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From First Draft to Final Draft

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Start: 15th March 2017 - 6:00pm

Finish: 31st May 2017 - 8:30pm

£1250.00

Writers & Artists and critically acclaimed novelist and teacher William Ryan have joined forces to present a ten-week course dedicated to helping you transform your first draft into a final draft. The course will look at essential elements of the writing craft and how you can apply them to your own manuscript, including writing exercises that directly involve the material of your novel-in-progress. 

Evening sessions take place each Wednesday for ten weeks (excluding two reading weeks), and last for two and a half hours (6pm-8.30pm). There will be opportunities at the beginning and the end of the course to get to know the other writers, as well as William himself.

Course Features

- 25 hours of advice from a combination of leading authors and publishing industry professionals designed to help you take your work forward towards publication.

- Feedback on your novel’s premise and sample chapters from a leading literary agent and William Ryan, with the chance to formally pitch the revised versions to publishers and agent.

- 3 critiques, each of up to 1,000 words of your work, assessed and workshopped by William Ryan 

- Sessions punctuated by takeaway practical exercises based around your own writing, each designed to improve your work and enhance its chances of being published 

- Exclusive discounts on W&A products

- Opportunity to meet like-minded authors

- One copy of the 2017 edition of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook (RRP £20)

Course Breakdown

Week 1: Wednesday 15th March 

18.00-19.15: Introduction to the Course 

A week prior to the course all attendees much submit a synopsis and sample of your writing (1000 words) to writersandartists@bloomsbury.com

We'll be joined by Hellie Ogden, literary agent at Janklow and Nesbitt who, along with William Ryan, will have read and considered the synopses and samples of writing that you have submitted. Together they will discuss your work and identify the particular areas that the course will focus on.

19.30-20.30: Basic Building Blocks of a Novel

William will provide an overview of the basic building blocks necessary for writing a successful novel and how to use them – with particular attention to Point of View, Tense, Theme & Dramatic World. The perspectives from which you tell the story will influence how the reader interacts with it and the dramatic world and themes you choose will provide the boundaries and impetus to your narrative. We'll explore the options and consider how we can use them to our advantage.

Extras: At the end of Week 1 you will be asked to submit a 1,000-word piece of writing (which can be an extract from your novel) in which you introduce your central character. This will be discussed in Week 2.

Week 2: Wednesday 22nd March

18.00-19.15: Testing Your Central Character

Central characters lead your story and often connect with its setting and reveal its underlying themes. We'll be looking at whether the central character you've chosen to tell the story is the right one, and whether there are improvements we can make to them and how they connect with the story.

19.30-20.30: Workshop

William will workshop a selection of the character introductions submitted after Week 1 – revealing the areas of strength and showing where improvements can be made.

Extras: At the end of Week 2 you will be asked to submit a 1,000-word piece of writing (which can be an extract from your novel) in which you show the relationship between a subsidiary character and the central character. This will be discussed in Week 3.

Week 3: Wednesday 29th March

18.00-19.15: Testing Your Subsidiary Characters 

Your story is a world that needs populating – have you chosen the right characters and how will they work together to help tell the story you want to tell? How will you create, and manage, the conflicts that will be behind the decisions that will drive the narrative? Are your subsidiary characters creating obstacles and challenges for the central character to overcome, or do they have other roles?

19.30-20.30: Workshop

William will workshop a selection of the submitted character relationship pieces with you – revealing the areas of strength and showing where improvements can be made.

Extras: At the end of Week 3 you will be asked to submit a 1,000-word piece of writing (which can be an extract from your novel) in which a key plot development occurs, together with a brief description of where this fits into your story. This will be discussed in Week 4.

Reading Week

Week 4: Wednesday 12th April

18.00-19.15: Research, Atmosphere & Setting

Author Emma Chapman will discuss Research, Atmosphere & Setting and how you can make sure the backdrop to your story works to complement your narrative and enhance it, as opposed to overwhelming it and slowing it down.

19.30-20.30: Workshop

William will workshop a selection of the submitted research, atmosphere and setting pieces with you – revealing the areas of strength and showing where improvements can be made.

Extras: At the end of Week 4 you will be asked to submit a 1,000-word piece of writing (which can be an extract from your novel) in which you use research, establish atmosphere and/or establish the setting, together with a brief description of where this fits into your story. This will be discussed in Week 5.

Week 5: Wednesday 19th April

18.00-19.15: Testing the Structure of Your Story

Readers expect stories to be told in certain ways. Author Ian McGuire will explore the basic structural requirements, how genre influences them and how you can play with and subvert readers' expectations.

19.30-20.30: Workshop

William will workshop a selection of the submitted character relationship pieces from Week 4 – revealing areas of strength and showing where improvements can be made.

Extras: At the end of Week 5 you will be asked to submit a 1000-word piece of writing (which can be an extract from your novel) in which a key conversation takes place, together with a brief description of where this fits into your story and what the characters motivations will be. This will be discussed in Week 6.

Reading Week

Week 6: Wednesday 3rd May

18.00-20:30: Scenes, Pace & Tension

William will discuss how to choose the best scenes to tell your story and how to arrange and present them in order to ensure your story moves forward and takes your readers along with you.

19.30-20.30: Workshop

William will workshop a selection of the chapters submitted at the end of Week 6  – revealing the areas of strength and showing where improvements to the pace and narrative drive can be made.

At the end of Week 6 you will be asked to submit a 1,000-word piece of writing (which can be an extract from your novel) in the form of a chapter, using the kind of beginning and ending you would normally use for a chapter together with a brief description of where this piece fits into your story. This will be discussed in Week 7.

Week 7: Wednesday 10th May

18.00-19.15: Dialogue

Author and screenwriter Simon Booker will explore the art and function of dialogue, exploring how it should be carried and the ways in which it can engage the reader and reveal more than it initially appears to about the story and the characters.

19.30-20.30: Workshop

William will workshop a selection of the submitted dialogue pieces with you – revealing the areas of strength and showing where improvements can be made.

Extras: At the end of Week 7 you will be asked to submit a 1,000-word piece of writing (which can be an extract from your novel) that marks the beginning of a story and also a 150-word pitch. These will be discussed in Week 8. 

Week 8: Wednesday 17th May

18.00-19.15: First Chapters, Synopses & Elevator Pitches

First chapters are where the story and the characters are introduced, as well as your abilities as a storyteller. We're going to explore ways in which first chapters can engage the reader from the outset- whether they're an agent, publisher or just reading for pleasure.

19.30-20.30: Workshop

William will workshop a selection of the submitted first chapters with you – revealing the areas of strength and showing where improvements can be made. Even if your chapter and pitch isn't chosen for the workshop, all participants will receive William’s thoughts on their work in writing.

Extras: At the end of Week 8 you will be asked to submit a 1000-word piece of writing (which can be an extract from your novel) that you have found problematic or would like to discuss, together with a brief description of where this fits into your story. This will be discussed in Week 9.

Week 9: Wednesday 24th May

18.00-20:30: Editing & Polishing 

This is the process during which your novel is refined and perfected. With editor Sophie Orme, we're going to explore the essential skills necessary to review your writing objectively, preserve the best of it and enhance the parts that need work.

19.30-20.30: Live Edit

William will live-edit a selection of the pieces of writing submitted – revealing where improvements can be made and how changes can be implemented

Extras: At the end of Week 9 you will be asked to submit a 1,000-word piece of writing (which could be an extract from your novel) as well as a synopsis, and asked to prepare a one-minute pitch in preparation for the pitching session in Week 10.

Week 10: Wednesday 31st May

18.00-19.15: Introducing Your Novel to the World of Publishing

Two experienced publishers will discuss what they look for in prospective authors and what authors can expect from them, how the publishing process works and how submitted novels change from first drafts to published books.

19.30-20.30: Submission

Literary agent Hellie Ogden will join William and Alison Hennessey, Editorial Director of Bloomsbury's new crime imprint Raven Books, to hear your pitches and give their feedback on your submitted synopses and sample writing.

Extras: This final session will conclude with a glass of wine and the opportunity to review the course and ask any final unanswered questions you might have.

Event details

The event will be held at Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP. 

Your workshops begin at 6.00pm prompt, finishing at 8.30pm. 

Speaker Bios

William Ryan’s Captain Korolev Novels have been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, the Ellis Peters and John Creasey Daggers and the Irish Crime Novel of the Year (twice). William teaches on the Crime Writing Masters at City University in London. His latest novel The Constant Soldier has been described by AL Kennedy as “a nuanced, complex and gripping tale of guilt and love that captures the chaos at the end of World War Two."

Hellie Ogden is a literary agent at Janklow and Nesbit. Hellie is looking for series crime, psychological thrillers, commercial women’s fiction, young adult and children’s debuts and accessible, charming literary fiction. She enjoys novels with exotic settings, bold twists and enticing protagonists. In non-fiction she is looking for unique personal stories and work that has a large social following with cross-media potential. She represents cook books from aspiring foodies, as well as popular culture projects, helping to build her clients’ profiles across different platforms. Hellie featured in the Bookseller Rising Stars list in 2013 and was also shortlisted for the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize in 2014.

Emma Chapman is a British writer, currently living in North Yorkshire.  She studied English Literature at Edinburgh University, and completed an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, where she was taught by Susanna Jones and Andrew Motion. Her first novel, How To Be A Good Wife, was published internationally to critical acclaim, with reviews in The Guardian, The Financial Times, and The New York Times, amongst others.  It was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and was chosen as a Target Book Club title. Hilary Mantel called it ‘an impressive debut from a writer who shows insight and power’. Her latest novel, The Last Photograph, about a British war photographer’s experiences during the Vietnam War.

Novelist and screenwriter Simon Booker writes prime time TV drama for the BBC, ITV and US TV. His credits include BBC1’s Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Holby City and The Mrs Bradley Mysteries starring Diana Rigg; ITV thrillers The Stepfather and The Blind Date; and Perfect Strangers. He has written plays for BBC Radio 4, worked extensively as a producer in TV and radio and as a journalist.

Without Trace is his debut crime novel, the first in a series of psychological thrillers featuring Morgan Vine, a single mother and investigative journalist who specialises in miscarriages of justice. Mark Billingham describes the book as “A cracking debut. A real page-turner with a compelling central character. Let’s hope we see a lot more of Morgan Vine.” The second in the series will be published by Bonnier Zaffre in June 2017. Without Trace has also been optioned by Mainstreet Pictures, a leading production company specialising in high quality TV drama.

Simon lives in London and Deal. He is a volunteer facilitator in restorative justice, working with offenders at HMP Brixton. His partner is fellow crime writer Melanie (MJ) McGrath. They often discuss murder methods over breakfast.

Sophie Orme is an editor with over ten years’ experience in the publishing industry, working at a senior level at two major houses. She has commissioned and edited fiction in a wide range of genres including crime and thriller, reading group, historical fiction, upmarket women's fiction and literary novels. Among the many authors she has worked with are award-winning crime writers Ray Celestin, Tom Franklin and Malcolm Mackay, bestsellers Kate Morton and C. J. Sansom and Orange/Baileys Women’s prize shortlisted authors Charlotte Mendelson and Ann Weisgarber.

Ian McGuire grew up near Hull and studied at the University of Manchester and the University of Virginia. In 2007 he co-founded the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing, and he is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of North Texas. He has published two novels: Incredible Bodies in 2006 and The North Water in 2016. The North Water was long-listed for the Man Booker prize and named a New York Times Notable Book.

Booking & Payment

The price for this course is £1250*.

Bookings can be made by either clicking on the ‘Book’ buttons at the top and bottom of this page, or by calling 0207 631 5985. Please do call us if you would also like to discuss the possibility of paying in instalments.

*Price inclusive of standard VAT.


Testimonials

Writers & Artists have held a successful 10-week course in conjunction with the National Academy of Writing designed for authors looking to refine their novel and recently held an intensive six week writing course for authors of children's and YA fiction. Some testimonials from each of these events below: 

The Novel: Writing is Re-Writing’: 10-week course in partnership with NAW

‘The course exceeded all my expectations.’ E. Hall

‘Fantastically well prepared and terrific delivery and incisive stuff, a really helpful programme and tips and tools of the trade- the notes will be useful forever.’ Writer from the NAW Course, 2016

‘The mixture of writing, workshops and talks proved highly effective, and the workshopping of the opening parts of a novel was particularly valuable.’ Margaret D’Armenia

‘Very useful and beneficial- getting me back motivated to re-write the novel.’ Writer from the NAW Course, 2016

£1250.00