If you're a new writer, you may find that getting your novel published poses a mystery more challenging than the toughest unsolved case.

If you're a new writer, you may find that getting your novel published poses a mystery more challenging than the toughest unsolved case.

But the process doesn't have to be nearly so suspenseful; during the next session of Worthington Libraries' Mark My Words writers' series, "Writing Mysteries with Chris Roerden," participants will get the inside scoop on what it takes to write a mystery, or novel of any genre, that will capture a publisher's attention.

Roerden, who wrote the Agatha Award-winning "Don't Murder Your Mystery," estimates that only one in 100 manuscripts get published as books, but there are things aspiring authors can do to improve their writing and thus, their chances of getting published.

"Most writers sabotage their manuscripts in identical ways," Roerden explains on her website, http://writersinfo.info/. During "Writing Mysteries," which is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. on July 14, she'll explain how manuscripts are evaluated by publishers and, through a series of exercises, show workshop attendees how to avoid making common mistakes.

In her 44 years in publishing, Roerden has edited authors published by St. Martin's, Berkley Prime Crime, Intrigue, Rodale, Viking, Midnight Ink and many others. She's also written a game and 11 books, including two national award-winners to help writers get published; in addition to "Don't Murder Your Mystery," her book, "Don't Sabotage Your Submission" received the Benjamin Franklin Award for Literary Criticism in 2009.

Roerden is past president of a trade association of commercial and university presses, former board member of SE Mystery Writers of America and long-time member of Sisters in Crime, Publishers Marketing Association and Mensa. She has also taught writing at universities from Maine to Milwaukee.

"Writing Mysteries" will be held at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St. The workshop is free, but registration is required; please call 614-807-2626.

Worthington Libraries' Mark My Words series is a quarterly program that features renowned authors introducing writers to a variety of styles and genres.