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A novel by 2020? Top ways to make it happen

It’s that time again – the summer is coming to an end and there’s the panicky feeling that AGAIN the great novel you’d resolved to write in January is nowhere near finished. Or hardly started. Or maybe it’s still just an ephemeral gleam in your eye …

Don’t beat yourself up. Guilt and remorse won’t nourish creativity – unless you believe a breast-thumping woe-is-me litany of regret might engage readers. I think not.

What I do think is that positive action taken now will be a commitment to make it happen in 2015. You want to write? So do it! And here are my suggestions:

  • Sign up for a six month Write a Novel course. This is the prestigious Faber Academy’s tried, tested, and hugely endorsed practical engagement with the art of the novel. It includes a teaching component, peer reviewing and individual tutorials. There are a few weeks till the October 2019 deadline closes, and another chance to apply for the January 2020 intake. See:
  • Perhaps you’re not a group person. Individual mentoring may suit you better. If so, the Gold Dust Mentoring Scheme for Writers could be the perfect way to guarantee a year of supported inspiration. It’s competitive – a commitment on the parts of mentors (all experienced and acclaimed writers) as well as mentees. But as feedback shows, it can be a focused and enormously successful experience.

So there are your options – two of them, anyway. And out of the overwhelming array of creative writing help on offer at all levels and from all quarters, as least I can say with absolute confidence that these are tried, tested, and guaranteed to have the best interests of the writer – yours! – at heart. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


  1. I am interested to know if writing a blog can be considered as a good playground for developing a writing style/voice. I mention this because I don’t read that much fiction (I blame dyslexia) but I am quite interested in self expression – in all it’s forms.
    Is the invitation to ‘comment’ a dangerous door to trying to be everything to everyone?
    And, while I have your attention, is it considered good practice to have parenthetical thoughts? and how many levels of diversion are considered acceptable before … – hold on, (I’m anticipating a ‘there are no rules’ comment) – it’s OK I’ve stopped worrying about it.

    Comment by Peter Kavanagh on December 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm
  2. What interesting questions, Peter – and, if you can bear with me, I’d like to consider them and perhaps answer each in turn as ASK SHELLEY queries? Watch the space for my responses – and thanks so much for writing in. Do keep the questions coming! – Shelley

    Comment by shelleyweiner on December 17, 2014 at 9:27 am

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