How to Write a Page-Turner

How to Write a Page Turner photo - Continuing Education at Seattle Central College


"I got some great ideas and tips to improve the short story I'm working on."

"The class lectures were informative; they gave me just the info and incentive I was looking for to reboot my own writing."

"It was very fun, polite, personal and casual. It was a very pleasant atmosphere in every way."

"Safe learning environment."

"The instructor was very knowledgeable and provided great pointers for writing. The assignments were good and motivating to write, and it deepened my joy of writing."

Class Overview

How can writers ensure that a reader finishes a story, book or essay? What makes a reader feel satisfied, intrigued, edified or entertained? While there are no guarantees, writers can use devices, whether they’re writing a suspense, memoir, literary fiction or essay, to keep a reader turning the page.   

This class offers tips from how to pose enticing questions, to creating snappy dialogue, meaningful reflection, fascinating characters, and suspense-worthy plots filled with mystery, red herrings and twists. This is a fun class for writers on all levels.

Enjoy lectures, writing prompts and class discussion. You are welcome to submit a piece of your own work to have it workshopped in class, if you wish.


Suggested reading (not required): The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz; An Urban Goatherd by E.C. Murray (short story can be found by internet search), and any Modern Love essay from the New York Times.

Learning Objectives 

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Create characters whom readers are invested in, who propel the story forward
  • Develop scenes which are engrossing and compelling, leaving your reader with questions they want answered
  • Create suspense and red herrings in mysteries
  • Learn about crucibles, sentence and scene structures which compel the reader 
  • Surprise, mystify or intrigue the reader

Who Might Enjoy This Class? 

  • Writers who would like to enhance their writing as well as anyone picking up their creative pen for the first time.
  • Anyone interested in putting zest or momentum into their writing, whether it be general fiction, memoir, or essays
  • Those interested in creating suspense and red herrings in their mysteries


Class Details