Description of Class
Our next cohort will begin August 2019.
Application Period is CLOSED
This is the year to write your novel!
Novel in a Year: First Draft is a unique opportunity to join a writing cohort, study novel craft, workshop key scenes, measure your progress, meet deadlines, and give and get support for the long slog from plotting to composition and beyond. Benefit from special Master Classes from visiting authors, and enjoy a writing retreat with other novelists.
It’s a chance to devote an entire year to your novel, giving it the attention and effort your work deserves. Acclaimed author Rebecca Makkai (The Great Believers, Music For Wartime) will help you through the drafting process and provide personalized guidance and feedback on your manuscript.
WHO SHOULD APPLY
Students at any stage of novel drafting are encouraged to apply. You 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, though we offer specialized programs for Speculative Fiction and Young Adult/Middle Grade.
This application-based class is selective, and you will find your classmates to be dedicated and serious about their work.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
Specific topics covered during the class sessions include:
- Plotting & Pacing
- Voice, Tense & POV
- Scene Building
- Character Building
- The Vast Middle
- Major Edits & Line Edits
- Representing Your Novel
- The Publication Process
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 craft, solve drafting challenges, 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 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 work. In addition to workshopping short scenes in class, participants will meet individually with Rebecca for 100-page manuscript reviews.
Students enrolled in this course will receive complimentary admission and early registration to two (2) classes from our acclaimed Master Class series throughout the year. (Recent and upcoming writers include Alexander Chee, Pam Houston, Vu Tran, R.O. Kwon, Sara Paretsky, and Garth Greenwell, 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. As a writer in our Novel in a Year program, you’re considered a “VIP” at the studio.
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 going for seven years strong, and you will have the opportunity to benefit socially and professionally from a strong network of alumni, many of whom are experiencing publishing success.
Program fee: $2,350
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:
Students might consider applying for Novel in a Year: First Draft with Abby Geni. This class is the same structure, but it begins in January 2020.
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 2020 as well.
And while writers of Speculative Fiction 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: Speculative Fiction with Jac Jemc, where a new cohort will begin August 2019.
The same can be said for writers of Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction: check out James Klise’s program geared toward writing for younger audiences, starting in January 2020.
Join our waitlist to be notified of updates for the 2020 cohorts of these programs.
Application Period is CLOSED
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.
- Someone who submits on the first day has the same chance as someone who submits on the last day, so don’t worry, and don’t rush.
- Payment isn’t due until after the application period is closed and acceptances have been sent out. We are happy to discuss payment plans with students who are accepted.
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.
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)Top