Writing Novellas

Nick Earls

Saturday 9 November, 10am-4pm

Full Price: $195
Member: $135
Conc Member: $120

This course is SOLD OUT join the waitlist to be notified if a space becomes available. 

The novella has often been seen as an enigmatic in­-between form, adrift between the short story and the novel. But at a time when readers have never had more inputs, novellas might be a perfect fit. And, with a good understanding of the form and the right tools, they can be deeply rewarding to write.

Nick Earls has taken three years of PhD research into 21st­ century novella writing and publishing (for his award-­winning Wisdom Tree series) and distilled it into one day of key information and exercises exploring contemporary novella craft and markets. In a series of steps, participants will work on the development of a character­-based novella, applying the key features of the novella as tools. This process will examine aspects such as how to develop and reveal the protagonist in a novella, use of detail, managing plotlines, and managing the scope to get the most out of the form. By the end, participants will have a practical feel for novella tools, and will have applied them to develop a plan and voice for a novella.

This workshop will provide a defined set of practical writing tools and a clear understanding of what a novella is and what makes it work well. For emerging writers of fiction, it will provide what’s needed to explore the form, and develop their ability to write it. For published writers of novels and short stories, it will help sharpen their thinking around the novella, allowing them to approach novella writing in a more structured and more deliberate way.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  1. Develop a clear understanding of what sets a novella apart from other forms of prose fiction, and what attributes make it work best, allowing them to write compelling novellas;
  2. Experiment with and acquire writing tools that will allow them to get the most out of the novella form; and
  3. Gain an understanding of the place of novellas in the publishing industry, including an overview of approximately 50 competitions and publishing opportunities, allowing participants to prepare to put their novellas to the marketplace persuasively and strategically.

Participant Requirements

Optional: If participants have an early-stage novella idea or character they would like to work on, they are welcome to bring it and develop it in the workshop. Participants are welcome to start from scratch and apply the tools discussed to stimulus material that will be provided, initially in groups of three, but with the freedom to branch off whenever it feels right. Participants should consider bringing a fully charged laptop (or tablet) for writing on. There is also the option to write by hand and research by mobile device if preferred.

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