Crime Writing Workshop Guidelines

To get the most out of a Tom Sigafoos Crime Writing Workshop:

  1. Fill out the Pre-Workshop Questionnaire and e-mail or post it to Tom Sigafoos (address below).
  2. Send a sample of your writing to preview. Guidelines:
    1. Up to 1000 words, typed and double-spacedprivate eye in .doc, .docx, .pdf or .odt format
    2. No handwritten drafts will be previewed.
    3. Writing samples must be received by (date).


Must I send in a Pre-Workshop questionnaire?

No, but if you do, you’ll help focus the Workshop on the most helpful topics.

Will all of my questions be answered in the Workshop?

The Questionnaire is intended to help identify topics of shared interest among the participants. If several participants want to discuss self-publishing, I’ll be sure to cover that. If you’re the only participant who wants to explore the influence of semiotic theory on The Name of the Rose, we’ll save that conversation for another day.

If I send a writing sample, will it be held in confidence?

I like to use quotations from writing samples as examples for the group. If you prefer, you can mark your samples as confidential. Either way, I’ll return your sample with written comments. I won’t use or share them in any other way.

Will the Workshop include real-time writing exercises?

There will be at least one short writing exercise. Depending on the interests of the group as reflected in the questionnaires, we may include more.

Will there be critique in the Workshop?

In Workshop feedback, I use the Amherst Writers’ and Artists’ guidelines as described in Writing Alone and with Others by Pat Scheider, emphasising positive feedback. I also use Judy Reeves’s guidelines for critique (“If this were my story, I’d…”)

Other questions?

Write to me at