Crime Fiction Academy which is to open this Spring in New York, I asked crime fiction author and artist Jonathan Santlofer to write a guest post. Interested in attending? Click Here.
Jonathan Santlofer is the author of five novels, The Death Artist, Color Blind, The Killing Art, The Murder Notebook, and Anatomy of Fear, which won the Nero Wolfe Award for best crime novel of 2009. His first novel, The Death Artist, was an international bestseller and translated into 22 languages. He is co-editor, contributor and illustrator of the short story anthology, The Dark End of the Street, and the recent editor of and contributor to LA NOIRE: The Collected Stories. His short stories appear in numerous collections, including The Rich & the Dead, edited by Nelson De Mille, and the forthcoming New Jersey Noir, edited by Joyce Carol Oates.
It was time, wasn’t it, for someone, someplace to take crime fiction seriously enough to create an in-depth, ongoing program devoted exclusively to the genre? And what better place then New York’s own Center for Fiction, founded in 1820 as the Mercantile Library, an institution that has been dedicated to writers and readers for almost 200 years.
The Center, a recipient of a Raven Award for its comprehensive collection of mystery and thriller titles going back to its inception, has continued its commitment to the genre with regular crime fiction events, such as the recent celebration of “No Rest for the Dead,” a serial mystery that brought together a dozen of its contributing writers, among them, Jeffrey Deaver, R.L. Stine and Diana Gabaldon, or the launch of my own anthology with S.J. Rozan, “Dark End of the Street,” where Lee Child, Amy Hempel, Lawrence Block, Madison Smartt Bell, Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman, Francine Prose and Abraham Rodriguez Jr, not to mention S.J Rozan and I took turns at the podium and entertained a standing room only crowd.
And now, the center is taking a giant step forward. Brainchild of the Center for Fiction’s dynamic and innovative director, Noreen Tomassi, the Crime Fiction Academy will be the first ongoing, rigorous program dedicated solely to crime writing in all its forms.
Beginning in February, 2012, students accepted into the program will be taught by successful practitioners of the genre, including workshop leaders and master teachers like Megan Abbott, Lawrence Block, Lee Child, Thomas H. Cook, Linda Fairstein, Susan Isaacs, Dennis Lehane, Laura Lippman, Val McDermid, Joyce Carol Oates, SJ Rozan, Jonathan Santlofer, and Karin Slaughter, with more to come.
The Crime Fiction Academy not only offers the opportunity for potential writers to work with some of the greatest crime writers of the day but to participate in intensive writing workshops, hear master class lectures, and be part of reading seminars and special lectures and discussions with editors, agents and distinguished persons from the world of crime fiction and publishing.
And that’s not all. Students will also have 24-hour access to The Center’s Writers' Studio, use of its extensive circulating collection, and free admission to all Center for Fiction events. Wow! A chance to hone one’s writing skills with successfully published crime fiction authors, to shape that novel or story you’ve been thinking about, working on, but just couldn’t finish, in one of New York City’s most intimate and nurturing environments — what more could any writer ask for?
One interesting side note: Edgar Allen Poe wrote at one of the desks reserved for writers in the 19th century at The Mercantile Library. I get the feeling that his ghost is hovering somewhere, glass raised, bestowing his blessing on this new and exciting venture.
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