Way Out: Developing Long-Form Fiction Already in Progress
Open by application to writers with a novel or novella in progress
Limited to 10 participants
This workshop is intended for writers who are looking for guidance and encouragement while working on a novel or novella already in progress. Ideally, you’ll have a significant portion (about 30–50 pages) of your novel or novella already completed, as well as a solid grasp of the story you’re working on.
Writing long-form fiction on your own or with few readers can be exhilarating, but can also leave you with abandoned drafts, half-written chapters, and the sinking feeling that there’s no way out. Gaining insight from unbiased readers—myself and the other members of the group—in a supportive, creative atmosphere will help you identify issues, clarify your intent, and find real ways to improve your manuscript. To this end, our primary focus will be on workshopping sections of each participant’s novel or novella. Each week, one or two participants will be invited to submit 10–15 pages from their work-in-progress in order to receive feedback and notes from each person in the group. You’ll also be encouraged to include one or two questions about your work with your submission, and will have the opportunity to engage in informal question and answer sessions in each workshop.
Workshopping will be combined with lectures and writing exercises to help you gain new insight to constructing and completing your novel or novella. We’ll explore ways to reinforce the structure of your existing manuscript, gain deeper understanding of characters, fix plot holes, tie up storylines, and approach publishers and editors. We’ll also work on developing another skill invaluable to any writer: The ability to pinpoint what might not be working—and cut or rework if need be. Because writing a novel or novella takes as long as it takes, this workshop is designed to help you stay motivated and focused through the difficult parts of writing a long piece and aims to give you the tools to finish your manuscript in your own time.
Please submit the following to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “For Maya Merrick,” by Monday, September 13.
- A short summary of your novel or novella (about one or two lines).
- A maximum of 10 pages from your novel or novella, double-spaced (if these are not the opening pages, please include a brief note to let me know where we are in the story).
- One or two questions about your novel, the process of completing a long work, and/or what to do with it once you’ve finished.
You will be notified about whether you’ve been selected for the workshop by Monday, November 20.
Maya Merrick’s novel, Sextant (Conundrum Press), was released to critical acclaim in 2005, followed by The Hole Show (Conundrum Press) in 2007. She works with the Quebec Writers’ Federation as a mentor and workshop/master-class facilitator, has been an instructor at Concordia University’s Centre for Continuing Education, and has served as the editorial and administrative assistant at Conundrum Press. She is an active writing coach/mentor, editor, copyeditor, and manuscript consultant. Maya is currently completing her third novel, Colour Radio, and is working on The Ride, a book of microfiction.