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International Women's Writing Guild

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Workshop Series: Write a Cozy Mystery

  • Sunday, October 02, 2022
  • Sunday, October 16, 2022
  • 2 sessions
  • Sunday, October 02, 2022, 11:00 AM 1:00 PM (EDT)
  • Sunday, October 16, 2022, 11:00 AM 1:00 PM (EDT)
  • via Zoom


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Workshop Series

Write a Cozy Mystery  

Are you a fan of Bree Baker’s Seaside Café Mysteries? What about the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries by Miranda James? Do you find yourself watching British detective shows like Father Brown and Midsomer Murders? Are you completely hooked on the new Jane Seymour series Harry Wild? If so, you are a fan of a mystery subgenre called a Cozy. 

According to book sale statistics, romance is the best-selling genre of commercial fiction, followed by the crime/mystery genres. But what is a cozy mystery?

In this two-part workshop, you’ll write a cozy mystery with best-selling author Abby VanDiver. Abby is the author of several popular cozy mysteries, like her Ice Cream Parlor series. She has the inside scoop (pun intended) for you and will take you through all the steps to getting your cozy mystery ready for publication. Here’s what Abby will cover in the workshop:

  • What exactly is the definition of a cozy?

  • What are the essential elements of any cozy mystery story?

  • What are the must-have conventions (called tropes) that cozy mystery readers want and expect?

  • How to identify and hide your clues and create some red herrings.

  • What is your hook?

  • How to create your amateur sleuth with depth.

  • How to build your cozy world and fun touches – hobbies, occupations, businesses and more

As a special bonus Abby will show you how to format your manuscript from the beginning in MS WORD so it is ready to be self-published if that is your choice.

Not only are cozies fun to read, but the sleuths in these stories are almost always educated, independent women who rely on their intuition to ferret out the criminal among the denizens of the cozy world they inhabit.


WALL STREET JOURNAL, USA TODAY and internationally bestselling author, Abby L. Vandiver, who also writes as Abby Collette, has always enjoyed writing. Combining that with her love of mystery she has published using a Hybrid approach, self-published and been traditionally published. Abby has penned more than twenty books and short stories. Her cozy mystery series, the Ice Cream Parlor series, is published with Penguin Berkley. Abby has authored her first Women’s Fiction novel, Where WildPeaches Grow, under the pen name Cade Bentley for Lake Union Publishing (coming August 2022). Abby resides in South Euclid, Ohio and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and facilitating self-publishing and writing classes online with Cleveland Literary and at her local library. Learn more at

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att: Michelle Miller

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telephone: (518) 290-1636 

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