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Mystery Writers Academy

A Message from Patricia Marcantonio:

Dear Mystery Academy Writers,

I hope you all have been using this time to write your mysteries. As you know, we haven’t been able to hold our presentations because of COVID-19 precautions.  While this may not make up for those, I do want to keep our conversation going with a review of a great book I have discovered.

FORENSIC SPEAK How to Write Realistic Crime Dramas was written by Jennifer Dornbush. I heard Jennifer speak at a conference and she is great. The daughter of a medical examiner, she completed more than 360 hours of CSI training at a forensic science academy. She is a screenwriter and the author of THE CORONER and the new SECRET REMAINS. She is a busy forensic consultant to TV writers on shows including Deception, Hawaii Five-O, Prison Break and Rectify, among many others.

FORENSIC SPEAK is a fantastic writer’s tool that covers, well, coroner’s tools. Jennifer writes about the major fields of study in forensic science, including toxicology, fingerprints, DNA, blood spatters, and firearms, as well as the workings of a coroner’s office, evidence collection and what happens during a trial. She also provides pages and pages of resources.

This is no dry text book on forensic science.

Instead, expect a vibrant comprehensive book with cool examples from film and TV.  She makes difficult subjects very understandable. With each topic, she also adds a “How can I use it?” section that encourages writers to use what they have learned, as well as exercises.

Your understanding of forensics will benefit, as will your writing. No doubt you will want to keep this book on your desk. This book is fantastic for both beginning and veteran writers.

You can find her book at Amazon.com. I encourage you to sign up for Jennifer’s newsletter which is always filled with lots of information. She also hosts a YouTube channel on forensics and crime writing. Check out her website at www.jenniferdornbush.com.

Upcoming events

Past events

04/28/2022 Mystery Writers Academy: Doug Varie, Assistant District Attorney, Ada County Prosecutor's office
03/24/2022 Mystery Writers Academy: Office of Police Accountability
02/24/2022 Mystery Writers Academy: ATF agent Jay Miller
01/27/2022 Mystery Writers Academy: Ada County Victim Witness Unit, with Janet Lawler
10/28/2021 Mystery Writers Academy: Fingerprinting, with Tara Koho, Nampa Police Dept.
09/23/2021 Mystery Writers Academy: Arson Investigation, with Fire Marshal Alan Perry, Caldwell Fire Department
08/26/2021 Mystery Writers Academy: Firearm Terminology--Avoid common terminology mistakes, with Dean Barton
07/22/2021 No meeting of the Mystery Writers Academy in July
06/24/2021 Mystery Writers Academy: The Language of Blood Spatters, with Christine Cannon-Bakeman, Nampa Police Dept.
05/27/2021 Mystery Writers Academy: US Marshall Brent R. Bunn
04/22/2021 Mystery Writers Academy: Dr. Greg Hampikian, BSU Forensic Justice Program
03/25/2021 Mystery Writers Academy: Inside the Public Defender Office with Ada County Chief Public Defender Anthony Geddes
02/25/2021 Mystery Writers Academy: Murder, Mayhem and Mental Illness, with Forensic Psychiatrist Camille LaCroix
01/28/2021 Mystery Writers Academy, with Shandee Votaw and Melonie Wilson, Ada County 911 Dispatchers
10/22/2020 Mystery Writers Academy: Carolina Ramos, Ada County Coroners Office. The difference between TV forensics and Real Life
09/24/2020 Mystery Writers Academy: Danny Smith, mystery writer, Los Angeles Sheriff's Homicide (retired)
06/25/2020 CANCELED: Mystery Writers Academy: Anthony Geddes, Ada County Public Defenders Office
04/23/2020 Canceled: Mystery Writers Academy: Alan Perry, Idaho State Fire Marshal's office
03/26/2020 Canceled: Mystery Writers Academy: Lt. Bret Kimmel, Idaho Dept. of Corrections
02/27/2020 Mystery Writers Academy: Dr. Kathryn Turner, Deputy State Epidemiologist, Idaho Department of Health & Welfare
01/23/2020 Mystery Writers Academy: "Armor" by Karl Henwood
10/24/2019 Mystery Writers Academy: David Frazier, crime reporter
09/26/2019 Mystery Writers Academy: Tim Brady, Boise Police Department
05/23/2019 Mystery Writers Academy: Chuck Ambrose-Clinical vs. Forensic Psychology
04/25/2019 No April meeting of the Mystery Writers Academy
03/28/2019 Mystery Writers Academy: Gunshot Wounds & Stabbings, Dr. Glen Groben, forensic pathologist
02/28/2019 Mystery Writers Academy: Idaho State Police Crime Lab tour
01/24/2019 REOPENED! Mystery Writers Academy: Det. Victoria Gooch, Idaho State Police
11/15/2018 Mystery Writers Academy: Clark Harshbarger, FBI Cyber Crimes
09/20/2018 Mystery Writers Academy Introduction and Overview

Thanks to the sponsors of the Idaho Writers Guild

 Rediscovered Bookshop

click here to: CONTACT US

Idaho Writers Guild

PO Box 8862

Boise ID 83707

Idaho Writers Guild is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization committed to providing a safe environment for all its members and guests. The IWG has a zero tolerance policy for any form of discrimination on any ground, and from harassment of any type. This includes all members, presenters, and attendees at any and all IWG functions. 

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