Finish Your Draft Finish Your Draft Finish Your Draft

Finish Your Draft

Find the focus and drive to finish your novel with a supportive group of fellow writers and a great tutor to keep you on track.



What do these levels mean?




6 month +
  • Start Date
  • Time
  • Flexible
  • Application Deadline
  • Sunday 08 Jan 2023

Spaces left



£250 / month for 4 months and a £650.00 deposit


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The structure and support to get you to the final line

A natural next-step from Writing a Novel, this intensive ten-month online course is for writers who have at least 15,000 words of a novel and need the space, structure and discipline to get to the end.

Benefit from our newly upgraded platform and content as you get your head down and write with the support of a small group of fellow novelists and a nurturing tutor (who’ll also know how to crack the whip when necessary). Each month you’ll receive valuable feedback from your group on up to 7,000 words of your novel while finetuning your own editorial sensibilities by critiquing theirs. You’ll also have monthly group webinars with your tutor and benefit from their close analysis of participants' work. At key points during the course, you’ll have one-to-one feedback from your tutor in the form of personal Zoom tutorials and audio notes.

Is this the right course for me?

This is one of our most advanced courses, and so you'll need to already be making good progress with your novel. You should have at least 15,000 words written, a good sense of where the story is going, and be looking for the discipline, peer-support and tutor guidance to help you see it through to 'The End'.

Access exclusive monthly live chats with some of the best authors, agents and editors around, along with a bank of downloadable learning resources for each session – tutor notes and podcast lectures, guided reading and analysis, and exercises and prompts to keep you writing. You’ll have dedicated private forums and chatrooms to discuss your work in confidence 24/7, along with moderator support around-the-clock; everything you need to get those words down on the page.

After an introductory first session, your monthly sessions will look something like this:

Day 1: Session opens; your tutor introduces the focus of the month and recommended reading

Days 2–15: Hard at work on your work-in-progress, forums available 24/7 for discussion and feedback

Day 16: Deadline for posting your new 5,000–7,000 words to the forum

Days 16–22: Writers read and critique their peers on new work forum

Days 23–26: Your tutor posts a close read of three people’s work in terms of this month’s focus. The whole group can read and add comments in the forum

Day 27: Live webinar with your tutor, and they introduce next month’s focus

    The course consists of ten sessions, which you work through progressively with a small group of peers, your tutor and a moderator. There’s no need to log on at a certain time each week – as long as you complete the set assignments and peer feedback by the end of each session, you can work at any time of the day or night.

Course Programme

Session 1

Opens Monday 23 January

Share Your Story...

Session 2

Opens Monday 20 February

Get Better at Place ...

Session 3

Opens Monday 20 March

Get Better at Body Language...

See remaining sessions

Course Programme

Finish Your Draft

Session 1

Opens Monday 23 January

Share Your Story

Get to know each other's novels so far, with a focus on honing your synopsis and the art of giving good critical feedback.

Session 2

Opens Monday 20 February

Get Better at Place

Learn the secrets of sharpening the description in your draft by using more specific language, calling on the senses, and adding colour and movement.

Session 3

Opens Monday 20 March

Get Better at Body Language

Analyse the non-verbal communication in your novel and learn how to write better body language so that your characters do more than raise their eyebrows, nod and smile.

Session 4

Opens Monday 17 April

Tune Up Your Voice

Consider your choice of vocabulary, sentence and paragraph structure, and how you can use them for effect and to create rhythm and pace

Session 5

Opens Monday 15 May

Get Better at Texture

How to use dialogue and description to slow down or speed up a story, and the importance of 'doing' sections in your narrative.

Session 6

Opens Monday 12 June

Keep Readers Turning the Page

Effective ways to grab readers at the start of a chapter and leave them wanting more at the end, and subtle ways to use suspense.

Session 7

Opens Monday 10 July (8 week session to include a summer break)

Find Your Midpoint

Is the structure of your novel still working? Discover ways to transition from the beginning to the end of your novel and ensure it has a shape that feels right on micro and macro levels.

Session 8

Opens Monday 4 September

Shape Your Chapters

How to use chapter breaks to give rhythm to the reading and shape the sections of your novel for pace and pleasure.

Session 9

Opens Monday 2 October

Find a Satisfying Resolution

Look back at the beginning of your novel to start thinking about its end; how to set up the finish.

Session 10

Opens Monday 30 October

Move Beyond the Manuscript

How to make the leap from finished draft to the next stages in the publication process



Lee Weatherly

Lee Weatherly has written more than fifty books for children and young adults, including the bestselling Angel series, and is...

More About This Tutor
Lee Weatherly

How to Apply

Please note: This course is initially only open to Faber Academy alumni. This doesn't mean you can't apply if you’re not an alumnus, but first priority will be given to alumni. When applying, you'll be prompted to upload the following documents:

A covering letter

Tell us about your writing experience, any creative writing courses you have been on, and what you are looking to get from the course.

A synopsis of your novel

We'll want to see that you have a good sense of the shape of your story – it doesn't need to be final, but enough that you'll be able to dive into the writing straight away, and be able to deliver the required wordcount each month to really get the most out of this course.

Prose sample (5,000 words)

This should be the first 5,000 words of your novel – it's important that you use the book you're planning to work on during the course.

It was Tom's course that elevated my writing to the next level and helped me on my way to success.

Biba Pearce

Author of the DCI Rob Miller series

It was Tom's course that elevated my writing to the next level and helped me on my way to success

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time do I need to set aside for this course?

We recommend that students spend at least five to seven hours per week to get the most out of this course. If you have more time available, great! But that should be enough for working through the materials, joining in the discussions, reading and feeding back on your classmates’ work, and your own writing time. Any extra you can commit to that last one is obviously a bonus.

How many times throughout the year will my tutor comment on my work?

You’ll have Zoom one-to-one tutorials with your tutor in sessions 1, 7 and 10, plus group chats with them every month. On top of this, your tutor will provide recorded notes on your work twice during the course. You’ll also be able to listen to these recorded notes for your peers’ work, which is a powerful learning tool and will help you hone your own editorial eye.

Will my tutor read my full draft at the end of the course?

Your tutor won’t read the full draft, but your final one-to-one with them will take the form of an ‘exit’ tutorial where you’ll discuss where you’ve got to with your draft, strengths and points for you to work on, and what you’ll need to focus on now to take the work forward.

Browse the Reading Room

From author interviews and writing tips to creative writing exercises and reading lists, we've got everything you need to get started – and to keep going.

Announcing Faber Academy Newcastle Read More
Announcing Faber Academy Newcastle
Writing Prickly Female Protagonists

Writing a Novel alumna Ania Bas on writing the main character of her debut novel, published earlier

Read More
My Road to Publication… And What I Learned Along the Way

The author of Honey and Me (published by Scholastic Press) on how her book came to be

Read More

For more information, message us or call 0207 927 3827