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How it all began...

Our Story

We’re here because we love storytelling and working with writers like you.

We love what we do

We’re working writers; passionate, energetic and committed. We’re here because we love storytelling. We work with writers one by one to bring their books to life. It’s a pleasure and a privilege and we cheer each and every writer through every milestone of their achievements.

We operate a policy of people before profit, which means we work with people we want to work with, because we love what we do. It helps create a community of mutual respect and understanding. It’s what keeps The Novelry a safe place.

The Novelry is a homely place where you can be yourself, only more so.

The Novelry logo

The Octopus

Any group of fish that stays together for social reasons is said to be shoaling, and if the shoal is swimming in the same direction together, it is schooling. The school may even swim faster than a lone fish.

A warm, safe place

We operate a policy of people before profit, which means we work with people we want to work with, because we love what we do. It helps create a community of mutual respect and understanding. It’s what keeps The Novelry a safe place.

To write in good company

How it all began...

In the spring of 2017, author Louise Dean had a problem; the loneliness of the long-term writer. Here she explains why she started The Novelry and what it’s come to mean to writers.

Could we write together?

After almost 20 years working solo, with four novels published, I began to wonder why of all the arts and crafts, writing was an exception to the benefits of collaboration. All those years, I’d been writing in the dark, and when I finally got some feedback from my agent or an editor, it came late in the day when the novel was done! I felt I could use some company while I was writing. I was tired of writing alone.

So I decided to write a different way, with other writers writing alongside me to help each other stay on track; to share the journey and have fun.

The Bookseller publicized my experiment and some 200 writers offered to join me. For the next 90 days I wrote ‘live’ and put together the course materials for what would become our first online writing class, The Ninety Day Novel.

Louise Dean collecting award
Louise Dean

The Ninety Day Novel

I recorded the videos for the course daily as I wrote my novel, simply telling people what I was doing and when, and sharing the creative process. I’d been figuring out how writers write for more than 20 years. But I thought that en route I’d consult with great writers, living and dead. I show, for example, how Kerouac drops you into a scene and makes it all feel familiar, how Muriel Spark uses flash-forwards, and how the Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee’s prose is composed using poetry and computer-like coding. Showing how to structure and pace a novel as you write has proven useful to many, and I’m grateful to so many writers for trusting me with their journey.

A different writing course

Because writing can be so daunting, it’s good to have someone show you how it’s done in a practical way. We have a lot of fun in the coaching sessions and at the community. We get to know each other at The Novelry. We know what drives us to put pen to paper. By being open and honest, we become close for sure. But there’s more. You need to tap into your human frailty if you want to write a book that feels real.

It’s thanks to our writers sharing their writing lives with each other so generously that we have more five-star reviews on Trustpilot than any other online writing course. We have created a warm, safe place in which writers can grow their writing skills and confidence.

Article about Louise Dean and The Novelry
writing coaching team

Building the best team

As the number of writers grew, they needed more authors to coach them, writers working in genres in which they were truly expert: fantasy fiction, speculative fiction, crime, romance, historical, suspense, children’s fiction. The Novelry needed brilliantly published writers, award-winning and bestselling. Our writers deserved the best. But I had to be careful to find authors who could teach writing and care for my writers as much as I did. I was blessed to find our team of writing mentors, one by one, and we have learned so much by working and writing together. We’re able to share our thinking on each and every writer’s work, offering ideas and suggestions for their stories, when we meet as a team every week.

Bringing brilliant editors

What if we could bring some of the very best publishing editors in the business to help our writers shape their stories for success from the start? So we sought editors with phenomenal reputations, who had worked with global bestselling author names at Big Five publishers like Penguin Random House, Pan Macmillan, and Hachette; editors who had wonderful working relationships with literary agents too. We wanted to give our writers the very best advice throughout the writing process, even before they put pen to paper. To help them succeed for submission to agents we knew we had to bring in the editors who acquired books from those agents. So we did! It’s been thrilling to have our SAS team of editors at The Novelry to ensure our wonderful success stories.

find a book editor at The Novelry
Writing group party

Celebrating our writers

During the pandemic, we began bringing famous names to teach writing classes live: Paula Hawkins, Louise Doughty, Mark Billingham, Meg Rosoff, Val McDermid, Jessie Burton and many more. We added weekly online writing classes and special writing groups, and a community where writers could workshop their writing open 24/7 worldwide.

As our writers began completing their books it was time to find them literary agents. Over the last few years we’ve seen our writers through to literary agency representation and publishing contracts. We’re proud to work with the leading literary agents in the U.K. and the U.S.A.

And now we can get together again, there are parties annually for our writers in London and New York, and the chance to give our buddies hugs and thanks for all their support.

Our Chief Wellness Officer, Blue.

Small, fluffy and formidable, he insists on a healthy writing-life balance.

Louise and her dog, Blue

Crafting compelling fiction

We support our writers by doing some of the heavy lifting of plotting and planning together, with hands-on help to guide you all the way to achieving your ambitions. But we never forget, you’re the author. We’re here to help you tell your story.

Tools not rules

We don’t believe there is a textbook method or set of rules, templates or a formula for writing a book.

But the history of fiction provides us with a fantastic set of tools we can use to give our writers fast-track insights and techniques.

Created by Louise Dean, a Booker Prize-listed author, our unique and fun course content will take you through these tools, helping you power through your writing with (relatively) pain-free plotting, saving you time and frustration as you dodge the rookie errors (overwriting and more) and deepen your understanding of how great storytelling works.

The Story First Method™

Readers don’t want fancy words. They want page-turning stories. (So do publishers!) So we start from the ground up by making sure you’re writing a story that excites you and one that’s more likely to get published so you’re not wasting your valuable time. We help you come up with the idea (The Classic Storytelling Class—stage 1) and then we help you write it (The Ninety Day Novel—stage 2) and then we help you get it ready for publishing (The Big Edit—stage 3).

To plan or not to plan your story? Spreadsheets or ‘follow the main character’? The truth lies in the middle. You need to know your destination, but the route you take is part of the pleasure of writing fiction. So we offer a nimble one-page planning method allowing you to stay on track, updating your route map as all the mysteries of your story unfold on the white page. Even better, we offer an interactive planning process, enabling us to keep sight of your one-page plan as you develop your story.

The wonder of this one-pager? It contains all the essentials publishers, literary agents and readers want from a book. We don’t hold this vital info back from you until after you have written your novel! At The Novelry, you’ll know what’s required for a great story straight from the start so you can write with confidence.

Our one-hour-a-day writing method

‘Too busy! I don’t have time!’ That’s what we all say, isn’t it?

There’s never a good time to write a novel, so don’t wait for it!

Forget that snowy mountain lodge with you, the writer, penning your great modern classic, day and night, with no interruptions. Not gonna happen! Here’s the thing—writing your novel only needs your butt on a seat for an hour a day. One hour? No excuses!

Keeping in touch with your novel every day allows for eureka moments in the shower and for real life to infuse every scene. With our help and direction, you won’t need to worry about the mountaintop; you can just take every day of writing as it comes.

Take that one hour a day for you. 

Because there’s never a good time to write a novel, now there’s a good place.

The Five Fs ®

Novels don’t use a three-act structure. The novel is an immersive art form allowing the reader to assume the experience and outlook of the narrator in a particularly intimate relationship, one-to-one. Every novel is, in a sense, a moral journey for the main character. We will walk you through this simple but elegant story structure to deliver a satisfying ending.

Since Aristotle wrote about the form of tragedy (which is at the heart of big stories, even comedic ones), a five-part structure has been used to help articulate longer stories. At The Novelry, we keep it simple; you can literally count the parts of novel structure on one hand with our very own Five Fs.

So much more than a writing course, The Novelry offers a working apprenticeship with hands-on help to write fiction to the highest standard, among friends.

We grow friendships