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Writers' Workshop: How to Write True Crime // Delivered by Mark Dapin

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WRITERS' WORKSHOP: How To Write True Crime 

Delivered by best-selling crime author, Mark Dapin

DATE: Saturday 9 March 2024
TIME: 3.45pm to 5.15pm
VENUE: Cairns City Library, Abbott Street, Cairns
PRICE: $35


THE HOST Dr Mark Dapin is the author of three Australian true-crime books, Public Enemies, Prison Break and Carnage, and consultant producer of Seven Network’s three-part, true-crime TV show, Armed & Dangerous. He has appeared on numerous true-crime podcasts, including Gary Jubelin’s I Catch Killers and Andrew Rule’s Life & Crimes.

As an award-winning, academically qualified historian, Mark knows his way around archives. As a lecturer, he has taught courses at the University of Sydney and Sydney Writers’ Centre. As a journalist, he has interviewed thousands of people including criminals such as Mark “Chopper” Read, celebrities such as Gordon Ramsay, and celebrity criminals such as Rolf Harris. As a broadcaster/podcaster, he has worked on several shows for Radio National, including the crime fiction compendium, Untrue Crime. As a TV scriptwriter, he has been involved in numerous projects including Wolf Creek II and an unproduced season of Underbelly

THE COURSE Mark will address the practical questions faced by first-time true-crime writers: How do I find inquest reports? How do I find court transcripts? How do I approach lawyers? How do I visit prisons? How do I interview criminals? How do I interview detectives? How do I figure out who is telling the truth? And, perhaps most importantly, how much danger am I letting myself in for?

WRITING Mark will discuss how to structure a story and ensure that the narrative grips the reader. In true crime more than any other genre, it’s vital to keep the reader guessing and not give away too much too soon. 

TELEVISION Mark will talk about how to write a screenplay and how to produce a TV show, and how to ensure the criminals on the show don’t just get up and wander off. He will discuss speaking to camera and interviewing on camera, and how to stay awake in the writers’ room. 

PODCASTING Mark will discuss the peculiarities of writing for radio, how to modulate your voice and pace your delivery. He will also talk a bit about editing.

THE OUTCOME Participants will feel informed, forewarned, forearmed and charged up and ready to start on their true-crime project – whatever that may be. 

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