Description of Class
Our next cohort will begin August 2018.
Application Deadline Closed for 2018-19.
Novel in a Year: First Draft Cohort A (formerly Novel Novice) is a unique opportunity for less experienced writers to study the art of fiction, refine their craft, share their work, get and give constructive feedback, and join a supportive, educational, and literary cohort of fellow writers. Benefit from special Master Classes from visiting authors, and enjoy a writing retreat with other novelists, social gatherings, and more. As a writer in our Novel in a Year program, you’re considered a “VIP” at the studio.
Award-winning author Abby Geni (The Lightkeepers, The Last Animal) will lead workshops, offer detailed craft lessons, and provide intensive feedback on your manuscript. You will study every aspect of the writing process, from grammar to characterization to structure to revision.
WHO SHOULD APPLY
The class is appropriate for writers who are ready to propel a novel draft forward but are newer to the formal study of creative writing. You may be anywhere in the first draft of a novel–some students may have completed a 500-page draft; others may have nothing more than an idea and a first sentence. Work of any genre is welcome.
This application-based class is selective. We are looking for students with talent and drive, though familiarity with the workshop process or previous experience writing a novel is not necessary.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
Specific topics covered during the class sessions include:
- Using Scene & Summary
- Setting & Description
- Voice, Tense, & POV
- Character Building
- Crossing The Vast Middle
- Tension & Dialogue
- How Publication Works
- Representing Your Novel
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 writing process, learn about novel craft, problem-solve particular issues in their work, workshop scenes, and share some snacks and beverages. In between class sessions you’ll have plenty of time to write and generate new work 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 100-page manuscript reviews.
Students enrolled in this course will receive complimentary admission and early registration to one class from our acclaimed Master Class series throughout the year. (Recent and upcoming writers include Alexander Chee, Margot Livesey, Vu Tran, R.O. Kwon, Porochista Khakpour, and Stuart Dybek, among others.)
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’ve already made headway on your novel or are just gathering ideas, 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 growing 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.
Program fee: $2,195
NOT SURE IF THIS IS FOR YOU?
StoryStudio offers several Novel in a Year classes, each designed for students at a specific experience level. Skill and determination are a prerequisite for all the classes, and you will find remarkable, gifted, and devoted writers in every group.
Please note these additional options:
More experienced writers might consider applying for Novel in a Year: First Draft Cohort B, which is tailored to students who have already participated more intensely in writing communities. If you are unsure which class is right for you, please select “consider me for both” on the online application form and your manuscript will be routed appropriately.
Students who have already completed a novel draft and are ready to revise should consider Novel in a Year: Revise and Launch, which begins in early 2019. And while writers of YA and Middle Grade have always been welcome in our Novel in a Year program and have great success in the broader-genre class, they might also consider Novel in a Year: YA and Middle Grade, where a new cohort will open in 2019.
Join our waitlist to be notified of updates for Revise and YA/Middle Grade. (Please select “other” and specify the exact NIAY program or programs you are interested in.)
APPLICATION PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED FOR THE 2018-19 COHORT.
This course is limited to 12 students and is submission based.
- You will be asked to submit a 10-page writing sample in a .doc or PDF. The sample can be a short story or novel excerpt.
- Applicants will have the opportunity to apply for a grant through the Dana Wood Chaney Writers Fund. See below for guidelines.
Dana Wood Chaney Writers Fund Grants
The Stories Matter Foundation Dana Wood Chaney Writers Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused on inspiring writers to create, publish, and change the world with their stories.
The foundation awards a 50% tuition grant to a Novel in a Year student who is working on a novel that addresses social change. A description of what “socially engaged fiction” means, including examples of classic and contemporary novels, can be found on the PEN/Bellwether Prize website: https://pen.org/defining-socially-engaged-fiction. (Copy and paste the URL into your browser window.)
To be considered for a grant, you will be asked on the Novel in a Year application form to describe how the themes and concerns of your novel will further the conversation about social issues and seek to “change the world.” (300 word limit)