Begin Your Novel Course

Kerry Hadley-Pryce is the editor of The Blackcountryman magazine. Her first novel, The Black Country, published by Salt Publishing in 2015, was part of her MA Creative Writing, for which she gained a distinction and was awarded the Michael Schmidt Prize for Outstanding Achievement 2013–14. She has had several short stories published in various anthologies and online at Fictive Dream and The Incubator. Her second novel, Gamble, also published by Salt Publishing in June 2018, was shortlisted for the Encore Second Novel Award 2019.

Next course starts: 23rd February 2021

Note: We are currently experiencing a high demand for our online creative writing courses. We therefore recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment. 

(If you booked a course with Rebecca D’Arcy or Kerry Hadley for a January 12th start date, these courses are going ahead as scheduled. We just removed them from the site as they are full and to prevent overbooking)

Price: €150

Duration: six weeks

Course is strictly limited to 12 participants.

You don’t have to be based in Ireland to take the course. We accept students from around the world.

You don’t have to be online at any particular time or day. The course is carried out through email correspondence, so you can read the notes whenever you wish. There will be weekly notes and assignments over the course of six weeks. Your tutor will read each assignment and provide written feedback.

So, you think you want to write a novel. Great! This Begin your Novel writing course is designed to help you navigate the thorny pathway to putting pen to paper (or fingertip to keyboard) and keeping going. Maybe you have an idea or have even started writing your novel, but feel you need inspiration or encouragement? This six-week course will show you techniques and guidance to get going and keep going. Each week a new module will build on the week before using tasks, assignments and resources to keep you on track and help you find your characters, work on your plot and develop your voice. More importantly, it will help you to think like a novelist. Your tutor will provide you with personal feedback on the assignments you submit each week

Week One:     Thinking like a novelist

Maybe you have an idea for a novel, or think you might have. Perhaps you think it’s less an ‘idea’ more a series of thoughts. Or maybe you are quite sure, it’s definitely an idea. Whatever the case, this week, we get serious about it and get started. This week is all about ‘thinking like a novelist’, getting our heads in the game, getting real about things. You’ll start planning how you’re going to do this.

Week Two:    Plotting your plot

We’ll examine what is meant by ‘plot’ and what the constituents of various plots are. We’ll consider where you want to take your reader and how you think you might get there. We’ll consider pace and time, and ‘narrative drive.’ You’ll create a ‘bare-bones outline’ of how you (initially) see your plot developing.

Week Three:  Character Creation

We’ll investigate how to create characters, and what it is that will make your readers want to read about them. We’ll look at the difference between character-driven narratives, and plot-driven narratives.

Week Four: Finding your voice, taking chances and flexible thinking

We’ll experiment with narrative voice and structure – perhaps you might be guided just a little bit out of your comfort zone. Be prepared to try out different voices and different viewpoints so that you can begin to see what techniques work well for your characters or plot and for your novel as a whole.

Week Five: Mapping

By now you’ll have a much better idea where you’re going with your novel, so this week, we’ll be looking at openings and closings and you’ll be mapping a more detailed timeline or a framework of the novel as a whole. You might have some idea of some scenes you think you might want to include. Where will they happen in the overall plan, and what will the lead up to them be? How will it all hold together?

Week Six: Get a grip and move on

In this final week, it’s time to get hold of your novel and prepare a chapter plan. By now you’ll know where you’re going with it and how you want it to move. You’ll show that you’ve found your voice, and will be able to sense that your novel is ready to be written.

To find out more about how the online courses work, or if you have any further queries, you can check out our Frequently Asked Questions or email us at info@creativewriting.ie

Our cancellation/refund policy may be viewed here.

PAYMENT/REGISTRATION: Please note that we do not require you to fill out a registration form. Instead, please click on the ‘Check Out Securely’ button below. During the payment process you can input your name and email address which we will use to register you on the course. If you’d prefer to use another email address for the course correspondence or if you’re paying on behalf of another student, when you have processed the payment, please send the relevant email address and name for the course correspondence to info@creativewriting.ie. Once you have processed the payment, we will email you within 24 hours to confirm receipt.

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BANK TRANSFER/LODGEMENT: if you don’t have a card to pay for the course, you can pay through bank transfer or bank lodgement. Please email us at info@creativewriting.ie for our bank details.

POST: We no longer accept cash, cheque or money order payments by post.