Finish Your Draft (Online)

Advanced | Fiction
Find the focus and drive to finish your novel with a supportive group of fellow writers and a great tutor to keep you on track.

The application deadline for this iteration of the course is midnight on Sunday 12 September.

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

The application deadline is
13th September 2021

A natural next-step from Writing a Novel, this intensive ten-month online course is for writers who have at least 15,000 words of a novel and need the space, structure and discipline to get to the end.

Benefit from our newly upgraded platform and content as you get your head down and write with the support of a small group of fellow novelists and a nurturing tutor (who’ll also know how to crack the whip when necessary). Each month you’ll receive valuable feedback from your group on up to 7,000 words of your novel while finetuning your own editorial sensibilities by critiquing theirs. You’ll also have monthly group webinars with your tutor and benefit from their close analysis of participants' work. At key points during the course, you’ll have one-to-one feedback from your tutor in the form of personal Zoom tutorials and audio notes.

Access exclusive monthly live chats with some of the best authors, agents and editors around, along with a bank of downloadable learning resources for each session – tutor notes and podcast lectures, guided reading and analysis, and exercises and prompts to keep you writing. You’ll have dedicated private forums and chatrooms to discuss your work in confidence 24/7, along with moderator support around-the-clock; everything you need to get those words down on the page.

After an introductory first session, your monthly sessions will look something like this:

Day 1: Session opens; your tutor introduces the focus of the month and recommended reading

Days 2–15: Hard at work on your work-in-progress, forums available 24/7 for discussion and feedback

Day 16: Deadline for posting your new 5,000–7,000 words to the forum

Days 16–22:Writers read and critique their peers on new work forum

Days 23–26: Your tutor posts a close read of three people’s work in terms of this month’s focus. The whole group can read and add comments in the forum

Day 27: Live webinar with your tutor, and they introduce next month’s focus

Please note: This course is initially only open to Faber Academy alumni. This doesn't mean you can't apply if you’re not an alumnus, but first priority will be given to alumni.

To apply, simply send us a single document containing the following:

1—A covering letter, detailing your writing experience, what creative writing courses you have been on, and what you are looking to get from the course;

2—A synopsis of your novel;

3—The first 5,000 words of your work-in-progress.

Normal Faber Academy alumni discounts do not apply to this course.

27th September 2021 - 18th July 2022

Availability: In stock

15 Places

Session 1: Share Your Story (opens Monday 27 September)
Get to know each other's novels so far, with a focus on honing your synopsis and the art of giving good critical feedback.

Session 2: Get Better at Place (opens Monday 25 October)
Learn the secrets of sharpening the description in your draft by using more specific language, calling on the senses, and adding colour and movement.

Session 3: Get Better at Body Language (opens Monday 22 November)
Analyse the non-verbal communication in your novel and learn how to write better body language so that your characters do more than raise their eyebrows, nod and smile.

Session 4: Tune Up Your Voice (opens Monday 20 December
Consider your choice of vocabulary, sentence and paragraph structure, and how you can use them for effect and to create rhythm and pace

Session 5: Get Better at Texture (opens Monday 17 January)
How to use dialogue and description to slow down or speed up a story, and the importance of 'doing' sections in your narrative.

Session 6: Keep Readers Turning the Page (opens Monday 14 February)
Effective ways to grab readers at the start of a chapter and leave them wanting more at the end, and subtle ways to use suspense.

Session 7: Find Your Midpoint (opens Monday 14 March)
Is the structure of your novel still working? Discover ways to transition from the beginning to the end of your novel and ensure it has a shape that feels right on micro and macro levels.

Session 8: Shape Your Chapters (opens Monday 11 April – lasts five weeks to include an Easter break)
How to use chapter breaks to give rhythm to the reading and shape the sections of your novel for pace and pleasure.

Session 9: Find a Satisfying Resolution (opens Monday 23 May)
Look back at the beginning of your novel to start thinking about its end; how to set up the finish.

Session 10: Move Beyond the Manuscript (opens Monday 20 June)
How to make the leap from finished draft to the next stages in the publication process

Course ends Monday 18 July 2022. You'll have the option to join our alumni area, free of charge, to continue working with your group in your own private room, and will be invited to include an extract of your work in an anthology sent to over a hundred literary agents.

Click here for more information +


Tom Bromley is an author, editor and ghostwriter. He has written ten books under his own name,...

"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