Hosted by Leslie Wheeler with Barbara Ross and Katherine Fast 
Bushnell-Sage Library, Sheffield, 7-9 p.m.

In this workshop we will explore how writers plot, construct, and populate the mystery short story from light-hearted to noir. We will examine the differences between writing short stories and novels. We will also look at the range of genres within the mystery short story, including flash fiction, caper, thriller, suspense, mystery, and horror. We will read and discuss the opening lines and paragraphs of published stories, and participants will have an opportunity to write their own opening lines and paragraphs for possible short stories. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of short story markets and contests.

Leslie Wheeler is an award-winning author of books about American history and biographies, who now writes the Miranda Lewis “living history” series. Titles include: Murder at Plimoth Plantation, Murder at Gettysburg, and Murder at Spouters Point. Her short crime fiction has appeared in six anthologies of crime stories by New England writers, published by Level Best Books, to which she is now a contributing editor. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, serving as Speakers Bureau Coordinator for the New England Chapter. Wheeler also chairs the Al Blanchard Short Crime Fiction Award Committee.

Barbara RossBarbara Ross’s first mystery novel, The Death of an Ambitious Woman, was published in 2010. Her crime stories have appeared in several anthologies published by Level Best Books, to which she is now a contributing editor. She had twice won honorable mention in the Al Blanchard Short Crime Fiction Contest. In 2012 Barbara will be President of Sisters in Crime New England and co-chair of the New England Crime Bake Committee.


Katherine Fast, aka Kat, is on her eighth or ninth life focusing on fiction writing, watercolor, and handwriting analysis. Her short stories have been published in Level Best anthologies, and “The Bonus,” published by NEWN, won a flash fiction award. She is now doing her level best as an editor.