fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Fall Quarter

Fall Quarter Underway
Late-Start Classes
Still Available
shopping cart icon0

Courses

« Back to Creative Writing

NVL 02 W — Write a Novel in a Month: No Critics, No Fear

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Oct 30—Dec 8
Drop Deadline: Nov 2
Unit: 1
Tuition: $330
Instructor(s): Malena Watrous, Scott Hutchins
Limit: 125
Status: Open
Please Note: No class the week of November 20. Update: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 11/2 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 11/7 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Fall
Date(s)
Oct 30—Dec 8
5 weeks
Drop By
Nov 2
1 Unit
Fees
$330
Instructor(s):
Malena Watrous, Scott Hutchins
Limit
125
Open
Please Note: No class the week of November 20. Update: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 11/2 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 11/7 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Is it possible to write a novel in a month? With a healthy dose of determination and the support of this course: yes. For the month of November, aka National Novel Writing Month, we will set out together to write a short novel, with the goal of getting from start to finish, going with the flow of our creativity, knowing that we will need to revise later on. This process will be generative, playful, and necessarily uncritical. In the week before November, we will do some planning and plotting, revving our engines. Once November starts, each weekday your goal will be to write 1,500 words. To that end, you will receive daily prompts to get and keep you rolling, and “flash lessons” in different aspects of the novel writing craft, to put to use as you do your daily writing. Students won’t post the majority of their writing, but there will be a daily accountability thread and the option of joining small groups to share as much as your small group wishes for support and light feedback. Each week, you will also have the option to complete a planning exercise or post a short piece of your novel (up to 500 words per week) for instructor feedback.

Because of the high-enrollment capacity of the course, the instructors will provide models for feedback and answer general questions about the novel planning and writing processes. They will respond to one short assignment per student, per week. Students will offer and receive feedback in small groups. Students looking for a full-term online course with instructor-led workshop components should consider “Discovering Your Novel’s Secret Center” (NVL 18 W).

Grade restriction: No letter grade.

Students may take NVL 01 W: “Planning Your Novel: Starting from Scratch” and NVL 02 W: “Write a Novel in a Month: No Critics, No Fear” as a two-part series, using the first part to plan the book that they will then draft in the second part; or they can enroll in either course independently. NVL 01 W is not a prerequisite for NVL 02 W.

Malena Watrous, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford; Online Writing Lead Instructor, Stanford Continuing Studies

Malena Watrous is the author of the novel If You Follow Me, which received a Michener-Copernicus award. She frequently reviews books for such publications as The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow.

Scott Hutchins, Online Writing and Certificate Program Curriculum Coordinator; Former Stegner Fellow; Jones and Draper Lecturer in Creative Writing, Stanford

Scott Hutchins’s debut novel, A Working Theory of Love, was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2012. His work has appeared in StoryQuarterly, Five Chapters, The Rumpus, The New York Times, San Francisco Magazine, and Esquire. He received two Hopwood awards and the Andrea Beauchamp Prize in short fiction. Hutchins teaches fiction, nonfiction, graphic novel, arts writing, and “Twitter Fiction/Future Forms” in Stanford’s Creative Writing Program.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Chris Baty, No Plot? No Problem! (ISBN 978-1-4521-2477-3)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)