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Novel Beginnings: Essential Elements in Your First 3 Chapters (online seminar series) – This seminar is canceled

February 25, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST

Kristie Smeltzer

Instructor: Kristie Smeltzer
$60 Members | $65 Nonmembers
Saturdays 2/25/23 & 3/11/23 | 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST

A novel’s beginning has a lot of work to do. It needs to grab readers’ attention, establish the voice, set the tone, develop characters, get the plot moving, kick off the tension/conflict, and manage reader expectations. Figuring out how to do all that in just a few chapters is a tall order. Join this seminar series to gain a better understanding of what essential elements the beginning of your book needs to succeed as well as insights into how you can weave them seamlessly into your story. 

In the seminars, participants will discuss the key elements of novel beginnings and look at published examples to identify what authors included where and how they made it work effectively. Between sessions, students will complete a series of analytical worksheets and exercises looking at published work similar to what they write and their own fiction (or plans for it). In the last session, we will discuss the completed activities and have ample time for participant questions. Writers already working on a novel as well as those planning to start one will both benefit from this seminar series.

Please note that this seminar series is not a workshop and will not include feedback on participants’ novel chapters. If you are looking for specific feedback on the beginning of your book, consider taking one of Randall Klein’s First Twenty-Five Workshops.

Kristie Smeltzer’s work has appeared in The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg ReviewApeiron ReviewEclectica MagazineThe Florida Review, and So to Speak. She’s been teaching at WriterHouse for six years and is also the program manager, starting in 2022. She earned her MFA at the University of Central Florida. Kristie is currently working on three novels. See more at KristieSmeltzer.com.

This seminar is canceled.


508 Dale Avenue
Charlottesville, 22902 United States
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Kristie Smeltzer