The complete six-week guide to writing your novel with Jill Dawson

Online course

Jill Dawson Creative Writing tutor (1).jpgJill Dawson Creative Writing tutor (1).jpg
Louise Doughty landscape - tho not so recent.jpgLouise Doughty landscape - tho not so recent.jpg
Peter strauss.pngPeter strauss.png

In this highly practical, structured six-week course, novelist and renowned writing mentor Jill Dawson will work with you in a series of webinars and discussions. Offering techniques, inspiration, encouragement and the discipline needed to make this year the year you write that novel you’ve long dreamed of writing. 

This online course is suitable for writers at all levels, whether you have an idea for a novel and a desire to write it, or whether you’ve already started writing and want direction on how to progress. Every Friday from March 5 - April 16 (no class April 2);  2-4pm

Each Friday afternoon Jill will explore a key aspect of writing a novel.  The sessions will be a weekly injection of energy and inspiration to help you get the novel inside you onto the page. You will learn how to create, improve and shape your novel into something really special. You will be part of an exclusive writing community, able to share ideas with each other via a dedicated class page, and enjoy input from special guests: best-selling author Louise Doughty and top literary agent Peter Straus.

Week One, March 5: Starting a novel & making a plan: Where do our ideas come from?  Can we agree what a novel is? Why do I want to write this novel? What do I need to develop it and keep it going? How much planning should I do? What research do I need?

Week Two, March 12: Character development & voice: Techniques of characterisation: Who is my central character? What about two handers, ensemble novels, and minor characters? What does a protagonist need to carry a whole novel? Voice: First person, past tense, present tense and how do I decide?

Week Three: March 19: Guest tutor Louise Doughty: The best-selling author of nine novels, including Apple Tree Yard (2013), which was adapted into a highly successful BBC television series. Louise is also a popular writing tutor and has written the non-fiction writing guide, A Novel in a Year.  Louise will talk about her own methodology and you will have the opportunity to put questions to her to really dig deep into Louise's writing process and benefit from her vast experience of tutoring new writers.

Week Four, March 26: The tricky middle & keeping going: Making time for writing; tricky plot problems; research for novelists; dialogue and monologue; when and who to share work with; and what does a writer need to get to the end of a novel?

Week Five, April 9: How to get published, with Peter Straus: Guest talk and Q&A with top literary agent Peter Straus, managing director of Rogers, Coleridge & White. What is an agent looking for?  How to best approach and secure one, as a debut author.  This session offers a chance to put your questions to an industry professional and find out what an agent is looking for in a new writer, and how to make sure your submission is as polished as it can be. Peter’s clients include Kate Atkinson, Anne Enright, Orlando Figes, Sophie Hannah, Andrew O'Hagan and Ian McEwan

Week Six, April 16: Redrafting, troubleshooting & next steps: Revisiting your synopsis, how to keep going, how to make time for your writing and celebrate your progress.  A chance to reflect on what you've achieved and plan your next steps. 

About the course leader: Jill Dawson is an award-winning novelist and poet, author of ten novels. Her most recent The Crime Writer was about Patricia Highsmith, and The Language of Birds, about the murder of the nanny in the Lord Lucan story.  She has taught Creative Writing in a variety of settings and is the founder of Gold Dust Mentoring Gold Dust is a team of top writers (including Louise Doughty and Sarah Hall) who have helped a huge number of first time writers to reach publication and writing success.

The course will be accessed via a unique link to a webinar platform - no downloads or specific technical set-up is required by participants. 
To register to attend click on 'book online' in the information box. Please note, you will need to be logged in to see the booking button.
For questions about this course please contact courses@thetimes.co.uk

Photo credit Louise Doughty: Charlie Hopkinson

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