Novel Year Program

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Note: Acceptance to the course is required before registration

This intensive workshop is geared toward writers with either a draft of a novel ready for revision, or a novel substantially under way (approximately 75 pages already written). Novel Year participants will experience the rigor and structure of an M.F.A. program, but with less of an expense and time commitment. Working with a published novelist, ten participants will experience the rigor and structure of an M.F.A. program as they workshop an entire novel-in-progress.

Other benefits include:

  • Consistent writing deadlines, studying aspects of craft, and being part of a supportive community
  • Panels and Q&As with experts in the industry, including literary agents, and visiting writers
  • Free access to the Studio at The Writer’s Center during the full year (valued at $1,200)
  • Participating in a public reading at The Writer’s Center

Each participant will have the opportunity to present 300 pages for critique. These can be continuous pages or revisions. The class will meet every other Thursday from Sept. 12 – December 19, 2019, and again from January 9 – June 25, 2020, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., for a total of 21 sessions.

Although the class is primarily a workshop format, there will be discussions of craft and occasional exercises geared toward helping participants think more deeply about their own projects. These will include discussions of character, dialogue, point of view, plot, setting, and a variety of other subjects of concern to novel writing. In the spring, the focus will turn to publishing, including writing a successful query letter and synopsis. Occasional guest speakers will include published writers, a literary agent, and others involved in the publishing industry.

To be admitted into the program, potential candidates will need to submit:

  • A one-page cover letter detailing their interest in the program.
  • A twenty-page writing sample from their novel in progress. (Submissions must be double spaced and use a standard font.)

Admissions will be on a rolling basis, and the number of participants will be limited to ten, so participants are encouraged to submit early. Send your submission to

About Susan Coll

Susan Coll is the author of five novels, most recently The Stager---a New York Times and Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice. Her other books include Acceptance---which was made into a television movie starring Joan Cusack---Beach Week, Rockville Pike, and Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post,,, and The Millions. She worked as the Events and Programs Director at Politics & Prose bookstore for five years.



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