STORY SPRINT: Write a Mystery

Sharpen your pencil and your wits … the game is afoot! In this fast-paced mini-course, you will sprint your way from idea to finished short mystery with author, Naomi Kinsman.

Choose one of three approaches:  

  • Spend a Saturday with the Inklings: Throw a writing party and work your way from beginning to end in three (intense) hours.
  • Write over four weekends: Break the writing process up so you can spend more time drafting and building your skills along the way.
  • Create a masterpiece in six weeks: Give yourself the luxury of time for each stage of the writing process. You’ll have time to stretch your skills, explore possibilities outside your comfort zone, and invest time in polishing and revising your mystery.  

… Or try all three! 

That’s the best thing about the Story Sprint series. It’s an experience designed for creative thinkers who love to push past their limits. You know the best way to level up as an artist is to write the very best story you can, and once you’re done, build on all you’ve learned when you start the process again.  

Whether this is the fifth or fiftieth mystery you’ve written, you’ll find questions, games, and activities here to launch your thinking in new directions.


Ready …

  • Brainstorm Strange Occurences
  • Explore Mysterious Settings
  • Develop Your Detective and Criminal

Set …

  • Map Your Clues
  • Storyboard an Investigation
  • Troubleshoot Potential Problems


  • Sprint One: Draft the Opening Scene
  • Sprint Two: Draft the Search for Clues
  • Sprint Three: Draft the Climactic Discovery
  • Sprint Four: Draft the Resolution

Cross the Finish Line 

  • Quick Revision Strategies  
  • Create a Cover and Make it a Book



After brainstorming a couple concepts, each writer will choose one mystery to develop. Then, we’ll build a detective, criminal, and cast of suspects. Next, we’ll race the clock in a series of short drafting sessions. Finally, writers will choose one of three quick revision strategies to add suspense and surprise to their mystery, and then print and format their book to share with family and friends.


Writers will:

  • practice making quick decisions
  • strengthen their writing stamina
  • learn to both start AND finish a story


Q: When does the course start and finish?

A: The course starts whenever you’re ready and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course – you decide when you start and when you finish. 

Q: How long do I have access to the course?

A: For three years, or as long as the course is available on our site, whichever is longer. After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course – across any and all devices you own.

Q: What if I am unhappy with the course?

A: We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Still have questions?

Feel free to reach out to Naomi Kinsman at naomi@younginklings.org

Join us for Story Sprint: Write a Mystery