Writing a Novel (Online)
A serious but flexible course for committed writers, with access to leading industry experts and round-the-clock support from our team.
What do these levels mean?
- Start Date
- Application Deadline
- Sunday 05 Sep 2021
£300 / month for 6 months and a £600.00 deposit
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It's time to write that novel
This online version of our flagship course, designed in collaboration with the Director of our Fiction Programme, Richard Skinner, has seen alumni such as Joanna Cannon, Asia Mackay and Deborah Masson go on to win awards and dominate bestseller lists. In fortnightly sessions, you'll learn everything 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.
Is this the right course for me?
This eight-month course is ideal for anyone trying to fit a serious commitment to writing around work, life or all of the above. Study wherever you are in the world, at a time that suits you, with a flexible fortnightly structure, expert tutor guidance and continuous moderator support each step of the way.
Join a small, supportive group of likeminded writers on our newly redesigned online platform as you work through our extensively updated content and enjoy exclusive guest sessions from editors, agents and some of our published alumni. Stay in contact during those writing wobbles, day or night, and benefit from regular feedback on your work from your classmates, as well as honing your editorial brain as you help their novels develop too.
As well as leading the group through regular webinars, your tutor will give one-to-one feedback with Zoom tutorials and audio notes, and a detailed written report on the first 15,000 words of your novel at the end of the final session.
By the end of the course, you’ll have a tight-knit group of writing colleagues you can continue working with in our thriving alumni area – and the opening of your novel should be in perfect shape to submit to our anthology, sent out to an extensive list of leading literary agents.
The course consists of thirteen 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 fortnightly session, you can work at any time of the day or night.
Opens Wednesday 22 September
Opens Wednesday 6 October
Opens Wednesday 20 October
How to Apply
All applications are assessed by the online tutor team. Applying is easy: simply click on the 'Apply' button above to start. You will need to create an account with us (or log into an existing one), then upload the following documents:
Covering letter and book recommendation
Your covering letter should detail your writing experience, whether you have done any sort of writing course before, what you hope to gain from the course and why you want to do it now. Please also include a book recommendation (up to 200 words): which novel would you recommend to another writer, and why?
Synopsis (250–750 words)
A brief outline of your idea for a novel – include details about character, setting and events, and a working title if you have one.
An example of your prose (approx. 1,000 words)
This doesn't have to be from your proposed novel, but it’s useful if it represents your voice and genre.
I took a rough plot outline to the Faber Academy Writing a Novel online course with the brilliant Tom Bromley. By the end of the course I had learnt so much and managed to complete a rough first draft.
By the end of the course I had learnt so much and managed to complete a rough first draft.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to have prior writing experience for this course?
This is an advanced course and so not suitable for writers who’d consider themselves beginners. That said, you don’t necessarily need to have taken any writing courses before – it’s absolutely fine if you’ve been writing on your own.
As well as making sure you’ve got a good grasp of the writing basics, our online team will also want to be sure your novel idea is reasonably developed – that doesn’t mean final or perfect or entirely plotted out (and it’s fine if it starts to change as you get further into the course!), but there should be enough potential story material there that you’ll be able to hit the ground running once the course starts. If they feel you might not be quite at that point, they may suggest you try our Kickstart Your Novel course first.
I'm going to be away for two weeks during the course. Will this be okay?
Generally speaking, this shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re not going to have reliable internet access where you’re going, or your plans mean you’ll have less time available, just let the online team know in advance and they’ll be able to set up early access to the relevant session so that you can work ahead or download course materials to take away with you. If you’re going to be unable to access the course for longer or more regular periods over the eight months, get in touch so we can advise how this might impact your experience.
How many hours per week do I need to dedicate to this course?
You’ll need to commit to at least five to seven hours each week in order to complete the practical tasks and work on your novel, and to read and give feedback on your peers’ writing.
How much contact will I have with my tutor?
You’ll have a lot of contact with your tutor in various forms during the course. These include three group Zoom webinars, recorded audio notes giving you one-to-one feedback on your first 2,000 words, two one-to-one Zoom tutorials, a written report on your first 15,000 words at the end of the course and three live Zoom Q&As with guest speakers and your tutor. They’ll also be in contact with the group during each fortnightly session via the forums.
How is the teaching delivered?
There’s a mix of formats used – recorded lectures, live webinars, written handouts, forum discussions, live tutorials and written exercises.
How much of my work will I get feedback on?
You’ll submit 1,000 words per fortnight to get peer feedback on. And you’ll have feedback from your tutor on your first 2,000 words near the beginning of the course and then the first 15,000 after the course has finished.
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.
Recommendations from Faber
Klara & the Sun
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Beautiful World, Where Are You
Sally Rooney, bestselling author of Normal People and Conversations with Friends, is back with her novel – available to pre-order now.
Love After Love
Meet the Ramdin-Chetan family: forged through loneliness, broken by secrets, saved by love. Winner of the Costa First Novel Award and featured on BBC2's Between the Covers
Founded in 1929 in London, Faber is one of the world's great publishing houses. Our list of authors includes thirteen Nobel Laureates and six Booker Prize-winners.Visit Faber