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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was clear from the first week that this course had been very well put together with a lot of thought. Thanks to my tutor’s editorial help and invaluable comments, my writing improved exponentially, and continues to improve day by day. My only regret is that there isn’t a further course I could do with her tutelage, or an ongoing one that I could do for the rest of my writing life.
I knew I wanted to learn from experts and I wasn't disappointed. My tutor, Barbara, was fantastic! She gave practical and helpful advice and was very patient, and I found the exercises very helpful. My top tip for aspiring writers wondering whether to attend a course is: Go for it!
The course was successful due to the high level of professionalism the team displayed. I would definitely recommend these courses to anyone who has an inkling of becoming an author. These courses were not just about learning a few techniques, but they instilled a belief that writing a novel and obtaining a publishing contract is a distinct possibility.
I thought the course was particularly well structured, and I have made significant progress in the writing of my book. I am now really grateful that I have the key crux points of my novel written as they have given me an anchor from which to write from, and a point to return to when I get stuck.
There is no question in my mind that the quality and sensitivity of the feedback on exercises from the course Tutor was invaluable. It contributed not only to learning, but built confidence - as did the support of fellow students on the forums. The whole experience has provided strong foundations to build on, the confidence to keep going, and a network of fellow writers with whom to share the highs and lows.
Of all the writing courses I've taken this is the best one. The tutor was amazing! I continue to write daily. In fact, I now plan on finding a literary agent for the novel I was writing and submitted as part of the class.
The experience was hugely motivating. I set aside every Monday to look at the lessons and exercises for the week and it became my favourite day. It was so interesting and useful - it would fill me with enthusiasm to write. Don’t get me wrong, there were some tricky parts where I, and my fellow delegates, would be tearing our hair out trying to get to grips with what was being asked of us. But more often than not, that’s where I learned the most.
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?
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.
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.
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).
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.
READY TO GET STARTED?
Next start date: November 26th