Novel, Inc.: News from the Novel Incubator: Q5: Bring on ‘da Quiet

I once had a writing teacher who advised us to begin the first draft, not with writing, but sitting.  Specifically, we were to descend to the basement and sit cross-legged on the damp floor.  Preferably we would be wrapped in a sleeping bag.  The basement, as I understood it, because we were meant to draw on our deepest subconscious.  The sleeping bag, to protect our quivering writer egos.

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Guest Post The Workshop The Writing Life

Novel Inc, News from the Novel Incubator: I Do History

By Hesse Phillips

Hilary Mantel has called writing historical fiction “an obsession—a dangerous obsession.” Whenever I’m in the throes of writing a historical novel, I experience rare, luminous moments in which I’m dead certain that I’ve touched some sort of infinite and universal truth, one so immense that it could swallow me whole. Some people do drugs to get this feeling. I do history: not only do I write historical fiction, I also went and got my PhD in Drama, with a focus in Elizabethan theater

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Go Long, or Go Home

By Kelly Ford

Even after a year in the Novel Incubator program and a stint at Sewanee Writers’ Conference, I have to confess: It’s hard to write.

It’s not that I don’t want to write. It’s not that I don’t write. I’ve written several versions of this blog post. I’ve rejected them all:

Blog post 1: Too depressing.

Blog post 2: Luxury problem.

Blog post 3: Posts must contain more than one sentence.


Novel Inc., News from the Novel Incubator: The Perks of Being an Incubee

By Jennie Wood

Even though it’s been over a year since I finished Grub Street’s Novel Incubator, it’s still a hard experience to sum up. Whenever I think back on my time in the year-long course, the song “To Sir With Love” plays in my head (the Natalie Merchant, Michael Stipe version.) The lyrics don’t just remind me of my two amazing Novel Incubator instructors, Michelle Hoover and Lisa Borders, but also of my nine classmates and Grub Street because without a scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to take the course


Our Protagonists, Ourselves

The latest post in our ongoing series, Novel, Inc.: News from the Novel Incubator

By Amber Elias

When strangers ask me what my novel is about, I don't hesitate.  With no small thanks to the Novel Incubator, I can rattle off my pitch as easily as my phone number, each intonation carefully rehearsed to sound effortless