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Your Novel in a Year (in-person class) – Registration is closed.

February 27 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm EDT

Event Series Event Series (See All)

Instructor: Bruce Holsinger
$1,599* Members | $1,599* Nonmembers
$100 non-refundable application fee; if accepted, fee will be applied to class tuition
Select Tuesdays (see Details below for dates), 10/10/23 – 4/30/24, 9/9/24 | 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Application Deadline: 9/22/23
*Payment plans will be available to students accepted into this program; there are no scholarships available for this offering

Before applying for this in-person class, please read the following statement about requirements to enroll:

By registering for an in-person offering, you attest that you have been vaccinated for Covid-19. WriterHouse strongly recommends any student at greater risk for contracting Covid-19 wear a mask. In the event of significant Covid-19 upticks, students must be prepared for the mask policy to change and to transition to a virtual platform if necessary. No refunds will be issued if in-person classes/seminars need to transition online.


This class will give participants a unique year-long experience devoted to the writing of a novel. You’ll join a small cohort for regular in-person (and perhaps one or two online) sessions to learn about novel craft, workshop scenes and chapters, strategize on revision, set accountability measures and deadlines, and receive support from fellow writers working toward the same goal.

Aspiring novelists at any stage are encouraged to apply. If you’ve already drafted a full manuscript, you may want to use this class to help you revise prior to submission. If you have a great concept for a novel and only twenty pages drafted, that’s fine, too. Writers in all genres of fiction are welcome: mysteries and thrillers, romance, speculative fiction, YA, literary fiction, historical fiction, and hybrids of all of these. The only requirement is that you come in with an idea that you’ve started to flesh out and a strong commitment to attend and participate. The class will take it from there.

The Tuesday evening sessions will combine the workshopping of students’ drafts along with instructor-led seminars and mini-lectures on a variety of subjects: premise, story arc, and character; point of view and setting; scenes, chapters, and sequences of chapters; synopses and outlines; and agent querying and the literary marketplace. We’ll also study a number of model debut novels to get a sense of story structure and the current literary market. Our readings will include helpful guides to the craft of fiction by a variety of authors, editors, agents, and other gurus. A key component of the class will be individualized feedback from the instructor, including an evaluation of your premise and an initial 20-page excerpt from your novel in the fall or winter; and, over the summer, a constructive critique of your synopsis and a 100-page section of your novel in progress.


The schedule will include the following components: (1) an informal get-to-know-you session on October 10 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.; (2) ten two-hour sessions from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on the evenings of October 17, November 14, December 5 (2023), January 16, February 6, February 27, March 19, April 9, April 30, and September 9 (2024); (3) an all-day writing retreat in May 2024, exact date and location to be scheduled with participants’ input; and (4) an informal wrap-up session in October 2024. Over the summer, the instructor will read 100-page excerpts of novels in progress and meet individually with participants to discuss their progress and prospects. (Note: we may have to make one or two alterations to the session schedule depending on the instructor’s travel; if so, participants will have plenty of notice.)

A crucial dimension of this class will be active participation from all students, particularly during workshops, which depend on an attentive and supportive learning environment. Commitment is key, and students should make a strong effort to attend every session.

Please note, this program is for novelists who are prepared to make a strong commitment to their work; students will be expected to participate for the entire nine-month program.

About the Instructor: 

Bruce Holsinger is the author of the USA Today and Los Angeles Times-bestselling novel The Gifted School (Riverhead Books, 2019). A Book of the Month Club main selection and described by The Wall Street Journal as “the novel that predicted the College Admissions Scandal,” The Gifted School won the Colorado Book Award and was named one of the Best Books of 2019 by NPR and numerous publications. The novel is currently in development as a TV series with NBC/Universal Television. His most recent novel, The Displacements (2022), was hailed by The New York Times as “hypnotic” and “a thorough translation to fiction of what it can feel like to live right now.” The novel was chosen as an inaugural title in the Humanitarian Book Club, an initiative of the United Nations Office of Humanitarian Action (OCHA), and is a finalist for the 2023 Virginia Literary Award in Fiction. He is also the author of A Burnable Book and The Invention of Fire, award-winning historical novels published by William Morrow (HarperCollins). His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, Slate, and many other publications. His fiction has been featured several times on NPR, including in interviews with Robin Young of Here & Now and Renee Montagne of Weekend Edition. Since 2005 he has taught in the Department of English at the University of Virginia, where he specializes in medieval literature and modern critical thought and serves as editor of the quarterly journal New Literary History. His nonfiction books have won major awards from the Modern Language Association, the Medieval Academy of America, and the American Musicological Society. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.


February 27
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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Bruce Holsinger


508 Dale Avenue
Charlottesville, 22902 United States
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