Event Registration


August 26th, 2023 1:00 PM — August 26th, 2023 4:00 PM



August 26th, 2023 1:00 PM — August 26th, 2023 4:00 PM


Learn how to hook your reader by crafting irresistible opening pages for your novel with author and criminal justice system worker, Mercedes Mercier.

The opening to a crime novel (or noir, suspense and thrillers) is more important now than it's ever been. In today's try-before-you-buy environment, a reader, publisher or agent will decide to buy your book (or not!) in a matter of seconds.

In this workshop, you'll learn from a writer working within the criminal justice system, how to craft an irresistible beginning that will keep your readers turning the pages. Learn the elements that go into an addictive opening, gain an understanding of what works - and what doesn't and how to keep your readers on the edge of their seats. Join popular crime writer, Mercedes Mercier and learn how to hook your readers from the very first sentence.

Participants will learn:

  • What makes a good opening to a novel filled with suspense and tension
  • What elements to include and what elements to leave out
  • How to write an opening to a crime novel that will keep readers turning the pages
  • How to end chapters to make it difficult for the reader to put your book down
  • The intricacies of prologue vs no prologue


Suitable for authors of all genres where your book needs to open with a bang!


About Mercedes Mercier

Mercedes Mercier writes 'just-one-more-page' crime with twisting plots and relatable characters. As well as writing books, Mercedes works in the criminal justice system, providing her unique insight into the world of prisons, crime and offenders. After a brush with death, Mercedes decided to throw herself into life. She lived overseas, became a black belt in Karate, skydived, and volunteered with animals. When she doesn't have her nose in her laptop and her mind in a story, she loves to read, travel, try new restaurants, and listen to podcasts (true crime of course).

She dreams of living on a big property with a menagerie of animals, but currently lives in Adelaide with her partner and just the one dog


Venue: Jervois Room, State Library, North Terrace, Adelaide SA

Members $88 / Non-members $140


—Not a Writers SA member? Members receive more than 30% off the full price of this workshop, you’ll also get a free 20 minute consult, expert advice about your career and your work, and join a community of like-minded creatives. Join now for as little as $60! 

—We strongly recommend all staff, speakers, and attendees of in-person events be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. You cannot attend if you are unwell or you or a close family member test positive to Covid-19 in the five days prior to this event. See our full policy here.

—Writers SA members must be logged in to receive the member discount. If you would like to use a workshop credit to book in, please contact [email protected] at least five working days before the workshop commencement date. Our staff don’t work full time and we don’t want you to miss out!

—If you are a member of another state based writers centre, SCBWI SA or Editors SA, please contact [email protected] at least five working days before the program commencement date to get a code for the member price.

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Are you a member?

Not yet a Writers SA member? Join here for as little as $60!

Writers SA members receive

  • 30% discount on all workshops and services
  • a free 20-minute consultation with our Director upon sign up
  • advice, information and support in your writing activities
  • career pathway support and opportunities
  • access to a community of writers
  • opportunities to meet industry professionals
  • opportunities for publication and promotion

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