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NVL 22 W — The Novel Hatchery: Moving from Idea to the Page

Quarter: Winter
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 14—Mar 22
Drop Deadline: Jan 17
Units: 3
Tuition: $895
Instructor(s): Stacey Swann
Limit: 17
Status: Open
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is January 17 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is January 22 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Winter
Date(s)
Jan 14—Mar 22
10 weeks
Drop By
Jan 17
3 Units
Fees
$895
Instructor(s):
Stacey Swann
Limit
17
Open
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is January 17 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is January 22 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Behind every great novel is a great idea—but the transition from idea to page is not obvious. How does a great idea for a novel become a great novel? How can you know if your idea is even sufficient to sustain a book? Whether you’re just getting started writing or you’ve hit a wall in your story, this course is designed to give you the skills and confidence to find the answers to these pressing questions—and to jump headfirst into the writing of your novel. We will begin with several weeks of foundational prewriting, getting to know our characters and their problems. We will learn different ways to roadmap our books, from detailed outlines to methods with more flexibility. Next, we will move into drafting, as we study what elements make a successful opening chapter. We will conclude the course with a supportive workshop of our opening chapter (3,000–5,000 words), geared to give us the feedback and clarity we need to push further into the draft. Along the way, we will gain insight from the craft book Is Life Like This? A Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months by John Dufresne and also learn by example as we read two short contemporary novels. By the end of the course, your novels will emerge from their shells, ready to fly toward completion.

Stacey Swann, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Stacey Swann’s work has appeared in the Bridport Anthology 2017, Covered with Fur, NER Digital, Epoch, Versal, Memorious, and other journals. Her short story collection, The Dead Zoo, was a finalist for the 2010 Bakeless Literary Publication Prize. She was formerly the editor of the literary quarterly American Short Fiction and continues as a contributing editor. Swann received an MFA from Texas State University.

Textbooks for this course:


You may purchase any version of the required books: hardback, paperback, or electronic.

Please note that the paperback version of "The Power" will be released the week before class begins.
(Required) Naomi Alderman, The Power (ISBN 978-0316547604)
(Required) Andrew Sean Greer, Less (ISBN 978-0316316132)
(Required) John Dufresne, Is Life Like This: A Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months (ISBN 978-0393338836)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)