The Year-long Workshop to Write Your Novel or Memoir

Your Commitment:

  • Create at least 3000 words (approximately 12 double-spaced pages) every two weeks and post them on the secure password-protected website. Your fellow writers will will read and make comments on your post, ideally before the next workshop date. The instructor will make comments either a hard copy (which is handed to you at each class) or an electronic copy. (Your preference)
  • (You are certainly welcome to produce more than 3000 words, but in order to achieve your goal, you should be producing at least 1,500 words per week.)

  • We spend at least half of each workshop together writing new material in a prompt-based silent writing environment. So you should be able to reach half of your word count in the class.)
  • Review and supply positive critiquing of each other’s work online.
  • Many friendships have been created in this workshop between writers sharing each other’s inspiration and providing mutual encouragement. Interaction between participants reinforces the key aspects of both writing and storytelling in a symbiotic manner.

  • Attend as many of the workshops as possible.
  • (If you can’t make a workshop,) Check the website for the assignments and information afterwards.
  • Post your work on your own section of the A Novel Approach secure website. WE WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO DO THIS!
  • This is password protected and only visible to the instructor and your other workshop participants.

    (In order to maintain a level playing field in terms of word counts posted, participants are encouraged to limit postings to under 4000 words to ensure everyone’s work can be read by all participants in a reasonable time between classes.)


  • Provide a copy of your manuscript at the 21,000 word mark (Word file or printed manuscript) and hand it in to your facilitator before the start of the 8th workshop in December. Your facilitator will review your manuscript.
  • Once the facilitator has completed a review of your manuscript, you will meet with him or her in person during one of the convenient interview time slots set aside in January and February. This interview will be between one and a half to two hours in length and the discussion will celebrate the strengths of your novel or memoir, as well as addressing any concerns you or the facilitator may have about it. At this time the facilitator will also address questions that may arise for the reader, and suggest directions that may prove fruitful as you complete your first draft.
  • Join your fellow writers and families at the CELEBRATION DINNER at the end of June to share the joy of completing your manuscript!

Celebrating our 10th Year!

First Draft


Second Draft


Directions to Uplands
Directions to Uplands Retreats w