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Leonard Tourney

Mystery Writing

The craft of mystery writing

Monday - Friday
1:00-3:30 PM
Vista III

Tourney covers topics such as plotting, character development, creating tension and suspense, cluing, and point of view, among others.

Message to Students

What I require of my students: Genuine interest in the genre, a willingness to consider new ideas, and active participation in discussion and workshop. My advice for writers who have never attended SBWC is to listen well; don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be intimidated by those you think are smarter and more accomplished than you.


Leonard Tourney has taught writing at the university level for over forty years and published ten novels, nine of which were mysteries. Tourney has been a workshop leader at the SBWC since 1986.

Writing Tip I Live By

Complete the first draft as quickly as possible to discover the story for yourself; you can tweak and polish at your leisure.

Recommended Authors

P.D. James, Andrea Barrett, Cormac McCarthy, Joseph Conrad, and Ian McEwan.