Writing a Novel (Daytime) Writing a Novel (Daytime) Writing a Novel (Daytime)

Writing a Novel (Daytime)

A comprehensive six-month writing course for the serious writer, with access to some of the biggest names in publishing. If you're thinking about a creative writing MA, consider this practical alternative.



What do these levels mean?




6 month +
  • Start Date
  • Time
  • Thursday, 10.30 – 13.30
  • Application Deadline
  • Sunday 11 Sep 2022

Spaces left



£600 / month for 5 months and a £1,000.00 deposit


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Dedicate six months to your novel

This is our flagship course, which has seen alumni such as S J Watson, Rachel Joyce, Gail Honeyman and Alice Feeney go on to conquer bestseller lists around the world. Designed by the Director of our Fiction Programme, Richard Skinner, it's a six-month deep dive into the art of the novel, with sessions on every aspect you'll need to take you from the bare bones of a draft to a finished novel. You'll also hear from guest speakers including published alumni, Faber authors and senior Faber editors.

It's also a chance to build a writing group that you can take with you into your future writing career. Over the course of the six months, you and your classmates will give feedback on each other's work, honing your own editorial eye as well as helping them develop their stories, and will be there to cheer each other on as you approach the finishing line of your first draft.

Is this the right course for me?

This is an advanced course, designed as a practical alternative to a Creative Writing MA. Accordingly, it's not suitable for writers who would consider themselves complete beginners. That doesn't mean you need to have taken courses before, but it does mean that you need to feel confident that you're ready to start work on your novel. You will also need to have an idea for it – it might be one you've been working on for a while, or it could be something a little more unformed that you're hoping to pin down with the help of the course.

In weekly workshops, we'll cover everything from the first conception of an idea through to getting words on the page, narrative structure, character development and editing. You'll be learning from our experienced Course Directors, as well as guest tutors including top authors from Faber and elsewhere, editors, agents and industry professionals – and, of course, the fourteen other dedicated writers in your class.

You'll receive one-to-one feedback from your tutor and you'll also have 10,000 words of your novel workshopped in class during your peer presentation sessions.

If you're looking to start a career as a writer, there is no better way to get going on the road to publication than to meet the people who make that happen every day. Hear talks from the likes of Faber CEO Stephen Page and Faber commissioning editors, then put your work in front of London's top literary agents once the course is over in the much-anticipated anthology.

    This course consists of twenty-one three-hour daytime sessions from 10.30–13.30 and six two-hour guest or one-to-one sessions from 14.30–16.30. All sessions take place on Thursday.

Course Programme

Session 1

Thursday 29 September, 10.30–13.30

Creating Ideas & Planning...

Session 2

6 October, 10.30–13.30

Character, Part One...

Session 3

13 October, 10.30–13.30

Character, Part Two...

See remaining sessions

Course Programme

Writing a Novel (Daytime)

Session 1

Thursday 29 September, 10.30–13.30

Creating Ideas & Planning

Session 2

6 October, 10.30–13.30

Character, Part One

Session 3

13 October, 10.30–13.30

Character, Part Two

Session 4

20 October, 10.30–13.30


Session 5

27 October, 10.30–13.30


Session 6

3 November, 10.30–16.30

Narrative Structure and Guest author

Session 7

10 November, 10.30–13.30

Point Of View

Session 8

17 November, 10.30–16.30

Voice and one-to-ones

Individual one-to-one feedback, 2.30–4.30 p.m.

Session 9

24 November, 10.30–16.30

The Passage of Time and one-to-ones

Individual one-to-one feedback, 2.30–4.30 p.m.

Session 10

1 December, 10.30–16.30

Openings and Guest Editor

Session 11

8 December, 10.30–13.30

The Role of the Narrator

Session 12

15 December, 10.30–13.30


There will be a Christmas break between sessions 12 and 13

Session 13

5 January 10.30–16.30

Sustaining momentum and Guest Tutor

Session 14

12 January, 10.30–13.30

Revising and Editing

Session 15

19 January, 10.30–16.30

Research and Exposition, Guest Tutor

Session 16

26 January, 10.30-13.30

Naming Characters and Finding Titles

Session 17

2 February,10.30–16.30

An Outline of Writing Genres and Guest Tutor

Session 18

9 February, 10.30-16.30

Life Writing and One-to-Ones

Individual one-to-one feedback takes place 2.30–4.30 p.m.

Session 19

16 February, 10.30–16.30

Preparing your Manuscript and Writing Cover Letters, Guest Tutor (Editor and Agent),

Session 20

23 February, 10.30-16.30

Synopses and Pitches then one-to-ones

Individual one-to-one feedback takes place 2.30–4.30 p.m.

Session 21

2 March, 10.30-1.30

Conclusion & Next Steps



Nikesh Shukla

Nikesh Shukla is an novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of Coconut Unlimited (shortlisted for the Costa First Novel...

More About This Tutor
Nikesh Shukla

Shelley Weiner

Shelley Weiner is an acclaimed novelist, short-story writer and journalist who has, over the years, established a reputation...

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Shelley Weiner

How to Apply

Places on this course are limited and keenly contested, so you'll need to apply. When doing so, we'll ask you to provide two documents:

Covering letter

Reading your application, tutors are looking to get a sense of you as a writer and as a member of the group. As such, we don't have specific requirements from your covering letter, but it's a good opportunity to tell us what you want to get out of the course, what sort of writing experience you've had, why you've chosen us and why you've decided to do it now.

Prose sample (1,000 words max)

Your sample does not have to be a complete story, and it doesn't have to be from the novel you want to write on the course – just representative, so the tutors can get a good idea of what you'll be working on. If you're planning on writing first-person comic sci-fi on the course, don't send your omnisciently narrated historical mystery!

Submit your application

That's it! We'll aim to respond to all applications within ten days of the application deadline.


Bloomsbury House

74 - 77 Great Russell Street

London WC1B 3DA


While we hope this course will take place in our London offices as normal, we’re always monitoring the situation with COVID-19, both nationally and locally, very carefully. We have extensive Covid safety measures in place in Bloomsbury House and are continuously re-evaluating these according to and beyond current Government guidelines.

Should any change in situation regarding the virus require us to move a portion of your classes online, we now have both the expertise and the technology to do so without disrupting your experience with us. If we do need to pursue this option, using video-conferencing software and our bespoke virtual classroom, we will also offer a discount for the affected sessions.

Find out more about our Covid safety measures and refund policy here.

Joanna gave me confidence in my writing and the tools and framework I needed to get going, making a task that had felt insurmountable seem achievable. I can't recommend her or the course highly enough.

Kate Maxwell, author of Hush

Writing a Novel

I've taken a lot of writing classes from a lot of different organizations in and since university, and this was by far the best. Sabrina (especially) was the best writing tutor I've ever had.


Writing a Novel

It was the most productive six months of my life.


Writing a Novel

I loved the course and thought Sarah was an excellent tutor - passionate, insightful and engaging. I learned a lot and thought the structure was excellent.


Writing a Novel

I really enjoyed the course, especially the opportunity to hear from authors, agents and publishers about what the industry is truly like [...] Their inside advice was truly invaluable.

Writing a Novel

It changed my life.

Writing a Novel

Overall it was a completely amazing course and run with such integrity and passion by Richard. I learnt an enormous amount and am very sad indeed that it has come to an end.

Writing a Novel

The course content, in terms of teaching from Richard Skinner, was excellent [...] The lessons, and friendships, will last.

Writing a Novel

making a task that had felt insurmountable seem achievable. I can't recommend her or the course highly enough.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time do I need to commit to this course outside of the classes?

We usually say you’ll need to set aside five to seven hours per week, outside of class time. This is for your own writing – sometimes in response to a particular task your tutor has set you, but generally just for making progress on your novel – and for reading the extracts of the students being workshopped the following week. If you have more time available for writing, that’s absolutely brilliant. But five to seven hours will keep everything ticking over nicely.

How do you allocate tutors? Can I request a specific tutor?

The tutors read all the applications and they, along with the Academy team, then put together class lists based on a couple of factors. There may be students writing on subjects or in genres that the tutors feel they’d be helpful with, or with writing samples that particularly excite them. We’re also looking to put together groups who will complement each other and provide a broad range of experience and interest. So for example, we’ll try and avoid a situation where fourteen of you are writing crime and one of you is writing epic fantasy.

You’re more than welcome to request a specific tutor and we’ll do what we can to facilitate that if it’s possible, once those other considerations have been taken into account.

I'm available for both the day and evening version of the course – can I apply for both?

Absolutely – you’ll just need to submit two separate applications. And if you’re available for either, but have a preference for one, we ask that you indicate that on your application as it will be helpful when we’re putting together potential class lists.

I'll need to miss a couple of sessions because of other commitments. Does this matter?

Not necessarily! It’s often the case that students have to miss a session over the course of the six months. You’d just need to let your tutor know in advance so that they can give you any handouts you’ll miss, and you’ll usually find that your classmates will be happy to share notes afterwards too. Having said that, if you know you’d be missing more than two consecutive classes, that’s a little different. Get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise.

How many other people will there be in my class?

There are fifteen students per class.

How often will I get feedback on my work, and will I have one-to-one time with my tutor?

You’ll receive feedback from the entire group on 10,000 words of your novel – this is usually done in two separate peer presentation sessions of 5,000 words, spaced out during the six months. These discussions are led by your tutor. You’ll also have a one-to-one with your tutor towards the end of the course.

Will I get access to agents and editors as part of this course?

Yes. You’ll have guest speaker sessions with at least one agent and editor during the course, and these slots include a Q&A session where you’ll be able to ask them your own questions. You’ll also submit an extract of your novel to us at the end of the course for inclusion in our anthology. We send this to a long list of UK literary agents, and they’ll be able to contact you directly if they’d like to see more.

I already have a literary agent. Can I still take this course?

Yes, absolutely. We’ve had previously published and currently agented authors take the course before, for many reasons – whether you’re looking to build up your technical knowledge, or changing genre, or just feel in need of the structure of a course and the camaraderie of a group, we’re more than happy to see an application from you even if you’re at the more experienced side of the scale.

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