Writing A Novel (Evening)

Advanced | Fiction

A comprehensive six-month writing course for the serious writer, with access to some of the biggest names in publishing. If you're thinking about a creative writing MA, consider this practical alternative.

The application deadline for this course is midnight on Thursday 31 December 2020.

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

The application deadline was
1st January 2021

Looking for the daytime version of the course? Click here


The structure and support you need to write the first draft of your novel – plus a whole lot of smart people to talk to

Benefit from the structure of regular workshops covering everything from the first conception of an idea through to getting words on a page, narrative structure and style and re-writing

Learn from our experienced Course Directors, as well as guest tutors including top authors from Faber and elsewhere, editors, agents and industry professionals – and, of course, the fourteen other dedicated writers in your class

One to ones – personalised attention to your project from your tutor

Get it done. This is a flexible alternative to a creative writing MA, designed for people who are prepared to engage fully in the hard work involved in writing a novel. You'll need to be prepared to put in the writing hours outside of class – we recommend at least 5–7 per week – but you'll have a supportive tutor and your fellow students to keep you motivated.

Start your career. There is no better way to get going on the road to publication than to meet the people who make that happen every day. Hear talks from the likes of Faber CEO Stephen Page and Faber commissioning editors, then put your work in front of London's top literary agents once the course is over in the much-anticipated anthology

Get in touch, or see below to find out more.

'It was hard work. But I not only completed my novel, I also learned how to navigate the choppy waters of the publishing world. I will be forever grateful for the experience.'

SJ Watson, author of Before I Go To Sleep

While we intend for this course to take place in our London offices as normal, we will be monitoring the situation with COVID-19 carefully. Should any local or national lockdown make it necessary to move a portion of your live classes online, we will do so using video-conferencing software and our bespoke virtual classroom, with a discount for the affected sessions applied. These are unusual times but your experience on the course – as part of an engaged, supportive group and with a tutor who has all the facilities necessary to deliver a comprehensive syllabus available to them – is paramount to us, whether your weekly meeting is taking place at Faber HQ or on Zoom. We're confident we have the skills and infrastructure in place to run this kind of hybrid course, should it be required. If you have any questions about this, click the 'Register interest' button above and send us a message.

Applying for Writing A Novel

Places on this course are limited and keenly contested, so you'll need to apply. Luckily, it's very easy.

Reading your application, tutors are looking to get a sense of you as a writer and as a member of the group. That's why there are two parts to your application: a prose sample and a cover letter. Your prose sample should be 1000 words (maximum), and should be representative of your voice: if you're planning on writing first-person comic sci-fi on the course, don't send your omnisciently narrated historical mystery! Your sample does not have to be a complete story, and it does not have to be from the novel you want to write on the course – just representative, so the tutors can get a good idea of what you'll be working on. The cover letter, well, we keep that quite vague – tell us what you want to get out of the course, what sort of writing experience you've had, why you've chosen us, why you've decided to do it now.

There's more information here.

Once you've got those documents ready, click 'Apply Now' above. You'll need to create an account, and then you'll be asked to upload your documents. You can edit and alter your application right up until the moment we pass them on to the tutors by logging into your account.

We aim to let applicants know whether they have a place on the course within ten working days of the application deadline. If you have a reason that you need to know sooner than this, get in touch and we can discuss expediting your application

For more information, message us or call 0207 927 3827.

26th January 2021 - 29th June 2021

Availability: In stock

36 Places

This course consists of twenty-two two-hour evening sessions and six full-day sessions. All evening sessions will take place on Tuesdays from 7pm–9pm. Full-day sessions will take place on Saturdays from 10am–5pm. There will be one-to-ones in the morning of Saturday sessions (sessions 18 and 23).

Please note: There is an Easter break between sessions 12 and 13.


Session 1—Tuesday 26 January: Introductory Session

Session 2—2 February: Creating Ideas/Planning

Session 3—Saturday 6 February 10am-5pm: 'Capture a character'

Session 4—9 February: Character

Session 5—16 February: Point of View

Session 6—23 February: Guest Tutor

Session 7—2 March: Voice

Session 8—Saturday 6 March 10am–1pm: Workshops. 2pm–4pm Guest Tutor. 4pm–5pm Debrief

Session 9—9 March: Dialogue

Session 10—16 March: Story vs Plot

Session 11—23 March: Conflict

Session 12—30 March: Conclusion of phase one

—Easter Break—

Session 13—13 April: The Role of the Narrator

Session 14— Saturday 17 April, 10am-5pm: Workshops and Guest tutor

Session 15—20 April: The Passage of Time

Session 16—27 April: Guest tutor

Session 17—4 May: Pace

Session 18—Saturday 8 May: One to ones in the morning, workshops in the afternoon

Session 19—11 May: Guest tutor: Faber & Faber CEO, Stephen Page

Session 20—18 May: Setting

Session 21—25 May: Guest tutor

Session 22—1 June: Research and Exposition

Session 23—Saturday 5 June: One to ones in the morning, workshops in the afternoon

Session 24—8 June: Life writing

Session 25—15 June: Editing

Session 26—Saturday 19 June 10am-5pm: Selling your novel; synopses, pitches

Session 27—22 June: Guest tutor

Session 28—29 June: Round-up sessions, next steps

PLUS! The Faber Academy anthology launch party in September 2021 at the fabulous Artworkers' Guild! Join top London literary agents and editors, and toast your fellow students as you launch your work into the world. Meet and greet, or just celebrate the end of this stage of your writing journey.

Faber Academy scholarship

The Faber Academy scholarship affords two writers a year the opportunity to join Writing A Novel for free. For more information about the Faber Academy scholarship, click here

Click here for more information +


Joanna Briscoe is the author of the novels Mothers and Other Lovers, which won the Betty Trask...


Richard T Kelly is the author of three novels published by Faber and Faber: Crusaders (2008,...


Sarah May is the highly-acclaimed author of 7 novels, including The Nudist Colony, which was...


Nikesh Shukla is an novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of Coconut Unlimited...

'It was hard work. But I not only completed my novel, I also learned how to navigate the choppy waters of the publishing world. I will be forever grateful for the experience.'
  • S. J. Watson, author of Before I Go to Sleep
I really felt part of the Faber family, and continue to do so. This literary experience will always sit with me, and I will always be grateful to Faber Academy for the great experience.
  • Duncan
The people in my class were wonderful and the class was well composed - we were all writing different things, which reduced competitive feelings and exposed us to new ideas. The lessons, and friendships, will last.
  • Writing a Novel Student



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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