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Novels in Verse: Take Your Manuscript to the Next Level 2017 | June 4 – June 8, 2017

Have a finished a novel in verse and need strategies for revision? Or do you have a novel in verse in its early stages and need help completing the process? Either way, our 2017 Novels in Verse workshop will take your manuscript to the next level.

The verse novel packs a punch with judicious word choices, open spaces, vivid encapsulations of scenes and emotions, all delivered in a narrative that flows rhythmically. Bring your verse novel or ideas for one and practice the art of saying what you want with verse — and sometimes choosing what not to say so your readers can breathe in the open spaces and find the answers themselves.

Join Alma Fullerton (Burn, Libertad, Walking on Glass, In the Garage), award-winning verse novelist, who spins her stories with ease, and Kathryn Erskine (Hidden Power, FSG 2018), who will share their journeys to understand this powerful art form. Special guest Padma Venkatraman will offer feedback on work and provide information about publishing opportunities for this powerful art form.

Daily sessions will explore pacing, poetry, structure, and more. In addition, writers will have time to create and revise – all while building an understanding of what makes a novel in verse successful. Faculty will also work one-on-one with writers each day.

The Novel in Verse Workshop offers writers the rare opportunity to have the entire draft of a novel read and critiqued. At the workshop, you’ll get a letter with overall comments as well as a marked-up manuscript. (Depending how far in advance you submit your novel, you may receive the letter and manuscript beforehand.) We’ll discuss the letter and manuscript in person at the workshop where we can get your feedback and we can explain our suggestions to help you make your novel what it wants to be.

What to expect at the workshop:

  • You’ll hear from experienced faculty about what makes a verse novel successful.
  • Daily sessions will help you explore pacing, poetry, structure, and more.
  • You’ll have time to write and revise.
  • You will work one-on-one with faculty daily.
  • Have the rare opportunity to have the entire draft of your novel read and critiqued.

“My biggest takeaway was that story trumps form. The story has to be really strong in a novel in verse. While the poetry aspect is incredibly important, the story has to be the right story for the medium.”–2016 attendee

Faculty Blog Posts
Kathy Erskine: The Verse Novel–If I Can Do It, So Can You
Padma Venkatraman: Walking Through the “Woulds” With Your Character
Kathy Erskine: Verse Novel a Day for Poetry Month

Did you know that we offer scholarships for many of our programs?

Please note: in order for the faculty to read your manuscript before the workshop, you will have to turn in your manuscript by May 19.

Faculty & Special Guests

"Alma and Kathy were amazing. They gave us time to write (such a gift), but they also provided guidance along the way. This could not have come at a better time for me. They provided feedback on my entire novel before the workshop even started.Then they spent time throughout the workshop guiding, brainstorming, offering encouragement."—2016 attendee

"The comments on the verse ms. beforehand were insightful and comprehensive. But it was their lectures that led to at least one epiphany a day -- even though that meant totally trashing my existing ms."—2016 attendee

"I love how Kathy and Alma already have a friendly working relationship. They were a wonderful team at the workshop. Both of them were kind, encouraging, challenging in a good way and extremely knowledgeable...and shared so many helpful details and insights. I'm forever grateful."—2016 attendee