InstructorAshley Stokes
TypeOnsite Course
DateMay 2, 2019
Time19:00 - 21:00
PlaceGolden Triangle, Norwich
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A 25-week novel writing course

This 25-week novel writing course is perfect for those with some experience who are now hankering to try their hand at a longer form of story, or who may well have had a novel on the back-burner for a while and need to take it to the next stage.

Students can either use the first session to experiment and settle on an idea as they learn how to write a novel. This can be continued in the second half of the course. Or, you can work on the same novel throughout and receive feedback from your tutor and fellow workshop members. Students in this creative writing group have traditionally wanted help with editing late drafts, or new writers hoping to work out what exactly she wants to do and need the support of a novel writing workshop.

How will I be taught?

The course is partly taught by experienced tutors Ashley Stokes and Sarah Bower and partly student led in that students present their own work on a weekly basis. In the first session, however, we will read a novel paragraph by paragraph as a group, using a text as an example of how a novel can be constructed and to discuss the devices and techniques that a writer can deploy when composing something as nuanced and complex as a novel.

The novel we usually use is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, chosen because it’s a book that has stood the test of time; draws off its own time yet still seems pertinent and modern for the most part; and Fitzgerald also employs so many types of voice and storytelling devices that it’s hard not to read the book and come away with ideas. It’s also nice and short.

What feedback will I get?

The second session concentrates entirely on workshopping, used here to spur the authors on to completing a first draft. The critiquing of this work will provide the group with an opportunity to further develop critical skills, and explore a range of themes and experiences in writing.

Throughout, we’ll be discussing issues of:

  • drafting
  • plot
  • structure
  • voice
  • character
  • dialogue
  • setting

From an entirely practical standpoint, we’ll be responding to what each writer wants to achieve and based upon a close reading and editing of their work.

You’ll also be party to an ongoing and lively discussion about books, reading and culture. Both tutors are published writers and experienced teachers with diverse interests and a background in helping writers solve problems and negotiate especially that tricky first draft phase where you feel that you’re driving in a snowstorm or climbing a mountain without a summit. We’ve been there and we came back in one piece.

At the end of the course, students can submit a creative writing portfolio consisting of an 8,000 -10,000 word novel extract. This will receive detailed feedback from the tutors, which will include an assessment of how the work stands at the moment and ideas for ways forward. There is also an Advanced Novel Writing Workshop available for students who wish to continue after 25 weeks.

Writing the Novel students are eligible for a discount on all Unthank Books and can submit their work to the forthcoming Unthank School journal, UnVeiled and read their work aloud at the yearly Unthank School Project U event in Norwich.

Booking your place

Signing up for an Unthank School writing course is quick and easy. To book your place on this 25-week novel writing course, choose ‘Book Your Place’ and enter your details on the following screen. Your payment will be processed via PayPal.

After you have created an account with us, your tutor will be in touch (usually within 24 hours) to confirm your place and welcome you to the Unthank School of Writing.