Writers On Writing / Make 2020 the year you write a novel, with Emily Maguire

Emily Maguire’s course, Year of the Novel (phase 3), is now online and open to writers across NSW and Australia. We chatted to her about what writers can expect from the 8-week course.

For the first time, writers from across NSW and Australia can enrol in Year of the Novel. What have you learned from teaching this course over so many years?

The importance and power of a writing community! Having a space in which you can share your breakthroughs and frustrations, discuss craft and technique and swap strategies for staying motivated is invaluable.

Do writers need to have a completed draft of their novel to enrol in Phase 3?

A first draft isn’t necessary, but you should have written enough of your novel that you have a sense of where it’s going and what you might need to do to get it finished. Messy first drafts with big chunks missing, novels without endings, and manuscripts made up of hundreds of fragments in the rough shape of a novel are all welcome! 

In your opinion, what’s the key to going from an initial idea to a cohesive manuscript?

The key is to ditch the idea that novels are born fully-formed and embrace the fact that novels take time and effort to become the best versions of themselves. Every brilliant novel ever written started as an unsatisfying splatter of  words on the page (or screen). It’s what the writer does next (and next and next and next) that makes all the difference. 


Emily Maguire Year of the Novel

Emily Maguire is the author of five novels and three non-fiction books, and an experienced teacher and mentor to young and emerging writers. Her novels have been translated into 12 languages and her articles, essays and reviews have been published widely. She is a 2010 and 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelist of the Year and the recipient of the 2011 NSW Writer’s Fellowship. She is currently Writer in Residence at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney.

Join Emily Maguire for her online course, Year of the Novel – Phase 3, starting Tuesday 15 September. Enrol now>>

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