Maybe you’ve been in a great short story or poetry or essay workshop. What about the novel? It’s hard to find a workshop that focuses on the novel even though it is arguably, after the movies, the mostest of all contemporary art forms. In any case, you haven’t made a movie but you do have a novel, or at least you’ve labored long and hard on sprawling document that just maybe could, if you just had the right sounding board, come together or fall apart in just the right way. How many writing teachers who are published novelists are willing to run part of the marathon with you? Miah Arnold is.
The novel workshop is a workshop for people with novels at least half completed upon the start date of the class. This is not a novel writing workshop – it is a workshop for people who have already written their novels, and who are looking for considered feedback. This workshop has two kinds of participants: those who want to workshop their novels (5 spaces), those who just want to read and learn from watching the others in the workshop (5 spaces). Unlike most other workshops, including novel workshops, we’ll read entire works up to 400 double spaced, 12 point font pages (speak to me if you have a question related to this). Reader participants will not write novels, they will read and contribute to discussion, and learn from discussions about the tricks and trades of writing a novel.
Writer participants class cost, $800: Writer participants will turn in at least 150 pages of a novel, preferably a finished novel. Each participant in the class will read the whole novel, comment on it as a whole, and read a short revision in January. This workshop is shorter per meeting day than a regular worksohp (2 hours) because we’ll only discuss one work per class, and because students will spend much longer out of class reading your work.
Reader participants cost, free: Readers get to read the work of working writers, discuss their work, and learn from class discussions about the process of writing a novel. They are encouraged to sign up for the spring workshop as writers, but not required to. Please put the following discount code in so you won’t be charged, but will still be signed up: reader
We will meet mostly every other week, with the exception of the last three meetings which will meet every week.
Novel: Discuss a Novel, TBA
Discuss a novel we’ve all read ahead of time. Work out how a good novel should play out. Class rules. Introduce ourselves and our project.
Discuss First Novel. Turn in 2 to 3 page notes. One student comes in with a presentation on an aspect of novel writing troubling them.
Discuss Second Novel
Discuss Third Novel.
Discuss Fourth Novel.
Discuss Fifth Novel. (We could consider making this a 3 hour class, with two novels discussed to skip week Seven)
December 14 (does not skip a week!)
Read 30 page revisions of Novel 1 and 2 .
Read 30 page revisions of Novel 3 and 4.
Read 30 page revisions of Novel 5
Miah Arnold is the author of the novel Sweet Land of Bigamy, and the essay “You Owe Me” which appeared in Best American Essays of 2011. She has taught writing workshops in a wonderful variety of locations and forms since 1998. She received her Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She is the director of Grackle & Grackle Writing Enterprises.