What the Program Includes

  • 120 Hours of Instruction

    For most of the 12-month program, students meet in three-hour workshops on Monday evenings at GrubStreet HQ. Workshops are led by instructor Michelle Hoover, who also provides written feedback and offers prepared lectures on various elements of the craft of novel-writing. These classes also include analysis of published novels and impromptu discussions about the novel-writing process. Guest speakers are invited at various points in the year to address topics that merit extra attention or a different voice.

    The workshop schedule includes scheduled breaks to allow for vacation time, especially in the summer and over the holidays. Because workshop participation is crucial, the full 12-month schedule will be available to students at the time students are notified of acceptance into the program. This should allow plenty of time to (re-)schedule any trips or other commitments over the course of the Incubator.

  • 7 hours of individual consultations with the instructor

    Meetings with lead instructor Michelle Hoover will be scheduled at mutually-agreeable times and held at GrubStreet HQ. In these meetings, Michelle will discuss individualized assignments, including a craft essay and outside reading, as well as the novel itself. These hours are student-directed and project-focused, designed to augment the curriculum with instruction that is particular to each student's specific projects and goals.

  • Additional full novel consultation and meeting with established author

    As part of the third phase of the year, students receive detailed written feedback on their revised novel as well as a face-to-face or phone/Skype discussion with an established author who will act as a second reader. The program considers this outside voice vital in providing a well-rounded response to the novel as a whole.

  • One Manuscript Mart appointment at the Muse and the Marketplace. In 2023, the Muse & the Marketplace will evolve from an annual conference held only once per year into a conference series featuring year-round online and in-person programming. In addition to the Manuscript Mart appointment, students will receive admission to key Muse and the Marketplace programming and events that will be announced in early 2023. Learn more about Muse 2023.

Graduates of the program also join a supportive community of alumni, who together celebrate one another's publishing successes, curate a bi-annual reading series, run a popular daily craft blog called Dead Darlings -- named a top 50 writing blog by Positive Writer -- and take part in an annual retreat.


The entire cost of the program is $8,595. Tuition is payable in two installments.

Fellowships are available and range from 25% to 75% of the tuition. For more information about financial aid, please visit our Novel Incubator's Fellowships page.


Applications for the 2023-2024 Novel Incubator are now closed. All applicants can expect to hear from us by Late March, 2023. 

Please note that the upcoming round of the Novel Incubator will take place in-person in Boston at GrubStreet's Center for Creative Writing in the Seaport.

Class begins the last Tuesday in May, and will meet on Monday nights from 6:00pm-9:00pm after that.

We strongly encourage students to apply as early as possible, as applications will be considered on a rolling basis. 

See more information about our submission guidelines, instructors, and students and why we started this program.

Free Open House & Info Session

Thinking of applying? GrubStreet offers an informal Q&A session with alumni and instructor, Michelle Hoover. The next Open House will be held Online on Zoom in January 2024. Michelle will answer any questions you have about the Incubator, including the workload, the application process, what the program does and doesn’t entail, the schedule, the philosophy behind our approach, and anything else on your mind. 

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Center for Creative Writing.

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