What’s the basic format of the course?
The full course runs as a series of 15 one-to-one tutorials, 12 by email and 3 by Skype/Zoom/telephone call.
The course is divided into two halves – ‘Part One – Routes Forward’ (Modules 1-8) and ‘Part Two – Going Further’ (Modules 9-15).
Each of the 15 Modules consists of at least one PDF handout (over 30 in total) with several pages of teaching content, writing and brainstorming assignments, and suggested reading (such as examples of published flash fictions and extracts from novellas-in-flash/novels-in-flash). At the end of each Module you email the tutor your response and receive supportive, in-depth and transformative feedback on how to take your material forward. NB Thirteen of the fifteen Modules include feedback on your writing.
It’s designed to allow for a flexible approach – think of it as the chemistry lab in which you incubate, nourish and nurture the beautiful, mad little organism that is your novella-in-flash/novel-in-flash.
Who is it aimed at?
The one-to-one course structure is suitable for writers who want to begin a brand new Novella-in-Flash AND for writers who want to develop an existing Novella-in-Flash. It helps to have at least one idea for a project before you begin. It allows you to finish longer projects (i.e. novel-length), by offering the option to submit longer manuscripts for feedback at the end of the course.
It’s aimed at people with some prior experience of writing stories (e.g. flash fiction, novels, short stories, plays/screenplays, narrative poems, etc), whether published or unpublished. It suits adventurous, keen writers who would like to commit to a major writing project but know they would benefit from some help. It suits writers with a regular writing habit who would like in-depth, one-to-one support over a sustained period.
How long does it take and how do I learn?
It can be completed over a flexible time period. Most writers take between 3-9 months to complete each half of the course, fitting the writing in around their ordinary routine. You can complete the full course within 6 months if regularly clearing time in your schedule to write. Allow 3-6 hours of your time in writing, reading and thinking (including optional tasks) for each Module.
The incubation process for a novella-in-flash/novel-in-flash often requires care and patience – drafts can feel exploratory or tentative, and a manuscript can at first seem more like a caterpillar than a butterfly. This course has therefore been designed as an in-depth one-to-one dialogue and process of development, rather than a communal course for a group of writers (with the necessary deadlines that go with that style of teaching). So, you can proceed at your own pace, and you won’t be forced through the pain of sharing hesitant first drafts publicly with fellow writers. Nor will you have to spend time writing feedback for other participants during this course – the whole experience is designed around your writing and yours alone. You will receive generous one-to-one support from tutor Michael Loveday throughout your writing journey.
How much reading is involved?
As well as each Module’s PDFs, there are example flash fictions and short stories to read by published writers, and links to additional online articles for further research.
For the optional ‘case study’ element, certain books or pamphlets will be required reading while undertaking this course. The cost of purchasing these texts is not included in the course fee. The number of ‘case study’ books/pamphlets you study as part of the course is negotiable.
A further book, My Very End of the Universe (Rose Metal Press, 2014) is recommended reading, but not part of the course. This book is a seminal anthology of 5 Novellas-in-Flash. It contains an excellent introductory essay plus one craft essay by each of the 5 authors. Available here: Link
Do I have to sign up to all 15 Modules from the outset?
No, you can book a place on ‘Part One – Routes Forward’ (Modules 1-8) without committing to the second half of the course, and then book your place on ‘Part Two – Going Further’ (Modules 9-15) at a later date if you wish. There is also a 4-Module short course – an extract from the full course – which you can use to get underway on a self-study basis. You can then upgrade to Part One or the full course once you complete the first four Modules (you’ll upgrade at a reduced fee so you’re not paying twice for these four Modules).
What if I find I need extra help to complete the novella?
You can arrange extra Skype/Zoom/telephone support during the course for an additional fee. You can also book additional mentoring or manuscript feedback when the course ends, if you feel there is further to go with your novella. See prices here.
Who teaches the course?
The course is taught by writer and tutor Michael Loveday. More information about Michael can be found here.
How much does the course cost?
Prices can be found here.
When is the course available?
The full course will reopen for applications in September. More information about the next application window will be available here. In the meantime, the 4-Module short course is available all year round.