There are three main things we’re looking for in an application to the Faber Writing a Novel program.
The first is a sense that you are passionate and dedicated enough to really put the time in to working on your novel during the course. Writing a novel is an enormous slog, and it’s incredibly helpful to be part of a group of people who are all in it together.
But similarly, it can be difficult for the group if some people perhaps don’t actually have the time to dedicate, either to their own work or to engaging with the work of their peers.
Secondly, we look for novel proposals that we can see are realisable projects. This isn’t about whether we personally engage with the idea, and it’s not about genre or style, it’s more that we can see that you have carefully considered how your idea will work as a novel, in terms of plot, structure and length.
Finally, in your writing sample, we look for a compelling voice, as well as a level of care and attention to detail. We once received an application in which the main character’s name changed, and then changed back again, within a short excerpt, and that’s something that rang alarm bells for us. So we really encourage you to edit your writing sample to the same level as you would if you were sending it out for publication.
Sophie Cunningham and Emily Bitto
Applications for second round offers for Writing a Novel close on
16 February 2021.