This is the year to write your novel

Benefit from special Master Classes from visiting authors, and enjoy a writing retreat with other novelists.

Novel in a Year: Revise and Launch is the ideal class for any writer who is close to completing a novel. Students will join a writing cohort, learn about the revision and publication process, workshop the first 40 pages of their book, polish their synopsis, query letter, and elevator speech, troubleshoot particular issues in their writing, and prepare to send their work out into the world.

It’s a chance to devote an entire year to your novel, giving it the attention and effort your work deserves.  Award-winning author Abby Geni will lead workshops, offer detailed craft lessons, and provide intensive feedback on your full manuscript.

WHO SHOULD APPLY

Students who have finished a novel manuscript of any genre. The class will be most appropriate for students with a complete draft that has already seen some revision, though anyone with a finished draft may apply. Short story collections are also welcome. This application-based class is selective, and you will find your classmates to be gifted, dedicated writers.

Please note: StoryStudio offers several Novel in a Year classes, each designed for students at a specific experience level so you find the program that is the best fit for you. Skill and determination are a prerequisite for all the classes, and you will find remarkable, gifted, and devoted writers in every group.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

Specific topics covered during the class sessions include:

  • The Stages of Revision
  • Novel Structure
  • Outlining as an Editing Tool
  • Consistency in Voice & Pacing
  • Balancing Scene & Summary
  • Beginning & Ending Your Book Well
  • Small Edits & Big Cuts
  • Making Sure Your Writing Is Always “Doing Work”
  • Fulfilling Your “Contracts” with the Reader
  • How to Know When You’re Done
  • Looking for the Right Agent
  • Writing a Synopsis
  • Query Letters & Elevator Speeches
  • The Ins & Outs of Publication

PLEASE NOTE: This program is for novelists who are ready to make a strong commitment to their work, and our waitlist for the course is typically very long. Students will be expected to participate in the full program.

HOW IT WORKS

Students will meet monthly for three-hour sessions to discuss the revision process, learn about novel craft, problem-solve particular issues in their work, workshop the opening of their novel, and share some snacks and beverages. In between class sessions, you’ll have plenty of time to write and revise while still staying in touch with other students via StoryStudio’s private online class forum.

We’ve structured this program to provide maximum benefit without demanding too much time away from focusing on your own writing. In addition to workshopping short scenes in class, participants will meet individually with Abby for full manuscript reviews.

Students enrolled in this course will receive complementary admission and early registration to two classes from our acclaimed Master Class series throughout the year—a $150 value. (Recent and upcoming writers include Alexander Chee, Pam Houston, Vu Tran, R.O. Kwon, Sara Paretsky, and Garth Greenwell, among others.)

You’ll also have access to a private meeting with an agent or small press editors during our fall 2020 Writers Festival. A lot of the course prepares you for pitching to agents and writing a compelling query letter, as well as general guidance through the publication process.

The class also includes a one-day offsite spring writers retreat, where you can spend the day writing and thinking, with breaks to mingle at lunch and over drinks with students in our other novel workshops. Additionally, throughout the year we will organize two optional evening social gatherings.

Throughout the course, you’ll have access to a private online forum for exchanging additional work and sharing articles and links of interest. And most importantly, these courses provide accountability check-ins to report your progress and struggles, and keep you writing.

YOUR WRITING COMMUNITY

Whether you’re already drafting query letters to send to literary agents or just focusing on revision, your cohort will provide the structure, companionship, feedback, good humor, and emotional support to help you see your project through.

You’ll also join StoryStudio’s larger community—in person and on social media—where you can connect with students from other classes, receive “first chance” invitations to special programming, and stay informed about literary events around the city.

The Novel in a Year program has been going for seven years strong, and you will have the opportunity to benefit socially and professionally from a wonderful network of alumni, many of whom are experiencing publishing success.