Learn Tips and Techniques for Writing Amateur Sleuths

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Writer's Lab: The Challenges and Advantages of Amateur Slueths workshop with Mia P. Manansala

Are you itching to write a mystery story where the professional crime solvers take a backseat to an amateur investigator? Learn tips and techniques for making your story shine in this workshop with cozy mystery writer Mia P. Manansala!


Writer’s Lab: The Challenges and Advantages of Amateur Sleuths, on Saturday, January 28, from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., live on Zoom. Please note: Registration is required for this event. Registered participants will receive a recording of the workshop after the event.

Why are amateur sleuths so popular? What are the unique challenges of having one as your protagonist and what are the benefits? This session will answer these questions and more as we dissect amateur sleuths in popular fiction and learn how to make the most out of this common character trope through discussion and exercises.

#Register online here!

Mia P. Manansala is a writer from Chicago who loves books, baking, and badass women. She uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture. 


Mia writes about an amateur sleuth in her Tita Rosie’s Kitchen series, which you can check out from the Library!


  • Crime Scene Writers, a forum for asking and answering crime scene investigation, applied forensics, and police procedure questions for fiction or non-fiction writers. Writers are invited to ask and crime scene investigators, forensic scientists, and medical practitioners are invited to answer. Of course, experienced writers are invited to help the newer ones and each other.
  • Legal Fiction is your resource for finding information about attorneys, the law, and the courtroom for your characters, plot, and scenarios. Hosted by attorney/author/editor at Twitching Pen Editing Jennifer Severino. Have questions? Just ask! Please see pinned post at the top of the page before posting.
  • Trauma Fiction is your resource for finding medical, trauma and illness information for your characters, plot and scenarios. Hosted by Emergency Medical Technician veteran, author Elizabeth Otto. Have questions? Just ask!
  • WRITERSDETECTIVE - Q&A, a group for crime fiction Q&A writing support and listeners of the Writer's Detective Bureau podcast.
  • Writers should also read widely in their genre, so if you’re looking for more books to add to your TBR, I highly recommend the Crime Writers of Color website. The books are separated by subgenre as well as racial/ethnic background, and all the books in the “Traditional, Cozy, and Humorous Mysteries” section feature amateur sleuths.
  • If you’re looking for books about the writing craft, this is my personal Bookshop page where I recommend books that have helped me over the years.

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