Novel Writing

Draft a manuscript agents will love

  • sections:
  • Discussions Wednesdays 10-11pm ET, 12 sessions full schedule

Join fellow writers in your pursuit of a first draft of your manuscript. You'll learn the lost art of craft, the power of the outline, and how to find the "hook" that will sell your novel.

You'll get lessons on characterization, point of view, style, dialogue, plot, and silencing your inner critic. Students will share their work with the class at least three times and will join the instructor in providing feedback to other students.

In this class, you will learn how to:

  • Write a strong outline -- and know when to change it
  • Create believable characters
  • Create a consistent tone and point of view
  • Understand the secret to dynamic dialogue
  • Provide and receive useful feedback

By the end of class, you will have:

A working first draft of your novel.

Erika Mailman is the author of the novels The Witch's Trinity and Woman of Ill Fame. She has also published two nonfiction books about Oakland history and is a columnist for the Montclarion newspaper in Oakland. She has taught creative writing at the University of Arizona, the Tucson Open University, and others.

  • "Erika's example, encouragement, acuity, and good humor inspired every writer in our class and helped keep us focused on our goal. Time and money well spent."

    Bradley Owens

  • "Erika got me motivated to start the novel that had been in my head for years! By the end of the class, I was 150 pages into my book and had the rest outlined."

    Lian Dolan

  • "Erika is amazing! She breaks everything down into bite-sized pieces and makes novel writing much less intimidating."

    Alexa Fitzpatrick

  • "Erika is a dedicated, knowledgeable, fun instructor. She gives solid feedback that really helped me shape my novel."

    Lynn M Braz