Jumpstart Your Novel: NaNoWriMo Edition (Online)

6 weeks online; no live meetings. Class opens October 21st.
Online (WetInk)
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Level: Introductory
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

If NaNoWriMo is calling your name, but you’re not sure you can actually draft a whole novel in a month, we’ve got good news for you: while most novels aren't written in a month, setting an ambitious goal in a short period of time can help give you the momentum to get you over the hump of that first draft. To that end, in this six-week class, we will jumpstart our novel drafts, using that elusive 50K word count (or whatever word count you choose) as a goal to work toward. Weekly deadlines will keep you accountable toward your goal, and lessons and discussions on novel-specific elements of craft will help focus your work. Which character should the novel follow? What type of narrator is best for the story you want to tell? What is point of view, anyway, and how do you know when you’re doing it right? We'll discuss all these topics and more.

Each week we will focus on one area of novel-specific craft –– such as character development, scene building, conflict, and narrative arc –– and generate new material through prompts and exercises, with the goal of producing 20-30 pages per week. You will also have the opportunity to get feedback on your nascent novel as you go: targeted feedback geared toward not polishing your work, but helping you find the ""heat"" of your story and follow it through your first draft. Along the way, we will offer each other feedback and support, not only on each other's writing, but on our writing process: checking in each week about our struggles and victories, and discuss strategies to keep ourselves motivated, during class and after.

You will come out of this course having made major progress on your novel draft, and with the inspiration and knowledge of craft to finish out your first draft strong.

*NOTE that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Weekly lessons and assignments open each Wednesday. Students will receive an invitation to Wet Ink, our online class platform, before 5pm on the first day of class.


Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

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Mandy Gutmann-Gonzalez
See Bio

Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Great for Newbies"
  • "High-Energy Class"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Writing Homework
  • Reading Homework
  • Class Discussion
  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons


  • The Novel

Commitment Level



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