan, Grant Blackwood, Raymond Khoury, Karen Dionne,

Steven James, Peter James, Kathleen Antrim and more!

In this eight-week program, which begins March 23, 2020 the craft of thriller writing will be front and center. Each instructor will teach an aspect of craft though a Facebook Live video, 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.

Attendance is limited, and we sold out last year, so register today!

Registration for the 8-week online course is $495.


Kudos to you and everyone at ITW for a great course. It has even surpassed my high expectations going in.
~Thomas A. Berreman, former Online Thriller School student



Last year’s Online Thriller School was a great success and students came away with many new skills for their writing tool box. And this year will be just as useful to writers of all skill levels.

Every writer knows that learning to write well is a life-long pursuit and writers must never cease improving their craft. There are many wonderful books, classes, and online 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?

Right here at ITW’s Seventh Annual Online Thriller School!

We have assembled a cadre of excellent teachers and topics so please join us and let us help you take your writing and storytelling to the next level.

SCHEDULE    |    HOW IT WORKS    |    REGISTRATION    |    CONTACT    |    FAQ    |    BIOS


SCHEDULE

March 23 – 27: Allison Brennan | Full Bio
Storytelling: The Art and Craft of Story

March 30 – April 3: Grant Blackwood | Full Bio
Plot: What’s Happening Here?

April 6 – 10: Steven James | Full Bio
Character: The People Who Drive The Story

April 13 – 17: Peter James | Full Bio
Point Of View: Whose Eyes Are You Looking Through?

April 20 – 24: Raymond Khoury or TBD | Full Bio
Dialog: It’s Not Like Real Conversation

April 27 – May 1: Raymond Khoury or TBD | Full Bio
Setting, Mood, Atmosphere: Bringing the Right “Feel” to Your Story?

May 4 – 8: Karen Dionne | Full Bio
Voice: What Does A Good Story “Sound” Like?

May 11 – 15: Kathleen Antrim | Full Bio
What If? Pitching Your Story


HOW IT WORKS

This year’s eight-week program begins March 23, 2020, and as before the craft of thriller writing will be front and center. Each instructor will teach an aspect of the craft through a real-time, Facebook Live video available exclusively to the students who are registered for the Online Thriller School, usually at 2pm (Eastern) although the schedule may vary slightly from week-to-week.

Students will have an opportunity to ask questions of each week’s instructor either during or immediately after the video presentation. You’ll also have time throughout the week to review the video lecture should you be unable to attend the live broadcast, as well as ask any follow-up questions that you may develop during the week. You will also be provided with course materials, handouts, and reading suggestions where applicable.

All videos and Q&As will be available throughout the entire course, and for approximately 6 months thereafter.


REGISTER

Registration for the 8-week online course is $495.

REGISTER TODAY!


CONTACT

If you have any questions or if there is anything that is not clear about the online course, please do not hesitate to contact ITW’s Art Director and Website Administrator, Christopher Graham:

Email: ITWOnline@thrillerwriters.org

Phone: 732-267-6449


FAQ

Do I have to have internet access to participate in the course?

Yes, online access is required. You’ll also need a Facebook account (which is free if you don’t already have one), along with the desire to learn from nine of the publishing industry’s most successful authors and instructors.

What if I’m unable to attend some or all of the live broadcasts?

No problem, attendance for all eight weeks is not mandatory. If you are unable to attend each week you will still be able to view the video broadcasts and review the questions that were asked. If you are unable to attend an entire week you won’t be able to ask questions of that week’s instructor, as each instructor is only scheduled for one week, but you will be able to review the Q&A from the other students and that week’s instructor.

Can I attend if I live outside the US?

Yes! One of the reasons ITW offers online classes is so that more people can participate both inside and outside the US. We find it’s often difficult for people to travel to Manhattan in July to take part in ThrillerFest and CraftFest, so the online Career School and Thriller School are a great way for people to get the same level of instruction, but in a much more convenient way. The class is also spread out over eight weeks, nine instructors total, which makes it easy for people to participate at night, mornings and around their work schedules. Your timezone should not be a problem at all, since the instructional videos can be listened to and reviewed at your leisure. The online Q&A with each instructor will run all week, so there will be plenty of time to ask questions and have your questions answered.

What’s a Facebook Live video?

Great question! A Facebook Live video is a convenient way for anyone to create and broadcast a live video in just a matter of minutes. You’ll be invited to the Online Career School “Private” Facebook group, where only you, the instructors, and the other students who are registered will have access to the instructor’s videos.

Is the Online Thriller School Facebook group private?

Yes. We are using a Private Facebook group for the online course that is by invite only. The only people being invited are the instructors, administrators and registered students.

What if I’m not very technical?

No problem! As long as you have access to email, the Internet, and Facebook, we can help you participate in the class. ITW’s Website Administrator, Christopher Graham, will be available by email and phone (732-267-6449) to help you with any technical issues and even to walk you through connecting to the weekly video and discussion.

Will I be able to participate on my smartphone and/or tablet?

Yes, you certainly can. In fact, we recommend you use whatever device you are most comfortable with when viewing Facebook. Most students prefer to use their desktop or laptop computer, but if you are comfortable using a different device we encourage you to do so.

What is ITW? How can I join?

ITW, the International Thriller Writers, is the premier organization for thriller writers. It is an honorary society of authors, both fiction and nonfiction, who write books broadly classified as “thrillers.” This would include (but isn’t limited to) such subjects as murder mystery, detective, suspense, horror, supernatural, action, espionage, true crime, war, adventure, and myriad similar subject areas. READ MORE

Interested in joining? Just click on the following link: HOW TO JOIN ITW

What if I have more questions, or if my questions have not been answered?

No problem! Just reach out to ITW’s Website Administrator, Christopher Graham, by email or phone (732-267-6449).

Need more info? CLICK HERE to read a write-up leading up to last year’s Online Thriller School in TheBigThrill.org

REGISTER TODAY!


INSTRUCTOR BIOS


Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan believes life is too short to be bored, so she had five children and writes three books a year. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, Allison is now a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than three dozen thrillers and numerous short stories. Reviewers have called her “a master of suspense” and RT Book Reviews said her books are “mesmerizing” and “complex.” She’s been nominated for multiple awards, including the Thriller, RWA’s Best Romantic Suspense (five times), and twice won the Daphne du Maurier award. She currently writes two series—the Lucy Kincaid/Sean Rogan thrillers and the Maxine Revere cold case mysteries.

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Grant Blackwood

The New York Times bestselling author of the Briggs Tanner series, (THE END OF ENEMIES, THE WALL OF NIGHT, and AN ECHO OF WAR) Grant Blackwood is also the co-author of the Fargo Adventure Series (SPARTAN GOLD, LOST EMPIRE, and THE KINGDOM) with Clive Cussler, as well as the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, DEAD OR ALIVE, with Tom Clancy, and the new thriller, THE KILL SWITCH, with James Rollins.

A U. S. Navy veteran, Grant spent three years aboard a guided missile frigate as an Operations Specialist and a Pilot Rescue Swimmer.

Grant lives in Arizona, where he is working his own standalone series starring a new hero.

To learn more about Grant and his work, please visit his website.

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Steven James

Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

His latest novel, SYNAPSE, a near-future thriller, is set to release on October 8, 2019.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven’s book EVERY WICKED MAN one of their “Best Books of 2018,” says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Publishers Weekly calls him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game,” and RT Book Reviews promises that “the nail-biting suspense will rivet you.”

Steven deftly weaves intense stories of psychological suspense with deep philosophical insights. As critically-acclaimed novelist Ann Tatlock put it, “Steven James gives us a captivating look at the fine line between good and evil in the human heart.”

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, he has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades and has spoken more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking books on the art of fiction writing, STORY TRUMPS STRUCTURE and TROUBLESHOOTING YOUR NOVEL, have both won Storytelling World Awards. Widely recognized for his story-crafting expertise, he teaches regularly as a Master Class instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.

In his podcast “The Story Blender,” he interviews leading storytellers in film, print, and web. Listen now to any of the dozens of archived podcasts for free by visiting his website www.TheStoryBlender.com.

When Steven isn’t writing or speaking, you’ll find him trail running, rock climbing, or drinking dark roast coffee near his home in East Tennessee.

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Peter James

Peter James is a UK No. 1 bestselling author, best known for writing crime and thriller novels, and the creator of the much-loved Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. With a total of 15 Sunday Times No. 1s under his belt, he has achieved global book sales of over 20 million copies to date, and has been translated into 37 languages.

Synonymous with plot-twisting page-turners, Peter has garnered an army of loyal fans throughout his storytelling career – which also included stints writing for TV and producing films. He has won over 40 awards for his work, including the WHSmith Best Crime Author of All Time Award, Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger and a BAFTA nomination for The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons for which he was an Executive Producer. Many of Peter’s novels have been adapted for film, TV and stage.

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Raymond Khoury

From Raymond Khoury‘s website: “Well, since you asked… I was born in Beirut, and lived there until the civil war broke out when I was 14. My parents, in a noble effort to keep us alive into adulthood, wisely moved us to Rye, NY. I stayed there until I graduated from Rye Country Day School, then, intent on thwarting my parents’ nurturing instincts, I decided to go back to Lebanon to study architecture at the American University of Beirut. Which, in hindsight, wasn’t as nutty a decision as you might think. Those years, marred by repeated flare-ups of fighting and a couple of invasions, were emotionally taxing, harrowing, sometimes dangerous, often maddeningly frustrating, but always intense in the most visceral sense of the word and, weirdly enough, I wouldn’t have missed them for the world. Maybe that’s the Scorpio in me.

So there I was, gingerly studying architecture in the hopes of one day helping rebuild the city (rumours that a local cabal of intensely purist architects was pinpointing ugly buildings to have them selectively blown up remain unproven). The civil war erupted again a few weeks after I graduated, and I was evacuated out from the beach down the road from our apartment on a sunny but sad day in February, 1984, hitching a ride on a Chinook with the Marine Corp’s 22nd Amphibious Unit.

I ended up in London, where I joined a small architecture practice. The architecture scene in Europe was pretty bleak at that time, so I decided to explore other career options. I moved to France and got an MBA at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, then joined a French investment bank, selling gold-linked convertibles and other far less exotic financial instruments, surrounded by Gordon Gekko wannabes and hating waking up every day.

I left the glamorous (at the time, anyway) world of investment banking after three years to return to my creative roots. I bounced around different countries for a while, trying out different things, and during a stint in the Bahamas (don’t ask), I met a banker who dabbled in the film business. I’ve always been a film geek and harbored a burning desire to make movies, so at dinner one night, I bounced an idea off him, and the idea struck a chord. I had a new partner, and we agreed to develop my idea into a screenplay — by hiring a professional screenwriter he’d worked with.

Several conference calls later, the outlines coming from Hollywood weren’t what I had in mind. I offered to write an outline myself. When I faxed my notes to my partner (yes, this was in the early 90s, long before email), he called me up and said, “Our guy in L.A. isn’t going to write this movie for us. You are. You’re a writer.”

So I did. And it got shortlisted for the Fulbright Fellowship in Screenwriting award. My next script, a semi-autobiographical screenplay about my college years during the war, was also nominated for the award a year later. A year or so later, I optioned the film rights to Melvyn Bragg’s novel, THE MAID OF BUTTERMERE and wrote the adaptation myself while completing an original screenplay of mine called… THE LAST TEMPLAR. Buttermere found its way to Robert DeNiro, who announced in Variety that he would be producing it and playing the lead (and, as with many film projects, it never made it to filming despite having had three Oscar-winning directors attached to it). The Last Templar… well, if you’re reading this, you know about ten years or so later, it managed to shapeshift from screenplay to novel, but that’s a much longer story, one I’ll tell you about over a (megaventi) cup of coffee one day.

Since then, I divide my time between Beirut, London and Dubai, writing novels, screenplays for TV shows like the BBC series Spooks (aka MI-5 in the US) and Waking The Dead, and developing film and TV projects. And that’s about it… So thanks for taking the time to explore my ramblings, and connect with me on Facebook to keep in touch.

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TBD (To Be Determined)

 

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Karen Dionne

Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense novel The Marsh King’s Daughter published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in 25 other countries. She is the co-founder of the online writers community Backspace, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, where she served on the board of directors. Karen enjoys nature photography and lives with her husband in Detroit’s northern suburbs. Her next psychological suspense, The Wicked Sister, will publish August 4, 2020.

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Kathleen Antrim

Kathleen Antrim is the award-winning author of the bestselling political thriller, “Capital Offense.”  As a national correspondent and columnist, she wrote for “NewsMax Magazine,” the “San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Examiner Newspapers,” and was featured weekly on KSFO radio and the nationally syndicated show, “Battle Line.”  Antrim has appeared on such television shows as “Hannity and Colmes.”

She worked on Capitol Hill behind the scenes in the U.S. Senate, while researching and writing the biography of former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator George Allen.

Her short story, “Through a Veil Darkly,” is featured in the anthology, “Thriller 2,” edited by Clive Cussler.

She has taught creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is the winner of the Rupert Hughes Award for fiction.  After serving 5 years at the Vice President on National Events, and running ThrillerFest, for the International Thriller Writers she became Co-President of the organization.

Antrim was born in California, but spent most of her childhood in Avon Lake, Ohio.  After graduating from Bowling Green State University, she moved to Littleton, Colorado where she worked in marketing and sales with the Gillette Company.  As a Major Market Manager, she was relocated to Northern California where she met her husband and stayed.

Her family, however, wasn’t to be excluded from her life in the Golden State, having adopted the philosophy that family should be like a bad rash and never go away.  So, one by one, they followed her to California.  Now, the entire clan lives within a five-mile radius of each other, where they practice the All-American family sport of blissful dysfunction.

Antrim spent years working to raise money for children in need.  She is a founder of the Ruby Hill Giving Thanks Ball, and a past President of the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Foundation Board of Directors.  These charities have raised more than $2 million for children.  She also served on the ValleyCare Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, and is currently an Honorary Member of the Board of Directors for Los Positas College.

She serves on the Board of Directors, and is Co-President, of International Thriller Writers. Antrim is also on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Writers Conference, a member of the Authors Guild, the National Press Club, and Mystery Writers of America.

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