Merry Jones will share her mystery, thriller and suspense skills with the Philadelphia Writers Conference in a three-day workshop. Jones has written over a dozen mystery/thriller novels, including the Zoe Hayes mysteries, Harper Jennings thrillers and Elle Harrison suspense novels. She has also written non-fiction and humor, and has taught writing at Temple University and other colleges for over a decade.

“On the Edge of Your Seat: Writing Suspense” is a three day workshop; participants will attend the 90-minute session all three days. The workshop will define “suspense” and address its timeless/essential role in fiction. It will focus on plot structure and character development with special attention to conflict, crisis, time, and stakes. Students will be given short exercises designed to address various aspects of suspense-building.

The workshop will also feature the use of dialogue in creating suspense, as well as common suspense elements such as layering, red herrings, and unexpected twists. Conferees will also study how to weave together story elements, building anticipation for readers, and tying together the dramatic elements in the story’s resolution.

Jones says, “I love a good ‘bad guy’. Whether you call them villains or antagonists, bad guys have a big influence in suspense. I’m looking forward to sharing their role with workshop attendees.”

“On the Edge of Your Seat” is designed for an “Intermediate” writer. The PWC defines an Intermediate writer as one who has studied the craft of writing (in this case, of writing a novel), and has written several stories. Fiction “Intermediate” writers understand the general flow of story and plot; know a bit about publishing and markets; and have probably taken at least one writing course (whether at PWC or elsewhere).

Jones is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, The Authors Guild, and The Philadelphia Liars Club. She’s also a co-host of the Liars Club Oddcast podcast. Learn more about her at

Facebook Page: Merry DeeDee Jones
Twitter: @MerryDDJones

The 70th Annual Philadelphia Writers’ Conference will be held June 8-10, 2018, at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District. Visit this page for more information, including speaker information and a general schedule of events.