Novel Writing and Longer Works  Short Courses

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
Monday 15 January 2018 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £325.00 CS1207 Apply Now
Monday 30 April 2018 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £325.00 CS1207 Apply Now

Course Content

This Novel Writing and Longer Works short course focuses on the skills required to sustain a work of longer fiction.

Through exercises, lectures, selected reading and workshop discussion, you will develop an understanding of essential novel writing techniques:

  • Plot
  • Structure
  • Character
  • Dialogue
  • Pace and Setting

The second half of the course will include workshop/peer review of students' own writing.

Why choose the Novel Writing short course?

Our Novel Writing and Longer Works short course provides students with a solid foundation for developing and writing longer pieces of fiction.

Delivered over 10 weeks in the evening, with flexible start dates, you will be taken through practical exercises around each area of novel writing - all taught from our central London location.

The Novel Writing and Longer Works short course is ideal for people working or studying or anyone looking to develop their novel writing skills.

Tutor Info

Martin Ouvry worked as a musician in America and Europe before studying English and Creative Writing at UEA. His writing has won numerous awards including a final year prize for outstanding achievement within the School of English and American Studies (UEA BA), the Alumni Association’s prize for fiction (UEA MA), an Arts Council Writers’ Award, a Hawthornden Fellowship and a Wingate Scholarship.

Martin’s short fiction has been published in various anthologies and magazines, among them Tell Tales, Adrenalin, New Writing, A Little Nest of Pedagogues (in dual English and Chinese texts), The London Magazine and Esquire. His story ‘Forget-Me-Not’ was longlisted for BBC Radio 4’s Opening Lines. His play, Shakespeare: the Puppet Show, ran throughout the V&A’s Shakespeare Festival in April 2014. He has written three novels, and is at work on a fourth.
Martin has taught creative writing for the undergraduate programme at UEA, the Arts Council England, The Writers' Workshop, and has worked extensively with The Literary Consultancy. Most recently he has been teaching for The British Council Summer School Writing Programme in Thessaloniki. He has also reviewed books for the Sunday Times, the FT and the Observer.

Martin is currently writing a novel with the generous support of Arts Council England.


Some writing experience and an idea for a novel/novella/long short story.

English Requirements

Applicants must be fluent in written and spoken English.

What will I learn?

  1. Introduction: Why do we read/write? Short Story vs Novel
  2. Ideas: Writing a Synopsis
  3. Character
  4. Dialogue
  5. Structure
  6. Sense of Time & Place (Description)
  7. Narrative & Point of View + Chapter Workshop 1
  8. Genre & Style + Chapter Workshop 2
  9. Writers' Resources + Chapter Workshop 3
  10. What next? + Chapter Workshop 4

Course Objectives:

  • To identify and analyse your idea for a novel;
  • To define the techniques involved in longer fiction;
  • To understand the construction of a sustained piece of fiction;
  • To complete a working synopsis of your novel;
  • To complete the first chapter of your novel, 2000-5000 words in length;
  • To workshop students' chapters through group reading and discussion;
  • To learn to analyse and criticise constructively your own and others' work, as well as the work of "canon" authors.

Teaching and Assessment

Informal assessment will take place through group discussion, class room activities, and questions and answers sessions as guided by your tutor.

Recommended Reading

Mittelmark, H. and Newman, S, (2009)How Not To Write A Novel. London: Penguin

The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook (annual). London: A & C Black, or

Barry, T., ed. (annual) The Writers' Handbook. London: Macmillan

Mullan J. (12 Oct 2006) How Novels Work. OUP Oxford

Application Deadline: