Writing a Novel Stage 1 for 2021 is almost complete so where to now

As the 2021 classes in Writing a Novel Stage 1 near completion we asked our scholarship winners what they’ve learnt and what’s next.

The Faber Writing a Novel Stage 1 course has enabled me to take a step back from my manuscript and look at it with fresh eyes. This truly is a gift for any writer! Before I started the course, I was feeling stuck. Writing my novel felt like too big and too messy a task to face alone. With the guidance of our wonderful teachers, Sophie and Emily, I’ve been able to clarify my thinking about the ideas I want to explore in my manuscript. This has reinvigorated my energy for the project – something I really needed!

I’m excited about further developing my knowledge of writing craft in Stage 2. I’m also looking forward to learning more about the ‘business side’ of writing, particularly in terms of how to talk about my work, and how best to approach an agent. Can’t wait!

Magdalena McGuire, Writing a Novel, Melbourne


Writing a Novel: Stage I has been a challenge, in the best possible way. The entire course has been learning by doing, and for me that has pushed my writing to the next level. Each session we have opportunities to share, and expand our repertoire. My favourite aspect of the course has been learning from other students. Everyone has such different writing styles, and their stories are worlds apart from one another. Writing can be a solitary act, though personally and culturally I believe that this kind of individualism isn’t a natural part of the human experience. This course has allowed our storytelling, our craft, to be brought back into a community. I am really looking forward to Stage II.

Brooke Scobie, Writing a Novel, Sydney


Writing a first novel is a daunting task, one that is made easier by the Faber Writing School. The thoughtful, well-structured classes put together by experienced tutors have been an invaluable anchor and guide in what was up until now an isolating process. Going into Stage 2, I look forward to one-on-one support from our tutors to get feedback on my writing and for help to turn the raw story that I passionately want to tell into a well-structured, evocative and accessible novel.

Sawsan Alfayadh, Writing a Novel, Sydney


I’ve already come much further, much faster than I could’ve expected. Kathryn would call this stage of the class ‘generative’ but I’d call it booting you out of your comfort zone and getting you running. Each week there are exercises that get you trying new things, or thinking about your work in a new way. Not everything clicks, but when it does there’s a great feeling of things branching out, doors opening, ideas flowing. It’s great seeing just how differently other writers approach the same tasks too. This stage of the class has given me a sense of things expanding.

The artist Daniel Crooks once said something about feeling like the test pilot of a plane but building the plane at the same time, and I’m starting to get what he meant! Right now it’s about getting words on a page, but I’m also looking forward to thinking more deeply about the structure & engineering side of things in stage two.

Jane O’Sullivan, Writing a Novel, Sydney


I have gained many valuable skills as a scholarship holder in Writing a Novel stage 1. I am a published poet, with a keen interest in developing an idea I have for a novel. This course has given me the space and time to develop my own writing techniques as a writer of prose, with an acclaimed writer of fiction (Carrie Tiffany) particularly in terms of making the transition between the two forms. Classes on voice, point of view, dialogue and subtext have been invaluable to me as I develop, experiment, and expand the ideas I bring to my novel in progress. I am looking forward to Stage 2 where I will learn more about structure and the ‘tough-love’ of editing and redrafting. Stage 2 will also give me the opportunity to learn from and speak to industry professionals such as agents and publishers.

Jeanine Leane, Writing a Novel, Online


Writing a Novel Stage 2 is the gateway to publication in the annual 
Faber Writing Academy Anthology

Each year The Anthology is  distributed to Australian publishers and literary agents ensuring the work of students is seen by influential decision makers throughout the Australian publishing world.


Applications for Writing a Novel Stage 2 are now open.

For details and applications:
Writing a Novel Stage 2 – Melbourne
Writing a Novel Stage 2 – Sydney
Writing a Novel Stage 2 – Brisbane
Writing a Novel Stage 2 – Online