Hewenden Mill Cottages
Luxury Self Catering Accomodation


Discover what makes some books stand out from the crowd, and how to distil the essence of a great story!

Friday 10 – Thursday 16 November, Hewenden Mill, Cullingworth, Bingley, BD13 5BP

Tutors: Sophie Hannah and Jamie Bernthal

Golden Age mystery novels are more popular now than ever, and publishing trends are predicting that they will soon become more popular still. Come along and hone your writing skills with expert guidance as we explore what makes a great Golden Age detective novel. The course will cover: atmosphere, plotting, structure, characterisation, dialogue, setting, clueing, misdirection, how to create an irresistible plot hook, building suspense, playing fair with the reader, narrative perspective, and how to create the perfect twist. We will also look at how to write an all-important blurb and synopsis for your novel, how to approach agents and publishers, and all the vital things you need to know about the crime publishing industry (including self-publishing). This is a course for all levels, from complete beginners to experienced writers.

N.B It is not the aim of this course to complete a novel but rather, to provide students with the inspiration, skills and knowledge to write their ideal detective novel following the course.  

Course Fees:

The course fees vary from £400 to £1100.  All students will receive exactly the same tuition, and the difference in fees simply reflect the different accommodation options available at Hewenden Mill Cottages and Apartments.

The tuition only (non-resident) fee of £400 includes the following:

  • Five day course designed and delivered by Sophie Hannah and Jamie Bernthal
  • Four group workshops held on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday between 10 – 12pm
  • Two ‘one-to-one’ tutorials (one with each tutor)
  • Evening events and readings with your tutors

The residential course fees range between £600 and £1100 and include:

  • All tuition as detailed above (workshops, tutorials, events)
  • Six nights at Hewenden Mill Cottages and Apartments – wonderfully comfortable accommodation in a beautiful and peaceful 18th century cotton mill complex surrounded by ancient woodlands
  • Bedlinen, towels, tea towels, unlimited Wi-Fi, tea and coffee

Optional extras/treats:

  • Continental breakfast of croissants, cereals, museli, fruit juice, bread and jams enjoyed in your cottage (available daily)
  • Buffet luncheon of homemade soup, cold meats, quiche, salads and fresh breads enjoyed as a group (available daily)
  • Afternoon tea at the delightfully deco Betty’s Tearoom in Ilkley for the ultimate ‘Golden Age’ experience (with Sophie Hannah on Monday)
  • Sunday Roast at a local pub (transport included, drinks not included)
  • Two home cooked suppers enjoyed as a group with your tutors
  • A selection of quality convenience meals available to cook and enjoy in your cottage for the remaining evenings

To include all of the above please add £150 to the basic course fee. We are more than happy to accommodate a semi-catered option allowing you to choose which of the above you would like to include.  For those who would rather self-cater, each cottage has a well-equipped kitchen diner with fridge-freezer, cooker, microwave and dishwasher. There are many restaurants, pubs, takeaways and shops locally for your convenience.  

If you would like to bring a non-participating partner or friend to join you for some or all of your stay at Hewenden while you learn, we are more than happy to accommodate them for an additional fee of £50 per night (based on them sharing a double or twin room with a participating student).  


Room types include twins and king-size doubles, with or without en-suites, in shared houses and cottages. There are also a number of one bedroom apartments accessed from the mill building’s original stone spiral staircase, offering a quiet, tranquil yet spacious retreat. Each cottage and apartment also has a well-equipped kitchen-diner, lounge and bathroom.

You may find it helpful to browse the ‘Accommodation’ section on our website for photos and floorplans.

For more information and Booking a Place:

To discuss your requirements further, please contact Susan Emanuel, the course administrator, either by email susanemanuel@live.co.uk or phone 07760768276.  She will help you identify and book the perfect accommodation to suit your needs and discuss any additional extras you may wish to include. A deposit of £200 will be required to secure your booking and the balance will be due 6 weeks before the course starts (an email reminder will be sent).  

Please click here for a detailed price list based on accommodation type

Please click here for a detailed itinerary