Six Months w/ Your Novel or Memoir

This class is designed to guide you through the first steps of writing your novel or memoir. We’ll help you develop a writing practice and focus your story, to understand the questions you need to ask yourself as you begin a novel or memoir, and to learn how to answer those questions in your work. You’ll be generating a solid foundation for your manuscript and developing the skills for evaluating your own work and others’, not to mention being part of a writing community facing the same questions and struggles you face.

This workshop will meet 6 times, once a month. Each student will submit a new section of his or her book for every workshop and will be responsible for reading and discussing the original work of each participant—that means you get feedback every month on your new pages, and you read and discuss new pages from all of your colleagues as well.

Our workshops focus first on what the writer is doing well, then on concrete suggestions for improvement. We’ll look at published work with an eye to technique: characterization, point of view, plot and structure, dialogue, and description and detail. We’ll discuss why some strategies work and some don’t, how to avoid cliches and pitfalls, and how to hone our strengths and identify our weaknesses. Between workshops, we will keep in touch to encourage and support each other.

Please expect to read roughly 100-125 pages of material every month, to prepare a page of written feedback for each student every month.

WHEN. TBA. Please contact us to be notified of upcoming workshops.

WHO. Writers with some workshop experience and an idea you want to explore as a book manuscript. Please submit a sample of the material you want to develop into a book with your application. Limited to 6 students.

COST. $995. Includes all reading material.