A RENOWNED Monmouthshire crime writer is passing on the secrets of his craft in a series of workshops.

By doing so Matthew Hall, who has written a five-part series under the name MR Hall, is hoping to inspire the next generation of authors.

Twice shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association gold dagger award, ex-lawyer and scriptwriter Mr Hall began passing on his expertise this week in a free online course.

Budding writers can complete seven worksheets and then enter a competition to write an opening page for a crime thriller, which he will judge alongside a senior editor at his publishers Macmillan.

Mr Hall and historical crime writer William Ryan are running monthly weekend courses and then in the summer he hopes to bring them back to Monmouthshire.

Mr Hall will educate his students in a two-day intensive introduction to the world of crime fiction.

From a standing start, participants should be able to create an essential character and the outline of a story which can potentially be turned into a book.

Mr Hall said: "I really enjoy teaching and greatly benefited from going to courses when I was learning to write. If people are really interested in writing they will learn the 7 most important principles for creating a successful story."

The workshops launch marks Mr Hall's "busiest week of the year," as his fifth book in the series, The Chosen Dead, is published on January 31.

It has already been reviewed by national newspapers and shortly his fourth book The Flight will be on the shelves of supermarkets thanks to a big order.

All of the books centre round coroner Jenny Cooper and the border between England and Wales. The Flight focuses on the loss of 600 people in a fictional Severn Estuary plane crash.

Details on the workshop can be found at Mr Hall's Facebook page MRHallAuthor.