Edit Your Novel

Advanced | Fiction
A first draft is a rough block of marble: there's a work of art in there, but to find it you're going to need some specialist tools.

The application deadline for this course is midnight on Sunday 8 September 2019.

This course is selective, so you`ll need to apply. For more information, click here.

The application deadline was
9th September 2019

Over twelve weeks with an experienced editor and a leading literary agent, learn everything you need to shape and chisel and smooth your first draft into the hardworking story you imagined when you first set out. Ask and answer crucial questions about the choices you have made – Why the first person? Why the present tense? Where did your characters grow up? Why did you start where you started? Why end where you end? – until you know your story inside out and back to front, then get invaluable insider tips and tricks to help your manuscript stand out when it comes time to submit.

The course runs from 7–9 p.m. on a Thursday night here at Bloomsbury House, and the fee includes a professional manuscript report by an industry reader so that you can measure your progress.

To apply, please upload a covering letter, along with your manuscript (or as much of it as you have ready).

3rd October 2019 - 19th December 2019

Availability: In stock

12 Places

Classes take place 7–9 p.m. on a Thursday evening.

Session 12 will be taken by Alison and Sam together; sessions 1–8 will be taken by Alison; and sessions 9–11 will be taken by Sam.

Session 1, 7–9 p.m., Thursday 3rd October: Introductions

What you're trying to achieve

Introducing yourself and your novel: what genre are you working in? What are the constraints? What are the freedoms? What are the market expectations?

Session 2: Narrators

Whose story is this?

Is your narrator omniscient? Limited? Authorial? Embedded? And – crucially – why?

Session 3: Characters

Motivation, presentation and development.

Session 4: Style

Description; scene-setting; use of dialogue; style and subject (sentence rhythm, use of imagery, vocabulary)

Session 5: Structure Part I

Beginning the novel; the ascending narrative arc

Session 6: Structure Part II

The descending narrative arc – and twists!

Session 7: Pacing

Conflict and tension

Session 8: Technicalities

Paragraphing; punctuation and grammar; setting out dialogue.

Session 9 (with Sam Copeland): Approaching agents

How to get it right – every time

Session 10: What do agents actually do? (with Sam Copeland)

And do I really need one?

Session 11: The Future Of Publishing (with Sam Copeland)

How it will affect you.

Session 12: Conclusion (with Sam Copeland and Alison Hennessey)

And your next steps.

Click here for more information +


Sam Copeland is an agent and director at Rogers, Coleridge and White. His first job in publishing was at Curtis Brown, where he started in 2001 and he...


Alison Hennessey has worked in publishing for fifteen years, beginning her editorial career as an assistant on the Penguin Classics list. She worke...



Come to one of the world's great literary cities and study creative writing at Faber Academy's home in historic Bloomsbury. Our London courses take place at Faber and Faber's offices.

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