THRILLER Webinar Series

Seminar Details:

"This guy's methodical, exacting, and worst of all, patient."
Detective Somerset to Detective Mills, in SEVEN

Every genre imposes conventions on design of story, whether it's a certain character role in a Love Story, a value at stake in a Political Drama, or a specific event in a Crime Story.

In the Crime genre, there must be a crime. Yet, whilst conventional crime stories play upon the audience's fears of lawlessness, violence, and death, the Thriller goes far deeper. It reaches into the audience's subconscious mind to arouse the gripping, irrational fear of a fate worse than death.

The key to a thrilling tale lies in the writer's mastery of the intricate psychology of both victim and villain, and the razor-sharp use of the genre's conventions. The greater the mastery, the greater the thrill.

McKee's 2021 THRILLER Webinar Series

Robert McKee returns online with the final installment of his 2021 Spring Webinar Program, the Thriller Webinar Series.

In this series of three 90-minute lessons (+30-minute Q&A sessions), and three exclusive 2-hour follow-up Q&As, McKee teaches the nature of evil, how to plan the perfect thriller story, and the conventions you must bend or break in order to create a masterful work.

All webinars take place on Thursdays from 1:00pm - 3:00pm Eastern Time (US & Canada).
All Q&A sessions take place the following Tuesdays from 1:00pm - 3:00pm Eastern Time (US & Canada).

Late joining the live webinar series?

Not to worry! As a courtesy to our global audience, we're providing limited access to the recordings of each event. Sign up now and catch up at your convenience. Recordings of the Thriller Webinar Series will be accessible until July 31, 2021.


Thursday, May 6: The Psychology of Crime
Tuesday, May 11: Follow-Up Q&A Session

Recordings will be available until July 31, 2021.

In Part 1 of the series, McKee outlines the different subgenres of crime stories, the evolution of the Thriller, and how to create and sustain the interest of your audience. Topics covered in this webinar include:

  • A Brief History of the Crime Genre
    Humanity's relationship with the law.
  • The 14 Modern Subgenres of Crime
    From whose point of view are you telling the story?
  • The Evolution of the Psycho-Thriller
    The development of the key elements of the subgenre.
  • 3 Strategies of Interest
    Closed versus Open Thrillers.
  • 30-minute Q&A
    Clarify your understanding of the lecture content.


Thursday, May 13: Planning the Perfect Thriller
Tuesday, May 18: Follow-Up Q&A Session

Recordings will be available until July 31, 2021.

In Part 2 of the series, McKee teaches how to harness the power of conflict between your characters, how to approach your treatment, and the critical role clues play in writing the perfect Thriller. Topics covered in this webinar include:

  • Antagonist vs. Protagonist
    Which comes first, and why?
  • The 9-Step Process
    From blank page to outlining your crime story.
  • Clueing
    How will your detective/audience solve the crime?
  • Psychological Warfare
    Deepening the conflict in your story.
  • 30-minute Q&A
    Clarify your understanding of the lecture content.


Thursday, May 20: Twelve Thriller Conventions
Tuesday, May 25: Follow-Up Q&A Session

Recordings will be available until July 31, 2021.

In the final part of the series, McKee teaches the fundamental building blocks of every Thriller story, the different ways you can approach your ending, and how to ensure you actually thrill your audience. Topics covered in this webinar include:

  • The End of the Line
    Taking your audience to the limit of human experience.
  • Creating the Climax
    Different ways to end your story.
  • The 12 Thriller Conventions
    The building blocks of every Thriller.
  • What Thrills in a Thriller?
    The defining characteristic of the subgenre.
  • 30-minute Q&A
    Clarify your understanding of the lecture content.

We are sorry but registration is currently closed.

Please contact us if you are interested in gaining access.

Getting Started
Robert McKee’s webinars are hosted on Zoom.

We recommend that you install the free Zoom client, as it offers a more stable connection and better overall performance during the live webinar.

For more information, please consult our Webinar FAQ page.

Asking a Question
During the Webinar:

Throughout the webinar, you’ll have the ability to submit your questions using the Zoom Q&A panel. Our moderator will collect and organize the questions during the webinar, and Robert McKee will answer as many as time allows during the Q&A period that follows.

Follow-Up Q&A Session:

After the webinar, you’ll be sent an email inviting you to the bonus Q&A session the following week and encouraging you to submit your questions to us via email. Priority will be given to those questions submitted in writing, but as with the webinar, we will also be taking questions submitted live through the Zoom Q&A panel.

Webinar Recordings

Registrants will be emailed information on how to access the recording 24 hours after the conclusion of the live webinar. You can watch the recording as many times as you like during the access period.

Recording Access Period Ends:

Thriller Webinar Series
Spring Term: July 31, 2021

Cancellations / Refunds
You can cancel any time before the webinar at no cost to you. Just let us know.

We want you to have the best learning experience possible, so we’re here to help. Please contact us for assistance by emailing if you’re having technical issues with Zoom.

No refunds will be issued after the live webinar has ended and you’ve been sent the link to the recording. As the recording can be played on so many different devices and systems, it should be possible to watch it on at least one of your devices.

For more information, please consult our Webinar FAQ page.

Registration Questions?

Wondering which McKee Seminar is right for you? We’re happy to help! Just give us a call or send us an email.

(928) 204-2323

Save 10%*

Get a package discount when you book both STORY and GENRE DAY Seminars!

*This offer may not be combined with other discounts.

What is Final Draft?

Bundled Discount

When you purchase the software as part of a McKee Seminar Tuition Package you will receive a substantial discount courtesy of Final Draft. The digital download of the software will be made available within a week of your registration.

If you should need to cancel your registration, you will be refunded your tuition less an administrative fee of 10% and the full price of the Final Draft software.

Do I Need Final Draft For the Seminar?

This software is not required for any of our seminars, but it could be very useful as you go on to apply what you’ve learned in your writing.

What is Storylogue?

Storylogue is Mr. McKee’s online learning library for writers – a writer’s practicum. Currently, the site hosts over 1,500 videos that include new lessons (not covered in his STORY Seminar) and interviews between Mr. McKee and prominent industry professionals as well as Q&A sessions between Mr. McKee and students. These videos are excellent research and learning resources and you can preview the videos offered at

When purchasing a year’s subscription as part of a Tuition Package, you receive a discount of over 40% on the standard annual membership rate. Alternatively, annual or monthly membership may be purchased from the site at any time.

Presently, the site is undergoing a massive upgrade to improve the search functionality but it won’t affect your viewing enjoyment.

Can I Register For Someone Else?
Yes, but please ensure that you enter the intended attendee’s registration details (First Name, Last Name, Email) so that their registration information and ticket will be sent to the correct recipient.

When you reach the payment screen, you may use your own personal information associated with your chosen payment method.

Can I Register a Group?
You may register as many people as you like, but at this time we ask that you register each person individually. (You can still use the same method of payment for each registration.)

Group Discounts:

If you’re registering 5 or more people, you may be eligible for a discount. See here for details.

Do You Offer Discounts?
Yes! We’re pleased to offer several discount categories to help support your learning. Applicability varies by event, so check the seminar details for the available discounts. See the full FAQ page for more information.


Professional Union Members
Do I Qualify for the Repeater Rate?
Our special Repeater rate is based on prior attendance at a McKee Seminar of the same type. For example: If you attended the STORY Seminar in New York last year, you should be eligible for the Repeater rate on all STORY Seminars.

We will check our records to verify previous attendance once we receive your registration. If you are unsure, we encourage you to contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

What's a Deposit?

The $100 non-refundable deposit option allows you to reserve a spot at the seminar. The balance is due two weeks before the seminar. If you do not pay in full by that time, you will forfeit this deposit.

What Happens if I Have to Cancel?
Seat Deposit

The Deposit option allows you to reserve a spot at the seminar by paying a non-refundable deposit of $100. This deposit will be applied to the full price of your desired Tuition Package, the balance of which will be due two weeks before the seminar at the latest. If you do not register and pay in full by that time, your seat will no longer be reserved.

Seminar Tuition

If you cancel 10 days or less from the event date your full tuition will be forfeited, but you may apply it to a future McKee Seminar of the same type within one year of your first scheduled seminar. If you cancel more than 10 days prior to the event date, you have the option to to apply it to a future seminar within one year, or you can be refunded your money less a 10% fee that will be retained to cover administrative costs.

Final Draft

If you purchased Final Draft at a discounted price by bundling it with your seminar tuition, and find that you must cancel your registration, you will be refunded your money less our administrative fee and the full price of the Final Draft software.

I'm from out of town. Can You Recommend Accommodations?
Los Angeles

We organize a special discounted room rate for our attendees at the Westin hotel where the seminar is held. It’s a five-minute courtesy shuttle bus ride between the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the hotel. The discounted room rate is subject to availability. Please consult the seminar details for more information.

For other options near the Los Angeles venue, please click here

New York & London

For our New York and London seminars, please click here for options from budget to high-end hotels.