Novelists Roundtable

It’s not a workshop. It’s not a class. It’s something completely different!

This class is full! Please email us to join a wait list or discuss other options.

Meets monthly on Mondays.

The Novelists Roundtable is for novelists currently working their way through a novel or are contemplating beginning one.

It’s not a class and it’s not a workshop. It’s an ongoing support group where the participants share information, ideas and help one another to meet the difficult challenges of completing a novel. We talk craft and structure and strategies and focus on getting the words written.

Our Roundtable cohort is a very supportive group with wonderful advice to share, whether you’re in the beginning stages of your novel or on a third draft. (Read a description from one of our Roundtable members.)


Over the past six years the Novelists Roundtable has continued to evolve. This year, based on participant suggestions, we’ll be implementing some new elements, including:

The Buddy System–writers will be paired up to share pages throughout the year and to trade considered feedback and encouragement. This connection will help you spur each other on to meet writing goals.

Learn from the Best–the group will read two books over the course of nine months to form the basis for craft discussions and to generate ideas.

Reading Your Words–each session we’ll hear works in progress allowing the group to become involved in all the stories and characters being developed. This is an added incentive for writers to reach page counts.

Craft Discussions–it takes inspiration, determination, gumption, and skill to write a novel. Our discussions of craft will open your mind to new directions or possibly to solve some challenges in story, plot, character or arcs.

Perfect Mix of Fun and Serious Butt-in-Chair Writing Time–need we say more?

Past discussion topics included: Arcing Over Chapters, Freedom to Experiment, Hearing Voices, the Changing World of Publishing, Building an Audience, Finishing the Darn Thing, Staying Focused, Goals, Challenges, Another Revision?, What We Should be Reading, Character Voice, Ugh! This Isn’t Working.

NOTE: There is a limit of 15 members and new students are accepted before the September or January meetings.

Who should attend?

  • Adults 18 and over
  • Open to all writing levels

About the Instructor

Jill Pollack is the founder and director of StoryStudio Chicago. Before creating StoryStudio, Jill has been a working writer publishing in newspapers, magazines, trade periodicals, and political journals for more years than she will admit. She is the author of three books for young adults: Shirley Chisholm, named a Best Book by Science and Film Magazine; Lesbian and Gay Families: Redefining Parenting in America, and Women on the Hill, a history of women in Congress. Jill founded the Chicago Literary Alliance to connect our city’s great literary organizations. She was recently named #23 in the Newcity Lit Top 50 list of literary leaders in Chicago.

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    Class Details

    Dates: September 16, October 14, November 11 , January  13, February 10,  March 10,  April 14,  May 12

    Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm

    # of Sessions: 8

    Level: All writing levels welcome

    Location: Chicago Studio

    Course Fee: Non-member: $415; Member: $400

    Please email us to join a wait list or discuss other options.