A question from me to you

A question from me to you


Mostly I write these emails according to whatever wind, breeze, draught or zephyr happens to be in my mind at the moment I start writing.

But what if … I was actually a little bit more structured? What if our Feedback Friday challenges were a bit more disciplined?

Here’s the vision:

I want to span the year with a collection of little courses, or themed blocks of material. So, for example, let’s say that we choose one month to be entirely on the topic of character. In that month:

  1. My Friday emails will mostly talk about character. (I say mostly, because there’ll be times when it’s helpful to be able to wander around a bit.)
  2. The Feedback Friday tasks will consistently hammer away at the exact same theme– so one week might be on character appearances, the next on dialogue, the next on knowing your character, and the last maybe on characters in relationship. Remember that anyone is welcome to post work in our Feedback Friday group. I’ll only be giving feedback to Premium Members, but the peer-to-peer stuff is massively helpful on its own.
  3. For Premium Members, I want to send out supporting video tuition too. So it might be a ten minute video from me. It might be a whole Masterclass or course module. That material might be presented by me or by some other amazing person. But that means if you want to dive more deeply into a topic, you can.

The idea, really, is that if you just stick around, we’ll cover everything you need to know about writing & publishing & marketing your work. As always, these things are repetitive. It’s not like we can just ‘do’ character, complete the tasks and never think about it again. Writing isn’t like that. You encounter a topic one time and learn lots. Then you encounter it again when you have more miles under your belt, and you’ll learn more.

But this week, my question to you is simple.

What do you want?

What shall we cover?

I think we should assume that the maximum length of any course or mini-course is six weeks, but apart from that, anything goes.

Here are some ideas, together with some (very rough) guesses as to how long we’d need for each unit:

  • A four-week (ish) course on planning a novel
  • Two or three weeks on non-fiction
  • A compact “write a novel in 6 weeks” course
  • A 4-week season on Character
  • 4-weeks on plotting
  • A week or two on plotting software
  • An advanced mini-course on making a good novel better? (4-6 weeks)
  • 4 weeks on Getting Published
  • 4 weeks on the basics of self-pub
  • 2-4 weeks on agents (how to choose them, how to work with them)
  • And of course loads of one-off things: how to use social media, author productivity, writing & wellbeing, how to source a book cover, choosing a title, writing a blurb, making the trad vs self-pub choice.

And so on!

In a lot of cases, I’ll create and film totally new material for this, so I do want to know what you want. We’ll also use your responses to shape things like our Festival of Writing and our programme of live events, so the more you tell us, the more we can shape things around you.

And that’s it.

What do you want? What would you most like us to help with? Please let me know.

You can either respond by filling out this form or by hitting the reply button, I doubt if I’ll be able to respond to every single-pingle thing that comes my way, but I will read absolutely everything.

Thanks very much.

May is genre month and the task this week ties-in with the upcoming events, both the Defining Your Genre workshop next Tuesday and the following virtual genre mixers.

Please pick a passage that you feel particularly encapsulates your genre. Please keep your feedback for my Friday emails and Feedback Friday to the form we mentioned above and in response to this email rather than sharing it on Townhouse. 

What I want is:



A line or so of explanation, if needed.

A 250-word passage that conveys your genre.

That’s it from me. Post yours here.

Til soon.


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  1. Title- Confessions of an Orthopaedic surgeon
    Genre- Memoir
    My book is about the Joys and sorrows, highs and lows of the professional and private life of an Orthopaedic surgeon.
    I hope this description is not too short. I joined Jericho Writers recently. This is an attempt by an Orthopaedic surgeon to put his bony life into pages.

  2. Hi Harry,
    It would be great if we could have two or three weeks of teaching on ‘Memoir writing’. Unfortunately, it is not a genre that is widely taught, although more and more people want to write memoirs.