Whole Novel Workshops: What to Expect

Founded in 2006, our Whole Novel Workshops are specifically designed for writers of middle grade and young adult novels. This unique program offers you the one-on-one attention found in degree programs, without additional academic requirements or lengthy time commitments. In 2018 we are offering two Whole Novel Workshops:

Writing the Unreal: The Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy & Speculative Fiction
May 13-20, 2018
Lead faculty: Anne Ursu and Laura Ruby
Special guests: Christine Heppermann, Deborah Kovacs and Tina Wexler.

Whole Novel Workshop MG/YA
August 12-18, 2018
Lead faculty: Sarah Aronson, Nancy Werlin, A.M. Jenkins, Jennifer Jacobson
Special guests: Nicole Valentine, Rob Costello

What makes the Whole Novel Workshops different from other novel courses?
Our aim is to focus on a specific work in progress, moving a novel to the next level in preparation for submission to agents or publishers. Focused attention in an intimate setting makes this mentorship program one that guarantees significant progress.

The Whole Novel Workshop offers writers the rare opportunity to have the entire draft of a novel read and critiqued prior to the workshop, followed by a week of intense, one-on-one mentoring.

What can you expect from your week at the Whole Novel Workshop?

  • Focused, one-on-one response to your entire novel-in-progress from an accomplished author and teacher
  • Group discussion and feedback
  • Seminars on technique, craft, query letters, and agent/editor submissions
  • Ample time to write and revise
  • Writing exercises and group reading
  • Private lodging: your own quiet place in which to write and revise
  • Inspiring food: farm-style meals are prepared by a top-notch chef
  • A beautiful setting: our campus is tucked away in the picturesque northeastern Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains

How can you get a preview of what the faculty has to offer?
Check out these blog posts and videos:
Sarah Aronson: Listen for Stories
Nancy Werlin: Transform Introspection Into Dialogue
Miriam Busch: Celebrating Laura Ruby
Sarah Aronson: Eulogy Virtues

Nancy Werlin on The Structure of a Novel:

Sarah Aronson on Looking at Endings:

Laura Ruby on Writing the Unreal:

What do past students have to say about the Whole Novel Workshop?
“Everyone on the faculty was genuinely interested in helping each student to succeed. They were great about having small or one-on-one conversations as well.”

“The faculty were warm, inspiring, wise, encouraging, helpful, and funny. And their sessions were as inspiring and as helpful as the presenters. I couldn’t have asked for more!”

“The faculty were awesome. I’ve been through an MFA program in creative writing so I know topnotch writing instructors when I see them. Learned some very valuable things about my writing.”

“Anne & Laura are honest, encouraging, illuminating and excellent teachers. They saw things I hadn’t and gave me tools to use with this work, but also with other work I’ll do in the future. It’s hard to express how grateful I am to both of them for the week we’ve spent together. I’ll always treasure what I’ve learned here & how I’ve grown as a writer.”

“Very generous lectures! Workshop time was handled very professionally. Sarah critiqued my entire novel and sent a fabulous summary of notes.”

“The workshop–the whole experience–exceeded my expectations. I loved it!”
believe in your book stones


Posted on: December 7, 2017