Edit and Submit 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 Tuesday 31 March 2020.

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

The application deadline was
1st April 2020

Over twelve weeks with an experienced editor and leading literary agent, learn the skills to turn your rough draft into an accomplished novel that captures the reader's attention from the start and satisfies it at the end. By seeing your manuscript from the perspective of the publishing industry you’ll have a unique opportunity to hone it before submitting to agents.

For eight sessions, Rose Tomaszewska will lead a discussion on key ideas and strategies from plotting to characterisation to style. You’ll workshop your own writing and stress-test the decisions you’ve made, exploring what works and what could be made stronger in your novel.

You'll then have three sessions with Sam Copeland, providing invaluable tips and tricks to help your manuscript stand out when it comes time to submit, before a last jointly-run session to kickstart your next steps.

If you've written a first draft you might know that it can be better but not how. This course will give you the clarity and confidence to tackle an edit - not only for your first novel but for your future work too. Completing a draft is a great start; editing is what makes a professional writer.

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

29th April 2020 - 17th July 2020

Availability: In stock

15 Places

Classes take place 7–9pm on a Wednesday evening.

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

Session 1, 7–9pm, Wednesday 29 April: Story
What story are you telling?
Choose the focus, arc and point of your story; discuss genre, making and breaking tropes and where it fits in the market.

Session 2: Plotting, Part One
Why does this happen?
Work out your opening actions and questions and how to set them up.

Session 3: Plotting, Part Two
How do we resolve this?
Fine-tune the consequences, twists and resolutions; balance your pacing and tension.

Session 4: Setting
Where are we?
Dive into your setting, its period, place and presence in the story, thinking about research, description and contrast.

Session 5: Characters
Who are they?
Confront your characters, their believability, backgrounds, motivations and relationships.

Session 6: Style
What’s your voice?
Refine your tone and rhythm, polishing sentence structure, imagery and vocabulary.

Session 7: Chapter One
What will grab my attention?
Look at your opening and the first ten per cent in detail and how it sets up expectations and excitement for the novel.

Session 8: Technicalities and open
Are you ready?
Present your manuscript in the best way with paragraphing, punctuation, grammar and setting out dialogue. This session will also leave time to address questions raised by students before concluding.

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 Rose Tomaszewska)
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...


Rose Tomaszewska has worked in publishing for over eight years, helped to set up riverrun, the literary imprint of Quercus and is now Senior Commissio...



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