A white woman in her 60s with streaked straight blond hair in a shoulder length pageboy,  wearing red lipstick and a black suit and pearls, sitting in an upholstered armchair with a bouquet of orange and yellow flowers behind her.





Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of 13 psychological thrillers, winning the most prestigious awards in the genre: five Agathas, four Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also on-air investigative reporter for Boston's WHDH-TV, with 37 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. Book critics call her “a master of suspense,” “a superb and gifted storyteller”; she’s the only author to have won the Agatha in four categories: Best First, Best Novel, Best Short Story, and Best Non-Fiction. Hank’s 2020 novel is The First to Lie, nominated for both the prestigious Anthony Award for Best Novel and Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her newest book is Her Perfect Life, a chilling psychological standalone about fame, family, and revenge which received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, which called it "a superlative thriller,” and Mystery Scene Magazine called it “a powerhouse of a thriller.”



SESSION: Great Beginnings: Perfecting Page One

You know the great opening lines: Manderley, ships at a distance, the last camel, an invisible man. Why do these work? And how can you create one for your own novel? Then, what about that crucial first paragraph? And a first page that will entice editors and enchant readers? How can you set the proper expectations for the story to come—and make every word work? If a reader doesn’t love the first line, they'll never get to the second one. How do you avoid info dumps, dreaded exposition, and book-killing backstory in your first page? In this class, suitable for any genre, we will dissect and analyze acclaimed first lines and opening paragraphs, and reveal the writing secrets these brilliant examples offer. If you are brave enough, please bring your own first line! Hank and the class will offer advice and guidance to set you and your book off in the right direction.