Your Novel Year®

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2017–2018 Courses

Your Novel Year®

You will draft and revise your novel in one year. After you've earned your certificate, you may elect to spend an additional six months polishing the novel for submission or self-publication, either immediately or in subsequent years.


Your Journey Begins

Once accepted, you’ll be asked to read classics and other stellar examples within your genre, which will ensure you share reference points with your teachers and classmates.  You’ll be coached in how to read like a writer—how to think about and learn writing techniques on your own. Let’s get started!

The Starting Line

Writing Intensive – Online Course

January 2—February 26, 2017

This eight-week course will allow you and your colleagues to review and sharpen skills and to begin the conversation about novel techniques with shared examples.

You should either continue to write/revise your manuscript or start a new manuscript. This is up to you. Use classroom assignments to hone your craft and review/question your intent.  Have you avoided dialogue because you lack writing confidence?  Has your reading demonstrated how concrete detail enhances your writing?  Has it helped clarify the plot and thematic tradition you’re writing within?

 When you submit your novel-in-progress for workshop in March, it should not be exactly the same manuscript you submitted for admission. In other words, during these first eight weeks of coursework, you should either be starting to write something new or be wrestling with how to edit your own writing. Changes may be small or large, but, most importantly, a novelist needs to learn how to dig in—how to write and edit daily, on their own and with a community.



Connecting with Community

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference – Scholarships

Three days, two nights on the ASU campus in sunny Arizona.


February 16—18, 2017 (optional)

Attendance at this conference is optional, but as a member of the Your Novel Year program, you will receive a 50% discount. Register for the conference for $200 (regular registration is $400.00). Meet your instructors and classmates and learn from a world-class, multi-genre faculty.  You’ll also meet publishers, agents and editors.



Writing the Novel 1– Eight Week Online Course

March 6–April 30, 2017

Workshop, workshop, workshop!  You will learn equally from editing others’ prose as well as from receiving feedback on your own.  You will also receive guidance on how to move forward with your novel’s arc.  You will write as many new pages as is reasonable and revise older pages .

Individual Mentoring with a Published Author

May 8 – June 21, 2017

You’ll use the week between the end of the last class and the start of mentoring for integration and synthesis of all the new knowledge you’ve gained in the workshop. This is a time to write and revise your manuscript! Keep the momentum going by writing at the very least 250 words per day. The six-and-a-half weeks will be devoted to one-on-one mentoring with your mentor, a published author who will read your manuscript and offer feedback via email and two 20-minute phone calls focused on pushing your novel forward.  You will have continued email access to your mentor for the entire 6.5-week period.



Writing the Novel 2 – Eight Week Online Course

June 26–August 20, 2017
Workshop, workshop, workshop! 

In this course, you will focus on giving and receiving feedback as you move closer to the completion of your novel, with an emphasis on sustaining conflict and tension as you write through the "mushy middle" of your draft. As you progress through this course, you will be able to: identify major strengths and weaknesses in your manuscript; read the manuscripts of your classmates with a clear understanding of the nuances of craft, particularly plot, character, setting, and point of view; and offer constructive criticism to others in the cohort. All students should aspire to complete the first draft of a mansuscript by the course's end.

Writing the Novel 3 – Eight Week Online Course

August 28–October 22, 2017

This final workshop will give you one last opportunity to work with your cohort, giving and receiving feedback as you all move closer to completion of your manuscripts. Discussions will focus on the hero’s journey and shaping your pages into a well-crafted entertaining novel with style, texture, characterization, and thematic depth.

Keep revising, editing, and writing.


Individual Mentoring II 

October 30–December 14, 2017

You will revise your novel under the direction of a mentor, who will offer detailed feedback via e-mail and two 20-minute phone calls focused on pushing your novel forward.


Certificate Granted!

In January, you’ll have the opportunity to strut your stuff at the YNY Graduate reading! Invite friends and family to Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix … your public awaits. Read an excerpt from your manuscript in front of an audience of book lovers hoping to hear the major voices of tomorrow, today!


Optional Additional Coursework – Path to Publishing

Graduates of the Your Novel Year program may elect to take additional classes in revising and publishing, purchase a full manuscript read by an established author, and attend the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference for $200 (50% off the standard conference registration fee). You may take courses immediately or wait until you and your manuscript are ready. You may also repeat courses as often as you’d like, either with the manuscript you wrote during the program or with a brand new project.

Developing a Critical Eye

Deep Revisions – Five Week Online Course

January 15 – February 18, 2018

In this course, you will receive the tools needed to revise and polish your manuscript prior to submitting it to an agent or an editor. Using exercises as well as video lectures and samples of actual editorial letters from professional editors to published authors, you will focus in on how to polish your own work so that an agent or editor will want to see more.

Second Round of Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference

February 22–February 24, 2018

Come to your second DNRS Conference, and spend time with your instructors and classmates. This is another opportunity to learn from a world-class, multi-genre faculty.  You’ll also meet publishers, agents and editors, which should be particularly meaningful to you at this point in the process. If you choose to attend, you will receive the same 50% rate that you received for the first year.

Publishing Opportunities – Six Week Online Course

March 5–April 15, 2018 

Gain a strong understanding of the current landscape of publishing and focus on creating a plan for how you hope to publish once you’ve completed your manuscript. With guided preparation, you will submit a query letter directly to an agent for invaluable feedback.

The Final Read

Send your manuscript to the industry professional who will give you a final read and critique, with suggestions for any changes before you move forward toward publication.

Additional Mentoring 

For one year, you can register for discounted, personal consultations and mentoring by expert teacher-writers.