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What the Program Includes

108 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.

9 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

  • The Muse and the Marketplace has become one of most successful literary conferences in the country. In this three-day symposium, participants choose from over 100 sessions on various writing-related topics. Sessions are led by established authors from Boston and beyond, top-notch editors and literary agents, and members of the GrubStreet faculty.
  • The Manuscript Mart is an opportunity to have five pages of the student's manuscript read by an agent or editor, who will meet with the student for twenty minutes at the conference to provide critical feedback.

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.

Submission Requirements & Tuition Learn More

All you need to know about what to include with your submission, tuition, and fellowships! From your novel draft, to your synopsis, to your personal statement, and beyond.


Applications for the upcoming cycle open every November or December with deadlines usually in mid-February.

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 at the end of May/early June, and will meet on Wednesday nights from 6:00pm-9:30pm (ET).

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.