Novelists’ Bootcamp


CNW cover

Monday 5th November (after 4pm) – Saturday 10th November (after breakfast)
Residential course at Boswedden House, Cornwall

Early booking essential: maximum 8 places only
COST £575*
NB Accommodation is mainly in shared rooms but two small singles are available on a first-come basis, with the extra possibility of ONE double room being available to a single person for a supplement (please ask).

This short course is for anyone who’s writing, or attempting to write, a novel. Have you:
begun but flagged?
got stuck?
got a saggy middle?
got a box full of pages under the bed?
run out of inspiration for the plot, or the ending?
become unsure whether your plot or characters need some work?
simply become lonely while writing and would enjoy a week of companionship on this journey?
or even completed the first draft but would like input?

If so, come and join us for a top-up of inspiration, technique and general expertise from this very experienced writer and tutor in a small group with time for individual feedback from myself and from your peers.

The mornings will focus on such issues as core theme, central questions, creating and maintaining suspense, the arc of the plot, opening and closing pages, viewpoint, and the demands of character and dialogue. We’ll also look at synopses and ‘elevator pitches’. The afternoons are for sharing your work for feedback.

My book, above, grew from a series of courses, uniquely rooted in myth and archetype, for novelists that I’ve been leading since the 1990s (featured in The Guardian in 1998). This material now generally takes the shape of an online course, for which the feedback is excellent. Many of my students are published. I’ve also offered online novel-writing tutoring for MsLexia magazine, as well as privately.

Boswedden House is just a few miles from Penzance railway station, which is served by mainline trains.

Food is plentiful and vegetarian, and NB rooms are shared to keep the cost down.

*What the fee includes:
all my tutoring;
a bed in an en suite shared twin room (bring a friend?);
plentiful veggie breakfasts;
a simple lunch;
the first evening’s supper;
teas and coffees; occasional home-made cake.
It doesn’t include 4 evening meals eaten locally.

use the contact form below.

To guarantee you a place I need the full fee once I’ve accepted your booking (instalments are possible; please ask).
Please note that the fee is non-refundable if you cancel after 30th September as I’m unlikely to be able to fill your place. If you cancel before that I will refund £400 of your fee, retaining the balance to cover the inconvenience and the cost of readvertising your place and administration. If for any reason I cancel the workshop then of course your full fee is refunded. Your booking is taken as an agreement to these terms.

Feedback on the last weekend course:
‘I found [the days] very useful. I left with renewed energy and motivation to complete my “novel in progress”. The [days were] intense and you did work us hard but I was too absorbed in what we were doing to feel tired. I really enjoyed sharing our work and getting feedback from the small group of other novelists, it was amazing how often we all made the same mistakes or agreed on our feedback. Hearing your observations about my writing and the structure of the day that you provided has really helped me achieve clarity about finding a direction for my novel. And reading out my work, although scary, was incredibly uplifting.’ (CB)

‘I hope you agree that the weekend was a triumph and I’m pretty certain that everyone else would agree. You have an amazing ability to foster the sort of compassionate and empathic atmosphere in which we can relax and share our concerns with confidence and honesty. It is a rare thing and it always works. As the days go by, the memory of the experience is enriched and clarified. As I said then, my thirst for writing is alive, despite much work to do in every aspect.’ (MH)