Former student and instructor Ellen Byron recently won the Best Contemporary Novel Agatha Award for Mardi Gras Murder, the fourth book in her USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mystery series. The light mystery series has received multiple award nominations and won two Best Humorous Mystery Lefty Awards, sponsored by the Left Coast Crime convention.

“I was lucky enough to both teach and take classes in the Writers’ Program,” Ellen, also a TV writer-producer, says. “I learned so much in Jerrilyn Farmer’s mystery writing class, both from her lessons and her own delightful books. But I was also inspired by the incredibly talented students who took my playwriting and improvised storytelling classes. In fact, I recently connected with one of them, Laura Levine. Not only do we share a history of writing for sitcoms – we’re both also writing humorous mystery series!”

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