We will examine what a novel is, and the line separating so-called fact from fiction is becoming. We’ll talk about elements fundamental to all story-telling no matter what genre, and also issues of particular importance to novels and other long prose works.

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Time: ten Wednesdays, 18:00 to 20:00

Duration: 11 March - 20 May, 2020

Location: Atwater Library and Computer Centre—1200 Atwater Avenue, Westmount, Quebec View map

Description

*No meeting April 15.*

The wisdom of the novel comes from having a question for everything.”
– Milan Kundera

This workshop is designed for people currently engaged in writing a long-form writing project. Limited to 12 participants.

So you’re writing a novel. Maybe this is your first try—you’re several chapters in and full of questions. Or maybe you’re an old hand. You’ve got through a first draft, and what you need are readers, preferably people like you with sharp eyes, big hearts, and plenty of questions. This is the right place for you.

We will examine what a novel is, and how blurry the line separating so-called fact from fiction is becoming. We’ll talk about elements fundamental to all story-telling no matter what genre or sub-genre, and also issues of particular importance to novels and other long prose works (e.g., how to handle backstory and research, shaping compelling scenes and stringing them together into a plot that makes readers want to turn pages). Other possible topics include beginnings and endings, and writing sex. In the first meetings we’ll bring in novel excerpts to read aloud and discuss, but the main springboard for discussions about craft and technique will be your own writing.

Over the course of ten weeks, you will have the possibility of submitting for feedback two chapters of your project, as well as your synopsis. You will decide the kind and degree of feedback you wish for each submission. Questions—not advice—will be the order of the day. Feedback will be offered orally during the workshop by peers, and each submission will receive detailed written comments from the workshop leader.

The cost for this 10-week workshop is:
QWF Members: $205*
Student Members: $113*
Non-Members: $225*
*+ PayPal/Credit Card fee if paying online

Workshop leader

Claire Holden Rothman is a Montreal writer and translator whose novels include Lear’s Shadow (2018), winner of the 2019 Vine Award for Jewish Canadian fiction; My October (2014), a finalist for the Governor General’s Award and nominee for the Scotia Bank-Giller Prize; and The Heart Specialist (2009), also nominated for a Giller. For many years she taught literature and creative writing at Marianopolis College. She has also taught the advanced fiction workshop at McGill and Bishop’s Universities. Her latest literary translation, Sun of a Distant Land (Soleil) by David Bouchet was shortlisted for the 2017 QWF Cole Foundation Prize for Translation.

Apply

Please upload the following three items by February 14 using the form below:
  1. The first chapter of your novel (or first ten double-spaced pages if chapter exceeds this length);
  2. A one-page (MAX) single-spaced synopsis of your project, outlining main themes and bare bones of your plot;
  3. One paragraph (MAX) introducing yourself.
Please include your name and the working title of your project on all attached documents. The QWF offices will contact you about admission status the week of February 24. Payment will be due within 7 days of our contacting you, if you are accepted.

Required Documents and Information

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