Novel Year Program

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NOTE: Please wait to be accepted into this course before paying.

Complete your novel and prepare for publication! Working with a published novelist, ten participants will experience the rigor and structure of an M.F.A. program as you 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
  • Visits from published authors
  • Visits from two literary agents
  • Participating in a public reading at The Writer’s Center (either in-person or on Zoom, as conditions permit)

This intensive workshop—now in its sixth year—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). 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 Tuesday from Sept. 8 – December 15, 2020, and again from January 5 – June 22, 2021, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., for a total of 21 sessions. In the spring, a public reading of work will take place at The Writer’s Center or on Zoom.

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, two literary agents, and others involved in the publishing industry. Read about this class in Poets and Writers Magazine.

To Apply:The Application period is closed. 


Because of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, this class will be conducted on ZOOM with possible in-person sessions later in the year as conditions permit. In an effort to encourage participants who do not live in the DC-area—as well as those who do not wish to participate in an in-person class—we will offer a hybrid approach in 2020-2021 so that it will be possible to participate either virtually or in person.

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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