Whole Novel Genre: An Online Course for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, & Beyond

Online | Novels
Apply for a transformative opportunity to have your entire science fiction, fantasy, horror, and/or similar genre-specific novel read and workshopped as you prepare for submission.


Apply for this transformative opportunity to have your entire draft (up to 80,000 words) of a novel read by faculty, with detailed written feedback and a private consultation provided. This online program in particular is for writers of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and similar genre-specific novels.

Details include:

  • 10-week online course + Whole Novel review and consultation
  • Apply by January 23, 2024
  • Limited to 16 storytellers
  • Storytellers will be selected and notified on a rolling basis, on or before February 1
  • There is no application fee; if accepted, the Whole Novel Online program is $2,199 (with payment available in full or on monthly payment plan)
  • Apply on or before January 23 (with final notifications on or before February 1)
  • Lectures: Thursdays, February 15, 22, 29, March 7 at 7:30pm – 8:30pm EST; Peer to Peer Workshopping: Thursdays March 14, 21, 28 at 7:30pm – 8:30pm EST; Writing Exercises & Presentations: Thursdays April 4, 11, & 25 at 7:30pm – 8:30pmEST
    • All lectures are recorded for those who cannot attend live.
  • Complete manuscript submissions due by February 29
  • Feedback letters delivered to writers by April 17
  • 60-minute, 1:1 Private Zoom Consultation: Scheduled at a mutually convenient time, April 17 – 25
  • The cost of the full course (including lectures, feedback letter, 1:1 consultation, workshopping, and writing exercises) is $2,199.
  • 16 participants max

Why Do I Need to Apply to this Program?

The Whole Novel Workshop is reserved for novelists who have made significant independent progress on their drafts and need a review of the “whole novel” to move forward in their revision goals.

As such, you will need to have a completed draft of your novel that matches the criteria for the course by the submission due date (February 29).

We ask that you apply to the course to make sure that the Whole Novel format is the best fit for your goals. Please submit:

  • The first 5 – 10 pages from the manuscript you wish to workshop
  • A one-page synopsis or general outline
  • Tentative page count, workshop goals, and a short bio (including how you are connected to this project)

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, starting immediately through February 1. There is no fee to apply.

You will be notified of your acceptance status no later than February 1, 2024, and if accepted, asked to pay a $500 non-refundable deposit and set up a payment plan or pay your registration in full. (You may also use a scholarship that you have been previously awarded to attend a Whole Novel program.) Once manuscripts have been submitted in full there is a cancellation fee of $1,100. You will receive your feedback letter and consultation with this cancellation.

The cost of the full course (including lectures, feedback letter, 1:1 consultation, workshopping, and writing exercises) is $2,199.

Why This Workshop?

Online, 10-Week Whole Novel Program

The Whole Novel Workshop offers writers the rare opportunity to have the entire draft of a novel (up to 80,000 words) read with written feedback and a private consultation, along with rich presentations specifically designed for novelists at this stage in their writing journey.

This virtual course features:

  • Rich presentations (Genre fiction analysis, power structures, world building, scene work, character development, revision, goal setting, and more!)
  • Writing exercises and small group workshopping
  • A feedback letter offering written insights and questions about your drafted novel (up to 80,000 words) to help you prioritize goals and next steps.
  • A 60-minute private consultation with your reader to discuss feedback, revisions, and next steps.
  • Connection opportunities with fellow writers.

All presentations are recorded for those who cannot attend live.

Please note:

  • If accepted to the program, your full novel draft is due on or before February 29.

Feedback Expected

  • You will be thoughtfully paired with a faculty reader who will offer written insights and questions about your drafted novel (up to 80,000 words), and help you prioritize goals. You will receive this written feedback along with a private consultations to discuss feedback and goals by April 17.
  • You will spend time with peers in small groups discussing and workshopping select writing assignments from the virtual classroom. You will be expected to read and engage with these short submissions. (Word count will be limited with ample time to read and prepare.)
  • You will have a 60-minute private consultation with your reader to discuss feedback, revisions, and next steps.
  • Informal feedback will occur throughout the presentations.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You have a complete or near-complete draft of a novel. You’ll get the most out of this workshop if you’re at this stage.  Your full workshop novel submission is due by February 29, and then you’ll workshop it in earnest, readying it for submission.
  • Your project is one of many fiction genres, a graphic novel, a verse novel, or a multi-genre novel. If you aren’t sure if your novel fits the program specifics, please reach out and ask.
  • You would benefit from receiving multiple feedback perspectives. In addition to a whole novel review by your faculty reader, you will lead a discussion for feedback from fellow writers.
  • You’re willing to work! This program is best for those who will dedicate time and attention to processing feedback, revising, writing exercises, and group sessions.
  • You enjoy online learning. This workshop takes place on Zoom with regular meetings on Thursday evenings February 15 – April 25 at 7:30pm Eastern. Can’t attend live? Presentations will be recorded. (Please note that 1:1 consultations and small group workshopping will not be recorded.)

How It Impacts Kids

Your novel can make a big impact on a child’s life. This workshop helps you take steps toward bringing it to market in a way that is authentic to your voice and your story, because that is just what your reader needs.

Testimonials from Our Community

“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 Zoom sessions were such a highlight of each week! Loved all the instructors and the other students. I feel like I made some friends and took a big step forward with my novel draft.”

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

See other testimonials and learn more about the Whole Novel Workshop experience.

3 Questions for Diana Rodriguez Wallach and Intisar Khanani About the Workshop


February 15 - April 25




When you register for this course, you’ll receive information via email to confirm.

For mini courses (one or two nights only), you’ll receive webinar links immediately to use on the evening of the course.

For longer courses, you’ll receive an invitation to your virtual classroom as the workshop approaches.

Learn more about the technology that we use for our online workshops.

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The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.