The Octopus Scheme

The scholarship program from The Novelry. 


Apply here

The Octopus Scheme

The 2023 scholarship program from The Novelry


Learn more

Our Scholarship Scheme

At The Novelry we believe everyone should have the opportunity to tell their story and make their voice heard in fiction. We are committed to a culture of inclusivity, and all our writers are treated like stars regardless of how they join us.

Writers can – and should – come from anywhere. Writing is a form of expression that is inherently democratic, but almost every writer could use a little help and support, a boost of confidence and some structure and technical advice. Storytelling is a skill that can be developed, and writers often need someone who believes in them and their story more than anything else. We’re here for you and your story.

If you are a writer in hardship or difficult circumstances, we can help you.

Our Octopus Scheme offers eight fully-funded places on The Ninety Day Novel Course, to help you bring to life a bold story, beautifully told, in any genre of fiction. You’ll acquire the technical skills to craft a compelling story and develop a page-turning plot with over 100 lessons offering unique expert tools to plan, structure and pace your progress.

This year, the scholarship places are sponsored by The Novelry in partnership with bestselling authors Kristin Hannah, Samantha Shannon, Beth OLeary, Patrick Gale, Juno Dawson, Jennifer Saint and SJ Watson.

The Octopus Scheme 2023 is now closed for applications. Apply again in May 2024.

Our Kind Sponsors of the Octopus Scheme


We would like to thank the author sponsors of this years scholarships. 

kristin hannah

The Kristin Hannah Scholarship

Kristin Hannah is the multi-million New York Times bestselling author of novels including The Four Winds, The Winter Garden, Firefly Lane (adapted into a TV series for Netflix) and The Nightingale – the latter having been voted a best book of the year by Amazon, Buzzfeed, iTunes, Library Journal, Paste, The Wall Street Journal and The Week. It also won the coveted Goodreads and People’s Choice Awards.

The Samantha Shannon Scholarship

Samantha Shannon is the New York Times and Sunday Times number 1 bestselling author of A Day of Fallen Night and The Priory of the Orange Tree, which was a finalist in the Lambda Literary Awards 2020. She studied English Language and Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford, from 2010 to 2013, specialising in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Principles of Film Criticism. Samantha is also the author of the dystopian fantasy series The Bone Season, spanning seven books, and is hard at work writing the fifth novel in the series.

samantha shannon
beth o'leary

The Beth O’Leary Scholarship

Beth O’Leary is the Sunday Times bestselling author of four big-hearted and hilarious novels. She wrote the first, The Flatshare, during her commute between London and Winchester, and it has since been adapted into a TV series for Paramount+. Since The Flatshare published in 2019, Beth has published a book a year: The Switch (which is also being adapted into a film) in 2020, The Road Trip in 2021, and The No-Show in 2022.

The Juno Dawson Scholarship

Juno Dawson is the award-winning and Sunday Times number 1 bestselling author of Her Majesty’s Royal Coven, the first book in her adult fantasy trilogy. Juno’s books span fiction and non-fiction, crossing YA and adult fantasy, and include This Book is GayClean and Meat Market, for which she was awarded the YA Book Prize in 2020. Juno also writes television and podcast scripts including Doctor Who.

juno dawson
patrick gale

The Patrick Gale Scholarship

Patrick Gale is the Sunday Times bestselling author of novels including The Whole Day Through, the Richard and Judy book club picks Notes From An Exhibition and A Perfectly Good Man, the Costa Prize-nominated A Place Called Winter and his fourth Sunday Times bestseller, Take Nothing With You, as well as the Emmy award-winning BBC drama, Man in an Orange Shirt. Patrick’s latest novel, Mother’s Boy, is out now.

The Jennifer Saint Scholarship

Jennifer Saint is the Sunday Times number 1 bestselling author of AriadneElektra and Atalanta. Jennifer grew up reading Greek mythology and was drawn to the untold stories hidden within the myths. After thirteen years as a high school English teacher, she wrote Ariadne, which tells the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur from the perspective of the woman who made it happen. Ariadne was followed a year later by Elektra which became an instant bestseller. Atalanta published in April 2023.

jennifer saint
sj watson

The SJ Watson Scholarship

SJ Watson’s first novel, Before I Go To Sleep, became a phenomenal international success and has now sold over 6 million copies worldwide. It won the Crime Writers’ Association Award for Best Debut Novel and the Galaxy National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year, and has been translated into more than 40 languages. The film of the book, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, and directed by Rowan Joffe, was released in September 2014. SJ Watson’s second novel, Second Life, was published to acclaim in 2015 and his latest novel, Final Cut, in August 2020.

The Ninety Day Novel Course


Write your novel with six personal coaching sessions over Zoom with our team of award-winning writing coaches published in a range of genres.

Daily lessons

Create and write a first draft of your novel with daily lessons, writing exercises and tips from the online course created by a Booker Prize-listed author.

Weekly online classes

Join the world’s favourite writing group for novelists with author and agent guest events and weekly online writing classes. Engage in lively discussions with fellow writers.

Towards publishing

Qualify for enrolment on The Big Edit course to get novels ready to secure world-class literary agency representation with our fast-track direct submission service.

writing scholarship


You’ll be guided how to choose your writing coach in your course before you get started writing. You will be able to work side-by-side with a bestselling author as your mentor to ask them about their writing life and discover techniques appropriate to you and your story. Our writing mentors are positive, constructive and encouraging, and you’ll find your sessions allow time for questions to explore your plot in detail and get expert ideas and idea to develop your fiction writing. Schedule one-to-one author coaching sessions by Zoom available in all time zones with the mentor of your choice.


As a member, you’ll enjoy the support of our thriving and active worldwide online community, interaction with fellow students and be able to join author guest sessions and Q&As with literary agents and publishing professionals, as well as weekly online writing classes. You’ll be able to join specialist genre writing groups and live online workshops, and get access to our library of recorded writing masterclasses with bestselling authors. We offer a phenomenal selection of resources for writers of every genre of fiction writing and memoir.

creative writing scholarship


You’ll have a testament to writing skills of a high standard with our certificate of completion. Proof of expertise with an accomplishment overseen by a respected professional. The Novelry is the writing school recommended by the world’s leading literary agencies.

The Octopus Scheme: Frequently Asked Questions

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