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  1. The Novel Studio
Courses

The Novel Studio

The Novel Studio offers 15 selected students the unique opportunity to work exclusively on their novels for a year.

Course overview

  • Have you always wanted to write a novel?
  • Do you want time to develop your writing in a supportive, professional environment?
  • Are you interested in establishing links with agents and publishers?

Six modules, taught by professional writers and editors, guide students through the tricky terrain of novel writing, from plotting, planning and researching a novel, through to character development, pacing, narrative voice and style, revisions and editing.

By the end of this year-long novel writing course, students will have developed the skills needed to draft their novels and the necessary materials to interest an agent in their work: three polished chapters, a professional-standard synopsis and a blurb. Students are also trained for public readings, culminating in a prestigious showcasing of their novels-in-progress to industry guests.

Students are also prepared for the presentation of their work to agents and publishers.

With visits from established writers, agents and editors, the course has strong links with the publishing industry and an impressive publication record.

City has been running courses in Creative Writing for over a decade and offers students provision from the earliest stages of writing through to MA level.

How to apply

Applications will open on 18th January 2019, with a deadline by 5pm on Friday 26th April 2019.

Interviews will take place on 4th, 5th and 6th June 2019, unless otherwise stated. Successful candidates will be notified by 20th June 2019.

To apply, please email:

  • 2,000 words of your own fiction (short story or novel extract)
  • Copy of CV

to the Course Director Emily Pedder

Eligibility

Prospective students must be willing to have their writing workshopped as part of the group and to engage actively in critiquing the work of their peers.

Ideally students will also have completed a creative writing course.

Acceptance onto the course is determined by interview and a novel extract of no more than 2,000 words.

English Requirement

Applicants must be fluent in written and spoken English for discussion and application of the materials throughout the course.

Course outline

Taught over 30 weeks (two evening classes a week), The Novel Studio offers you the opportunity to learn through an exciting and diverse teaching methodology.

Classes can take the form of workshops, masterclasses and tutorials, all of which have been designed to take your writing skills to the next level.

Term 1: Autumn Term

Research and development

no altClass date: Tuesday
Class time: 18:30 - 20:30
No. of classes: 10 weekly classes
Assessment: tentative synopsis of novel

This module looks at the processes involved in beginning a novel, and allows students time to develop their ideas within the group.


Fictional forms

nullClass date: Thursday
Class time:
18:30 - 20:30
No. of classes: 10 weekly classes
Assessment: a planning document for structuring the novel

Students will be encouraged to consider their work within a narrative framework by exploring the structures of varied literary and commercial novels.

Term 2: Spring Term

Workshop one

no altClass date: Tuesday Class time: 18:30 - 20:30
No. of classes: 10 weekly classes
Assessment: first chapter of novel (minimum 2,000 words, maximum 3,000)

This module supports students as they begin to write the first draft of their novels. Students' work is circulated in advance and then constructively critiqued in weekly workshops, facilitated by the tutor.


Fictional techniques

nullClass date: Thursday Class time: 18:30 - 20:30
No. of classes: 10 weekly classes
Assessment: four scenes demonstrating four of the techniques covered, maximum 500 words each e.g. character, dialogue, action, point of view.

This module enables students to apply craft-based techniques to the development of their own novels.

Term3: Summer Term

The publishing industry

no altClass date: Tuesday Class time: 18:30 - 20:30
No. of classes: 10 weekly classes
Assessment: Updated synopsis and covering letter for agents/publishers.

This module familiarises students with the publishing industry and culminates in an end-of-year reading from students' work-in-progress to invited industry guests.


Workshop two

Class date: Thursday Class time: 18:30 - 20:30null
No. of classes: 10 weekly classes
Assessment: second three chapters of the novel (minimum 2,000 words, maximum 3,000)  NB The first chapter will already have been marked in the Spring Term, but it must be submitted with this assessment for the tutor's reference.

This is a continuation of Workshop One with specific reference to revising and editing.

Masterclasses

There will also be termly masterclasses by visiting writers, editors and literary agents.

Assessments

The assessment for The Novel Studio is based entirely on course work, which covers aspects of all work undertaken throughout the year.

Tutorials

There are opportunities for one-to-one tutorials with the tutors at designated times throughout the course. Students can use this time to discuss their work in progress, share their ideas and plans and consider the deadlines set for their work.

Workshops

Care will be taken to ensure that students are allocated an equal amount of time for their work to be discussed. Work will be circulated to the group in advance (2,000 words maximum per turn) and then feedback applied in the group, facilitated by the tutor. Students must try and adhere to the rotas and deadlines set by the tutors.

Next Steps

City has been running courses in Creative Writing for over a decade and offers students provision from the earliest stages of writing through to MA level.

Several graduates from the the Novel Studio have gone on to study MAs in Creative Writing at various UK institutions. Some have also gone on to PhD level. For more on published authors, visit the alumni page.

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