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On 12 November, award-winning crime author Denise Mina gave a talk on Zoom on behalf of Alumnikring Engels and LLACE. Mina gave attendees an insight into what it is like to be a (true) crime author, and discussed what crime writing entails, how to start a novel, the importance of talking about the financial income in the arts, and what the challenges of crime writing are without glorifying the criminals and their acts. Mina reminded attendees that, if you can tell a story, you can write a story – you just have to write one sentence after the other.

What she deems important is to grow a thick skin in order to overcome the criticism, and not to compare writing your first draft to reading someone's finished novel, which is advice that attendees can certainly make use of.

It was a great pleasure to attend the event, judging from the smiling faces on Zoom – it is safe to say that everyone enjoyed the evening. It was also a great opportunity for attendees to ask any possible questions that they had in relation to crime writing or writing in general – we all appreciated her advice of putting chocolate on our keyboards to motivate ourselves to get the writing done if nothing else works. A huge thank you goes to Denise Mina for taking part in this event and for creating such an enjoyable and comfortable environment online!