Featured class: Queer Poetics with Juliet Patterson starts February 15. 

What the Novel Writing Project Includes

Novel Writing Project Books

Throughout the year, participants will read and learn from several recent novels:

  • The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy
  • Vacationland by Sarah Stonich
  • Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
  • Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
  • Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
  • The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
  • The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli
Cohort Meetings

Project participants will meet as a class and cohort for two twelve-week terms, one in the winter/spring and one in the fall/winter. The Winter/Spring meetings will take place Thursdays, January 26–April 20, 6–9 p.m. The Fall/Winter meetings will take place Thursdays, September 28–December 21, 6-9 p.m. We will also meet three times during the summer on three Saturdays: June 17, July 15, August 12, all 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Each meeting will be organized and carefully planned, and each participant will be asked to participate fully. The class simply won’t work without everyone’s engagement; YOUR participation is key throughout, as class meeting times are meant to keep your writing goals on schedule. Many of the cohort meetings will include visits (in-person or virtual) with established publishing professionals.

Our work will range over several topics. To begin, we’ll focus on how fiction and its various elements work in concert. We’ll also consider the architecture of our projects and begin to work immediately on putting plans into place. The main focus of the course will be workshop-based, but we’ll also read and study a series of novels. Four authors of these assigned readings will join us for in-class discussions.

During the summer months, you’ll focus even more on your writing, which you’ll do on your own, with direction from Peter.

In the fall term, we’ll begin by focusing on more writing, workshopping, and revision, but we’ll also move more directly into discussions about the business of writing and publishing. For these purposes, we’ll be visited by several industry professionals.

In addition to class meetings, over the course of the year-long program, each participant will have 6 one-on-one meetings with Peter to consult on individual novel projects. This includes a final manuscript consultation session that will take place in January or February 2018, once Peter has had a chance to read and critique each manuscript. These will be handed in on the final day of the fall/winter term class session—December 21, 2017.

Conferences, Online Connection, and Final Reading

Enrollment in the Novel Writing Project includes registration in the Loft’s Pitch conference, April 7 and 8, 2017, as well in the Loft’s Novel Writer’s conference April 28 and 29, 2017. Additional details will be forthcoming.

There is also an online component using the Loft’s online class platform so that students can stay connected between cohort meetings.

The year long Novel Writing Project will culminate in a final public reading at the Loft on Thursday evening, January 18, 2018. Each participant will be able to read a 5-7 minute section of their completed novel.