Hey, what's your favourite notebook? Here's mine.

A big workshop for your biggest ideas.

10 sessions | 7pm-9.30pm | $390 + HST
The Novel returns in 2018.


At one time or another, we’ve all thought, “one day I’ll write a novel.” THE NOVEL is the perfect place to make that “one day” today. Would-be authors and long form veterans are invited to join THE NOVEL. Instead of tackling a novel in its entirety, we will break this seemingly impossible task into smaller creative writing exercises that will breath life into plots, scenes and dialog. This process will give you the freedom to sharpen your characters, organize your thoughts, and give you a roadmap to completing your book: all in a no pressure, no homework environment.


THE NOVEL workshop is largely inspired by the following quote, attributed to E.L. Doctrow:

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

Super! Let’s write a novel, bit by bit. Whether you’ve got your plot and characters all mapped out, or you’ve just got a vague idea of where you want to go, we all start at the same place: at the beginning, with a story we want to tell.

The workshop is loosely divided into three sections: beginnings, middles and ends. This is a broad enough trail to take in the standard sights of the classic three-act structure, even if your structure or intention is off the beaten path. The following is subject to change based on group dynamic, but here’s an idea of what to expect.

Weeks 1-4 will focus on beginnings. Exercises will be used to help flush out the world of your story, the promises you make to readers, who your main character is, and what they want. (And a little bit about what you want out of it too).

Weeks 4-7 will focus on middles. This section is where conflicts arise, adventures take place, and characters evolve so your story gets where it needs to go. Exercises will explore structure, secondary characters, building tension, and laying the groundwork for a satisfying ending.

Weeks 8-9 will focus on endings. This is where secrets are revealed, and everyone learns to live happily ever after. Or, that there’s no such thing. Exercises will explore how to wrap things up, and connect your ending with the initial promises you made to readers (and yourself).

Week 10 will be our denouement: the wrapping up of loose ends. Before we say goodbye to your characters and plot, we’ll take a look back at what your writing to date reveals about your story. Exercises and discussion will be used to showcase some approaches to editing and revising your tale.

You will likely not write an entire novel over this 10-week workshop. But you will exit the experience with deep insights into where you want to go, how to tackle your opus, and many sketches that will become part of, or inspiration for, your first draft.

THE NOVEL uses the Amherst Writers & Artists method and is limited to 12 adult writers 17+.