Thursday 11 October 2018


An Evening with Elly Griffiths

Elly GriffithsElly will to talk about her career as a publisher and as a writer with an emphasis on getting that first book deal.

Elly Griffiths is the writer of two highly successful book series: the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries, and the Stephens & Mephisto novels. At latest count there were ten of the former and three of the latter. She’s such a prolific author that there may well be more by the time Elly comes to speak to us in the autumn.
Elly describes herself as having done all the right things to become a writer: She read English at King’s College London and, after graduating, worked in a library, for a magazine and then as a publicity assistant at HarperCollins, eventually becoming Editorial Director for children’s books.
Before becoming known as mystery writer Elly Griffiths, she had already published four books set in Italy under her given name of Domenica de Rosa. She turned to crime, and Ruth Galloway, when walking the marshes of Norfolk with her archeologist husband.
Read more about Elly here




Review of the meeting


It was a dark and stormy night (to quote Snoopy) but

There was a large turnout to hear Elly Griffiths, with numbers boosted by visitors who are fans of her writing.

Elly told us that she was writing books by the time she was four, Elly went on to study English at KCL, then specialised in Victorian literature for her MA. After time as a librarian she moved on to Harper Collins, eventually becoming editorial director for children’s and YA fiction. Her first book took three years to write, she approached six agents, telling them that if she didn’t hear within six weeks she’d assume they weren’t interested. Three agents wanted to represent her.

Elly is a very successful author. She has one long-running crime series that features Dr Ruth Galloway, a forensic anthropologist based in Norfolk, numbers six to ten in this series have been Sunday Times ‘best sellers’.  In another series Elly has published three books set in the 1950s about DI Edgar Stephens and his magician friend, Max Mephisto. Before she became Elly Griffiths she wrote four novels, inspired by her family history, under her ‘real’ name, Domenica de Rosa. Elly’s books have been published in fifteen countries, in thirteen languages. Her sales figures have just reached one million. She has books coming out this autumn and next spring.

Elly teaches Creative Writing at West Dean College. Her website is

Members can find a full account of Elly’s fascinating talk that included a great deal of interesting and useful information about becoming a successful writer, the publishing business, sources of inspiration, plotting, writing routines and the editing process in the members’ section.

 Wendy Swarbrick