Edit and Submit Your Novel (Online)

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 5 September 2021.

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

The application deadline is
6th September 2021

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 Catherine Cho, 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).

30th September 2021 - 16th December 2021

Availability: In stock

15 Places

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

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

Session 1 – Thursday 30 September: Introduction to Editing
How do we start?
Start thinking big and taking confident steps.

Session 2 – 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 3 – Plotting
Why does this happen?
Work out your actions, consequences, twists and resolutions.

Session 4 – Pacing
Slow or fast?
Tighten your conflict, tension and contrast in pace in both plotting arcs and individual scenes.

Session 5 – Setting
Where are we?
Dive into your setting, its period, place and presence in the story, thinking about research, description and contrast.

Session 6 – Characters
Who are they?
Confront your characters, their believability, backgrounds, motivations and relationships.

Session 7 – Style
What’s your voice?
Refine your tone and rhythm, polishing sentence structure, imagery and vocabulary.

Session 8 – 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 9 – What is an agent? (with Catherine Cho)
Learn about the publishing industry and the role of an agent in an author’s career

Session 10 – Preparing the Pitch (with Catherine Cho)
How to approach agents and present the strongest query package

Session 11 – The Publishing Journey (with Catherine Cho)
Questions to ask when querying and what happens after signing with an agent .

Session 12 – Conclusion (with Catherine Cho and Rose Tomaszewska)
And your next steps.

Click here for more information +


Catherine Cho is a literary agent and founder of Paper Literary. After a background in law and...


Rose Tomaszewska has worked in publishing for ten years, helped to set up riverrun, the literary...

"There's no point staring at a blank page waiting for inspiration to strike - to get your creative muscles working you need to start writing, reviewing and sharing your work."

Helen Shipman