How to Write a Book?


Discover ‘the big story’. Walk in the footsteps of JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and JK Rowling to learn the secrets of how to write a classic for adults or children. 

Welcome to the wonderland of The Classic course. 



The Classic Course Is the Perfect Place to Start for Writers Who Are ‘World-Building’ - or Those Who Want to Come up with a Powerful and Original Idea for a Book That Excites Them.

Forty-five gripping lessons online with award-winning novelist Louise Dean.

There’s nothing else quite like this course available to aspiring authors. Choose whether to take the course a lesson-a-day or the box set. 

Discover the ingredients essential to creating the experience of wonderment that makes a book famous. You’ll leave the course with your story mapped out and ready to write.

Your story starts here.

Ready for adventure?


A Two-Book Deal with Penguin Books.

Rashmi Sirdeshpande took The Classic course with The Novelry. Her children’s book, How to Be Extraordinary, was released in August 2019.

“This course has been so enlightening! I have a goal, a road-map, the beginnings of characters I love and a magical world I want to explore and adorn. A magical, enlightening experience - a course that holds your hand and takes you to the very doorway of writing a modern classic.” Rashmi Sirdeshpande.


Writing for children

Longlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel Award and a Two-Book Deal with Pushkin Press.

Susie Nott-Bower took The Classic course and wrote her first children’s novel with us. We found her a prestigious literary agent - Peters Fraser + Dunlop - and her debut novel is being published by Pushkin Press in 2020.

“Susie’s super confident world-building makes this one of the most assured debuts I have read for some time.” Sarah Odedina, editor-at-large for Pushkin Children’s Books.

“I’m so thrilled, and just want to say an enormous thank you, because if it hadn’t been for The Classic course, it would never have been written. I really appreciate your support and all the inspiration that The Novelry has given me.” Susie Nott-Bower.


Writing for children plan

The Plot Thickens.

Step-by-step lessons to help you create your own unique story.

How to write a story structure

1. Once Upon A Time.

You will learn the great story structure that is the blueprint for the Classic. Get a working model to use to start planning your story immediately. Find out where ideas come from and how to develop them from something small and innocent into something exciting with commercial potential. 

How to write a story process

2. The Process.

Draw upon your own experience to create the main characters of your Classic. Put ‘memory’ at the service of ‘desire’ in a combination commonly known as ‘imagination’. These inspiring exercises will help you find all you need inside of you. Find a way to write your Classic within a busy working life.

How to write a children's book

3. World Building.

What are the things you should include to create an experience of ‘wonder’ that works a powerful magic? These lessons examine the mechanics of the bestselling works of all time - the Harry Potter series, the Chronicles of Narnia, the Lord of the Rings and more and will guide you what ‘set off’, where.

Heroes & Villains, Readers & Authors.

How to write a story conflict

4. Heroes & Villains.

Drive your plot with conflict. In the ‘secondary’ worlds of Narnia, Middle-earth, Neverland, Wonderland and more the heroes have common characteristics. The villains exude a charisma. Learn how to pit these apparent opposites against each other for page-turning excitement.

Writing a children's book

5. The Reader.

Learn how to write for your reader to give them an out-of-this-world, immersive experience. When you know what they need from you as a writer and why your story could save their inner lives, you will reach more readers with a message that touches their hearts and minds.

How to become an author

6. The Author.

Find out how the great authors told their stories, walk in their footsteps and plunder their toolkits. The sources of inspiration and the working methods are revealed. Leave the course with a big idea, new material, a plan, a plot and the confidence that you’re about to write the book of your life. 


What Writers Say:

Forty-five days of mind-expanding exploration that will change how you write forever.”

“A Huge Win.”

“In just 45 days I have a draft plan for my novel; I have a fantastic writing buddy and a new community of friends; and I’m having fun writing - real fun without the fear of another failure.”

“I’d been dreaming and talking about writing for a long time. I counted it up the other day and I have 26 partially written novels to my discredit. They weren’t poor ideas, I simply didn’t take the time to fully prepare my characters, plot, and world.

The Classic course taught me the fundamentals of how and why to do this. Taking the course one day at a time allowed me to find a pace and to craft a true writing practice. Towards the end of the course it was this pacing and practice which led me to finally relax into enjoying the work. One day I looked up from my screen and knew in my heart that I can and will do this.

Are you still just dreaming and talking about writing? Are you unable to get past a few interesting ideas and half-formed scenes? Give The Classic a try.” Eliza French.

“It’s quite unique as writing courses go, meticulously researched and packed full of information.

Louise’s deep research into classics of literature was fascinating.

The exercises where I dug into my own self and childhood were illuminating. It was great to think so deeply about what makes a great classic.

It has helped me marshal my ideas and put more of myself into my story. I’ve clarified a lot about my story, I’ve learned a lot about the classics and why they work, and I’ve gained lots of inspiration sources. I loved it!” Alex English.

“Deep and insightful advice given in a completely accessible and engaging manner.

I loved the scientific and philosophical explanations for much of the literary advice. Most helpful, however, was the use of excerpts from classic texts to demonstrate key elements of successful novels. The insights have allowed me to more confidently plot my own story. You will be inspired.” Shelley Motz.

"45 days of mind-expanding exploration that will change how you write forever. I have specifically written to friends and colleagues to recommend this course to them. I think it's the perfect extension of the Faber course, which I'd describe as beginner level, whereas this is more like an intensive high-level university course."

Jenni Muir

"I now have an outline and a clear idea of what I'd like to write. The experience has been positive, fulfilling and exciting."

Susie Nott-Bower

"A great course to do before or after the Novel in 90 Days Course. Louise shares a wealth of experience and information and I now feel ready to take on the edit of my second draft."

Ruth Husain

"I found 'The Classic' course the perfect balance of inspiring lessons and practical ideas to help me develop a magical world for the child in me to go off and explore."

Lorna Gill

"Life changing, and life enhancing. It's easy to get an idea for a book. What's truly exciting is growing and developing that idea in the company of others, and with such a generous and supportive guide as Louise. A wonderful analysis of what makes a classic, and what makes it so successful. And I've come away with a really interesting and engrossing idea of my own that I can't wait to pursue."

Cate Guthleben

"Taking the Classic course was not so much lighting a candle in the dark. It was more like taking a flamethrower to it. Everything I thought I knew was explained through masterful insights into the great classic writers. And everything I learned blew my mind."

Anna Pye

"Fast and intense scholarship looking at the roots and big stars of the genre. It's a stand-alone, totally original class in creating a classic fantasy. The lessons are stunning and gorgeous to look at, to read and to listen to. The ideas and revelations are so generous... igniting my own in so many ways."

Ann Hodson

"If you are serious about writing, this should be compulsory. It takes you back to the roots of why we all started writing in the first place - those books we read as children. Mind blown! On a daily basis. Louise is either a witch or a genius - the jury's out ;)"

Sara Bailey

"Provides real assistance in getting thoughts organised and sound approaches to getting the Classic structured for success."

Marie Gethins

"This course has been so enlightening! I have a goal, a road-map, the beginnings of characters I love and a magical world I want to explore and adorn. The course gives you a laser focus; a feeling that writing a book like this is actually doable - that writing from a space of humility and wonderment, I have every right to aim high; and a clear sense of direction and next steps."

Rashmi Sirdeshpande

How to Start Writing a Book? Plan for Success.

Take the course the way that works best for you. Either pace yourself with a lesson a day and two payment instalments or tuck into the entire box set of the course immediately. Available worldwide in all currencies payable by all major credit cards or PayPal. Your exchange rate is calculated by our leading payment platform at checkout.




45 lessons drip-fed daily for 45 days. The course starts when you sign up.

One year’s access.

(Access can be continued for a small monthly charge thereafter.)

Sign up




45 lessons available immediately.

One year’s access.

(Access can be continued for a small monthly charge thereafter.)

Sign up

Louise Dean, Your Tutor.

Award-Winning Author.

Louise Dean studied history at Cambridge majoring in 19th Century Novels. Her own novels have been published internationally by Penguin, Simon & Schuster and others. Man Booker longlisted. Winner of The Society of Authors Betty Trask Prize, Winner of Le Prince Maurice Prize. Nominated for The Guardian First Book Prize, the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award. An Oprah Book Club choice. 

For Visually Impaired, Dyslexic and Non-Native English Speakers.

We believe in digital inclusion - where life stage, visual impairment, dyslexia or dis/ability aren’t barriers to learning to write a novel.

Our content can be read aloud in multiple languages using the most natural and engaging voice to transform the user’s reading experience. We offer our pages in 99 languages; with speak translated text aloud in 40 languages. Welcome home.

Assisted Speech for Visually Impaired

Get Writing Tips.

Find out how to write your book. Explore the posts here to guide you through the process. Written by The Classic course tutor Louise Dean, a Man Booker listed award-winning author.

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