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Our Story

As a crack team of authors and editors, we meet twice a week to put our heads together on our writers' storylines. We look at every story before our writers get too far into the writing, so they can write with confidence in the right direction. Bold stories, beautifully told; that’s what the world’s best literary agents have come to expect from our writers. We’re writers writing; non-corporate, not nine to five, energetic and committed. 

We support our writers by believing in them, helping them carve out time and space, doing some of the heavy-lifting of plotting and planning. We work with writers one by one to bring their books to life. It's a pleasure and a privilege. 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 in which you can be yourself, only more so.

And then there's the Chief Wellness Officer, Blue. Small, fluffy and formidable he attends to the matter of a healthy writing-life balance.

We'll look forward to giving you a warm welcome soon. 

Our Story

 

 

 

 

online writing course octopus

How it all began ...

 

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

Could we write together? 

 

After almost twenty 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 at the same time to help me stay on track. The Bookseller publicised my experiment and some 200 writers offered to join me, so for the next 90 days I wrote ‘live’ and put together the course materials for what would become our first online writing course, the Ninety Day Novel course.

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.

The Ninety Day Novel course

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 JM 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.

Building the best team

As the numbers of writers grew, they needed other writers to teach them, writers working in genres in which they were expert: fantasy fiction, speculative fiction, crime, romance, children’s fiction. The Novelry needed young blood, brilliantly published writers, award-winning and bestselling. My 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 author tutors, one-by-one.

Inspiring writers all the way

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, that was open 24/7 worldwide.

As our writers began completing their books it was time to find them literary agents. Over the last two years we’ve made some great working friendships and seen our writers through to literary agency representation and publishing contracts. We’re proud to work with the leading literary agents in the UK and the USA.

Bringing brilliant editors to The Novelry 

What if we could bring some of the very best publishing editors in the business to help our writers shape their stories for success? So we sought editors with phenomenal reputations, working with global bestselling author names at Penguin Random House, 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 and to help them get safe at submission to agents we knew we had to bring in the editors who acquired books from agents.

Welcome home

 

In this small part of your life, you get to play god. With so much outside of our control, taking an hour for you in which you get to call the shots is deeply consoling.

A story is driven by change, and so are our lives. 

The magic of writing is that what we write changes us too. As we start putting one word after another, we begin to consider our theme, our values, we consider the roads taken and the roads not taken. We become a new version of ourselves by getting other versions down on the page. It’s fascinating not only what goes onto the page, but what doesn’t – who you are when you stand up after writing can be mysteriously different from who you were when you sat down. 

Writing a book begins a new chapter of your life.

Don’t miss the opportunity to discover your story, and more about who you are and who you want to become.

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