Get Guidance on your Draft

Learn how to structure and develop the draft of your novel – whether it’s crime, fantasy, young adult, children’s fiction or any other genre.

The course is run entirely online: there are no “live” classes, tutorials or set times to log in, allowing you the flexibility to study wherever and whenever best suits you. You’ll receive regular one-to-one feedback on your writing, and can message your tutor at any time.


Delivery Online
Duration 14 weeks
Time Commitment 10-15 hours per week
Payment Options In full, or in three monthly instalments
Next Course Date 26th November

Why Choose Constructing a Novel?

How to Write a Book: Constructing a Novel course benefits

Flexible, 100% Online learning

Study completely online from anywhere in the world, with no face-to-face classes to attend or set times to log in.

Benefit from One-to-One Feedback

Receive continuous one-to-one guidance and feedback from an expert tutor, who you can message at any time.

Learn through a practical approach

Get practical advice from Penguin Random House authors & editors through articles, videos and podcasts.

Finalise your novel draft

Work through tailored writing activities designed to help you produce a firm outline and structure for your novel.

Refine your writing skils

Build an advanced knowledge of the techniques underlying fiction writing, and apply these to your draft.

Submit Your Work For Print

Have a 3,000 word extract from your prospective novel included in a limited edition Writers’ Academy anthology.

Why Choose Us?

Penguin Random House is the world’s largest publisher, and home to many of the world’s most popular and culturally admired adult and children’s authors, from debut writers to Nobel Laureates and international leaders.

Writers are at the very heart of our business, and all of the authors who have contributed to this course remember what it was like to first put pen to paper, and want to pass their writing tips and experience on to you.

At The Writers’ Academy, we pride ourselves on the quality of our learning materials, tuition and support, reflected by our ever-growing online writing community.

What Will I Learn?

How to Write a Book: Constructing a Novel course benefits

Build an entire story world

Create a compelling, original world for your novel – put your imagination to use.

Capture your reader’s attention

Keep your reader hooked by exploiting subtleties in your plot’s pacing and momentum.

Establish a strong narrative voice

Develop a unique tone and perspective that engages your reader from the outset.

Equip yourself with research skills

Dig beneath the surface to ensure your novel is believable, multi-layered and authentic.

Create an Effective Structure

Bring together the individual elements of your novel to create a coherent whole.

Get the publishing industry 101

Put all your questions to a Penguin Random House editor in our editor Q&A week.

Course Contributors

Throughout the online book-writing course you’ll have access to videos, podcasts, articles and interviews from best-selling and award-winning authors such as Ian McEwan, Joanne Harris and Sophie Kinsella.

In addition, throughout Week 10 of the course a Penguin Random House editor will be on-hand to answer any questions you may have about the book publishing process, and what goes on behind the scenes.

Additional Benefits

How to Write a Book: Constructing a Novel course benefits

Have your Work Reviewed by an Editor

As a student you can choose to get constructive feedback on your writing from an experienced Penguin Random House Editor, for an extra fee of £150.

Receive a Certificate of Completion

On completion of our Constructing a Novel writing course you’ll receive a unique certificate as proof of your achievement.

Take Advantage of Exclusive Discounts

All our writers receive an exclusive 40% discount on all Penguin Random House books, plus 25% off all ProWritingAid Premium licenses.

Weekly Overview

  • Week 1: So, What Kind of Novel?
    So, how to start writing a book? Discover the different forms a novel can take, and decide which of these you'll choose for your story.
  • Week 2: The Story World
    Develop an entire world. Use your imagination and learn how to write a story world for your novel.
  • Week 3: Research
    Discover the different types of research that writers undertake, and how proper research can ensure that your novel-writing is accurate, multi-layered and original.
  • Week 4: The Writing Process
    Avoid writer's block by establishing a routine that will assist you when writing a novel.
  • Week 5: Narrative Voice
    Narrative voice encapsulates both perspective and tone of voice. Find a voice for your novel that engages readers.
  • Week 6: Structure and Organising Your Ideas
    Having an effective structure allows you to finish a first draft and leaves you with nothing to worry about but the words. Look at a number of possible structures that you can apply to your novel and adapt to your needs.
  • Week 7: Choosing Your Words
    Investigate effective writing styles and consider how the language you use can have a distinct effect on your reader.
  • Week 8: Pacing and Momentum
    It is crucial that your plot captivates your reader. Learn how to sustain your reader’s attention for the duration of your novel.
  • Week 9: The Soft Middle
    Look in detail at the mid point of a novel; a common setback for many writers.
  • Week 10: The Last Chapter
    Start exploring how your novel will end.
  • Week 11: Beginnings
    Investigate the opening chapters of various different novels to help you perfect the beginning of your own story.
  • Week 12: Making Your Novel Cohere
    Bring together the completed elements of your novel to create a unified whole from disparate parts.
  • Weeks 13 and 14: Writing
    Use the remaining two weeks to work on longer extracts and to reflect on your writing before submitting it to be bound in a limited edition anthology containing an extract of each course participant’s work.

Is this course right for me?

It could well be – generally, students on our Constructing a Novel already have some experience of creative writing, and a firm vision of what they want their novel to be.

However, everyone’s different. Some will come to us with a number of words already down on paper, whereas others simply have the outline of an idea.

The weekly writing activities are designed to be flexible, meaning that your tutor can work with you on an individual basis, depending on the stage you’re at.

Still not sure? Feel free to contact an advisor

How does online study work?

How to Write a Book: Constructing a Novel course benefits

The “Schedule”

There’s a week-by-week structure to the course, but when you choose to log in, work through the course materials, and message your tutor is up to you.

Time commitment

Each week provides between 10-15 hours of distance learning across the course materials and activities, designed to help you develop every aspect of your draft.

Your tutor

Tutor feedback is integral to the course, and regular communication with them is encouraged – students can expect the highest level of tutor support throughout.

Using the Study Site

Our online creative writing courses are delivered through a world-class educational platform, which allows you to connect easily with Penguin Random House experts and fellow writers, wherever you are in the world.

You’ll have access to your own online writing studio, from which you can:

  • Log in at any time, from any device
  • Get unlimited one-to-one tuition & guidance
  • Communicate with fellow writers in group forums
  • Access tailored course materials & writing activites
  • Message your support teams at any time

Want to see what it looks like?

Play the video for an overview of how you’ll study.


To use the study site and upload your writing activities, all you’ll need is a desktop computer or laptop (PC or Mac), Word processing software, and access to the internet – nothing else.

While studying on the course you won’t be required to do anything particularly difficult or technical. However, we’re aware that online study is new for many of our writers, and so we’re on hand to help – if you have any technical problems, you can contact our dedicated Support and Technical team.

Fees and Payment Options

The total tuition fee for Constructing a Novel is £799

A monthly payment plan can be set up over the phone: you can either contact us and let us know the best number to get you on, or you can call us (we’re available Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm (UK time).


+44 (0)203 0260810

You May Also Be Interested In…

If you don’t feel you’re ready to make a start on your novel, you may be interested in Creative Writing for Beginners: an online course which covers the fundamentals of writing fiction.


Next start date: November 26th


+44 (0)203 0260810


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