Special Note:

Deadline Extended For Select Advanced Workshops—There is still time to apply for Advanced Workshops in Poetry, Memoir, and Advanced Revision and Submitting Strategies for both Fiction and Nonfiction. Applications close on Monday June 3rd at 11:59 pm EST.

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  • Workshop
  • In-Person: Seaport
  • Adult (18+)

Novel Planning: Build It and The Words Will Come

No Longer Enrolling

  • $370.00 Non-Member
  • $355.00 Member

Class Description

Got a spark of an idea? A gem that’s churning in your brain, day and night? Are you ready to press fingers to keyboard but struggling with how to begin? This course will help make the blank page less scary by giving you a concrete structure to follow to plan your novel. Each week will focus on one element of the novel plan, with each new piece building on the previous one. In this way, you will work through, in a digestible and logical fashion, all of the components necessary to create an outline to guide you in drafting your manuscript. We’ll begin by focusing on your premise, spend time getting to the heart of who your characters are and what they want. We’ll then explore point of view and how to use world building to enhance your story regardless of genre. We dig into plot structure, exploring the different methods, and provide the tools you need to plot to your comfort level, be it a five-page synopsis or a chapter-by-chapter outline. Each week you will have the chance to submit work to the class and instructor for feedback. At the end of this course, you will have all of the building blocks you need to complete your novel outline and lay the foundation for your novel.

Please note: Class will meet remotely via Zoom on 11/22, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Class Format

This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood. Please note that proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is required to attend this class. Please submit your proof of vaccination here at least 48 hours before your class begins. Read on to learn more about GrubStreet's vaccine protocol and find information about where to get vaccinated below.

GrubStreet Vaccine Protocol

Please submit your most recent proof of vaccination, which requires a booster shot for those eligible, here at least 48 hours before your class begins. If you have previously submitted a proof of vaccination that did not include your booster shot, you will need to resubmit your updated vaccine card. If you are not able to fill out our vaccination form 48 hours before your class begins, please bring your vaccine card (or a photo of it) with you to the building. Please note that if you arrive for class and you have not filled out the form and do not have proof of vaccination with you, you will not be allowed to participate in the class. And don’t forget your mask! In accordance with the City of Boston, masks will be required at all times while inside the building. Click here to read GrubStreet's full Vaccination and Masking Policy.

Vaccination status: For in-person classes and events, your vaccination status is considered up-to-date until the time you are eligible for a booster – which is 5 months after the second dose in a two-shot series. Boosters are required for all visitors on our second floor if your second shot was more than 5 months ago.


Need help getting vaccinated? It’s free and easy to receive a COVID-19 vaccine! Please visit Massachusetts’ VaxFinder page to find a vaccination site near you. If you'd like to learn more, you can read the answers to some commonly asked questions about COVID vaccination here.

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.

Scholarships Format/Location

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

This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.


Covid-19 Update:

GrubStreet's space will be mask-optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in person.


Space Accessibility:

Our space is ADA accessible with automatic door openers, ADA-compliant restrooms, desk and table spacing, braille signage, and elevator. Our classrooms can be equipped with ALS for hard of hearing individuals. We cannot guarantee a scent-free environment. For more accessibility requests, please contact our Operations team at [email protected] or (617) 695-0075.