A rose in bud - Faber Academy scholarship

Announcing… the Faber Academy scholarship

[Edit, 04.12.2017: full information about eligibility and how to apply is now available here.]

We are delighted to announce the new Faber Academy Scholarship starting in 2018.

Two free places a year on the flagship six-month Writing A Novel course will be awarded to writers from under-represented backgrounds whose voices might not otherwise be heard.

“This is a brilliant moment,” said Ian Ellard, head of Faber Academy. “It is absolutely vital to our literary culture that courses like Writing A Novel are accessible to as many people as possible, telling stories about the world as it really exists. I’m just really excited.”

To apply, prospective students will be asked to provide a synopsis of their proposed novel and a short letter explaining why it might go unwritten without the scholarship. Applications will then be anonymised before being sent to course tutors.

This announcement forms part of a broader initiative across Faber & Faber to address under-representation in the publishing industry. The new inclusivity scheme includes a 20-week internship for BAME candidates in association with Creative Access and outreach programmes in partnership with New Writing North, Arts Emergency and IntoUniversity.

For full information on eligibility criteria & how to apply, click here: The Faber Academy Scholarship

Faber Academy are hiring – Join us!

[CLOSED] We’re looking for someone brilliant… is it you?

  • Super-organised?
  • Composed?
  • Bristling with energy?
  • Obsessed with writing and writers?

PLEASE NOTE: Applications for this position are no longer being accepted. Head to www.faber.co.uk/careers for more opportunities.

Faber Academy want you. We are looking for a new Academy Assistant to support every aspect of our thriving creative writing school: setting up the rooms for our classes and events, taking bookings, and keeping our customer data up to date.full-report-graphic

But that’s not all.

This is a varied, hands-on role: you will be doing everything from making coffee to drafting copy. You will know how to make writers feel at home and you can prioritise your tasks through the day so that every customer has an equally excellent experience. You will have some experience of working in a customer-facing role, either in retail or in hospitality, and you will need to be confident taking phone calls and answering customer enquiries from the outset. You will also have an interest in writing, though that doesn’t necessarily mean you are a writer yourself.

We’re a small team and our job is different every day, so you will need to be flexible, motivated and creative in how you approach your work.

What you don’t need, necessarily, is a degree. In fact, at this stage, we’re not even looking for a CV.

If all this sounds like you, click CLICK HERE and fill in a Google form to get things started.*

Any questions, call Ian on 0207 927 3827.

Applications for this position will close at 5pm, Monday 13th March, 2017. This is a full time permanent position.

*We’re using a Google form so that your application can be anonymised. We’ll keep your data for six months. See our privacy policy for more information.

Introducing our Manuscript Assessment programme

It’s been a whirlwind week here at Academy HQ.

We’ve been absolutely thrilled to see three super-talented students become the talk of London Book Fair. First, Felicia Yap had the rights to her novel, The Day After Yesterday, snapped up at auction. Then Nick Clark Windo’s high concept thriller, The Feed, was pre-empted in a six-figure deal with Headline, twenty-four hours after it was submitted to them. And then Chloe Esposito’s thriller trilogy, Mad, Bad and Dangerous To Know set the stands alight, selling in multiple territories for a seven figure sum. Go team!

Meanwhile, it’s finally time for us to tell you about something new for us, too. Because we’re expanding.

Introducing… our manuscript assessment programme.

full-report-graphicWe’ve been talking for a while now about offering manuscript assessment services. Since the Academy opened in 2009, our students have been asking about that next stage, once their course has finished and their novel is written. And we’re confident now that we’re in the best possible position to accompany them on that next part of their journey; to offer practical, supportive advice on editing and submitting their manuscripts. And to offer that same support to writers for whom, for whatever reason, a course just isn’t the right fit.

We’ll be offering three types of professional reader’s report, designed to provide assistance at each stage of a manuscript’s pre-publication life. There’s the How’s My Driving? report, for those writers who have an incomplete manuscript and want no-nonsense advice about whether it’s working or whether it’s worth having a rethink before they carry on with the rest. The Full Report is for those with a finished draft (whether its a first or a twentieth!) who are looking for a rigorous, comprehensive assessment – we think of it as our full MOT. And then for authors with a manuscript they’re ready to send to agents, there’s our Submission Review, offering feedback on a covering letter, synopsis and the first fifty pages of a manuscript.

There’s more information (a ton of it, actually) about the programme here – but just give us a call if you want to talk to a person about it all: 0207 927 3827. We’re ever so excited.


Applying for Writing a Novel? Six things to think about…

Six things to think about when applying for a creative writing course

If you’re applying for Writing A Novel in London, you need to put together 1000 words of prose fiction and a cover letter. But it’s not necessarily as easy as it sounds. Here are some tips on what you should be thinking about.


The tutors are looking for a certain amount of confidence in the voice – that can be in any genre, but it’s the proficiency that they’re looking for.


The passage need not be a full story, nor an extract from the book you hope to write on the course – just 1000 words of prose fiction that represent you best as a writer.

What kind of writer are you?

Your cover letter should detail your relationship with writing – do you write often? Next to never? Have you done courses in the past?

What kind of writer do you want to be?

You should also tell us what you hope to get out of the course – do you want to complete a draft? Meet new writers? Just get going to start with?

Anything else?

Include anything else that you think might be of interest to give the tutors a sense of how you will fit into their group.

And finally… What’s it for?

The application process is just about finding the right group for you – group dynamic is such an important part of the course that we have to make sure that everyone fits together properly. It’s not about streaming, or picking the ‘best 15 pieces’. What would that even mean anyway?

And remember you can always call us on 0207 927 3827 or email academy@faber.co.uk if you need to.

What can I expect from my online writing course tutor?

A typical online writing course workstation

Your tutor is a vital element of your online writing course experience – but what will they be doing for you?

During your online course your tutors will work within the virtual classroom to:
  • Read your posts and monitor your progress via the forums most days.
  • Answer all queries about assignments posted to the forums within 24 hours.
  • Monitor the quality of peer-to-peer critiquing to ensure you all receive effective and useful feedback in each session.
  • Sum up every session’s discussions with a final post to each topic forum addressing general issues raised during the fortnight and your responses to assignments.
  • Offer you a one-to-one Skype or phone tutorial in Session 2 to discus your novel idea.
  • Provide around 10 minutes (about 1,500 words) of individual audio feedback on the opening of your novel and your developing voice in session 4.
  • Give individual written feedback on your research interests and questions on the publishing industry in Sessions 9 and 12.
  • Host at least five live web-chats at key points during the course. These are archived so that you can read online or download to read offline.
  • Answer specific queries about assignments by email.
  • Write a detailed final report of up to 2,000 words on your final submission.


How We Teach Writing Online

If you’re considering taking our Getting Started: Beginners’ Fiction online course, here are some useful guidelines from our online teaching partners, the Professional Writing Academy. 

We have extensive experience in teaching writing online, and we’re passionate about the importance of developing close-knit communities of supportive writers; a disciplined, productive, tightly focused group of practitioners dedicated to learning how to develop their own work by constructively criticising that of others. We’re confident this approach works, particularly for people new to writing – but because the role of the online tutor and the online learning journey may be different to what you expect, we’ve written these notes to help answer some of the questions our students often ask.

Who are the tutors?

We’re all published and practising writers. We understand the demands of the world of publishing because we work in that world week-in, week-out; and we know what you need to do as new writers in order to develop your own writing practice because we were once new writers too.

We are also experienced online teachers, working in universities in the UK, US and Middle East as well as with recreational writers. We recognise the need for accessible and enjoyable learning for writers not looking for a formal academic qualification, so we developed these courses to match the level of learning with your needs, at a pace that fits in around your day-to-day life.

How is online learning different from face-to-face learning?

An online course is a distinct experience and is not designed to replicate face-to-face learning. We know from our experience of teaching writing that online courses offer many advantages and often a faster progression than face-to-face study.

Our online courses are tightly structured, yet flexible enough to fit around your day-to-day life. The course materials are available 24 hours a day and past sessions remain open throughout the course, so that you can re-visit podcasts, videos and tutor notes whenever you need. Your work, and others’ responses to it, are archived on the site, so you can look back on your progress. Above all, you get far more individual feedback from your peers, and the chance to develop your own community of fellow writers. And, of course, you can study wherever you are in the world.

Are online creative writing courses as effective as face-to-face creative writing courses?

We find many of our best writers emerge from our online teaching, rather than face-to-face teaching. This is because online learning encourages you to develop a regular writing practice, which in turn improves your judgement and self-confidence. Our experience has shown us that this approach works, particularly for people new to creative writing.

What does my tutor do?

Your tutor devised your entire course. He or she created the structure, planned the progression of the topics (the pace of the course), and researched and wrote the materials needed to guide you from an initial idea to a well-developed start of a novel. Our tutors’ ability to do this is based on their own extensive practice as writers as well as their experience of university teaching online and face-to-face. Tutors are continually revising and developing the learning materials in the light of student responses – both in forum conversations and in the work they produce.

Why do we have to critique each other?

It’s almost impossible to edit your own work when you’re starting your writing career, but by critiquing others, you become able – over time – to turn a sharp lens on your own work and become a much better editor of your own writing. Critiquing others creates self-sufficient writers who can switch between their ‘creative’ and ‘editorial’ brains, a vital skill. Put simply, it helps you develop a keen eye for what works, and what does not.

Peer critiquing is a pedagogically sound method. We know that when students actively engage in critiquing, they learn about their own skills as a writer more quickly and soundly – because they’re actively putting those skills into practice. This is why we base our approach to teaching and learning around peer critiquing. We’ve perfected this method through the face-to-face and online university writing courses we’ve developed and taught.

The value of critiquing your peers will become increasingly apparent as you work through the sessions, but it includes receiving thoughtful individual feedback to every exercise you do, becoming part of a close-knit group of fellow writers you can trust to give honest and insightful critiques, and feeling supported through common writing hurdles, from lack of time to writer’s block.

And while you can’t take your tutor with you after the course, you can take this group of supportive peers. Many of our alumni are still ‘meeting’ virtually to share their work many years after completing their original online creative writing course.

Why is it useful to look at other people’s feedback as well as my own?

It’s extremely valuable to read feedback for fellow participants. The points raised will inevitably be relevant to your own writing: if not now, then in the future. And since all feedback is available to everyone and is archived on the site, it’s easy to look back whenever you need to find tips that you can apply to your own work.

Don’t you get more feedback in face-to-face teaching?

In most face-to-face courses tutors don’t give any written or recorded feedback. Though the tutor sits in on workshops, he or she does not lead the discussion, but rather chairs it. Our online creative writing courses ensure that you receive personalised detailed feedback (from your fellow writers) on your work in every session and on every writing exercise, as well as on longer pieces of writing you develop. All this feedback is archived on the site, so you can refer to it over and again as you progress through the course.

Can I have tutor feedback?

We’ve built in exactly the right amount of peer feedback you need to progress through the course and achieve your writing goals. And, perhaps more importantly, to continue developing as a writer once you leave the course. We’ve based this on our experience of teaching writing online at all levels, from recreational courses to Masters programmes.

Within academic circles there is continuing debate about tutor feedback – there’s a fine line between making someone dependent on their tutors and giving them the confidence and competence they need effectively to judge their own work. Your tutor is guiding you towards an independent writing practice. You learn by following the exercises he or she has devised, by writing according to the prompts set, by reading as directed, and by responding to the work of your fellow participants and being critiqued in return.

If you’d like to work one-to-one with a tutor, you might consider a mentoring scheme. This is where we pair you with an author, writing tutor or literary editor working in your genre or field of writing. This option is most appropriate if you’ve completed one of our longer courses, which equip you with the skills and daily practice required to work at a more advanced level. Do get in touch if you’d like to discuss this option.