Writing A Novel (Daytime)

w/ Eleanor Limprecht + guest tutor Fiona Kelly McGregor

For emerging novelists ready to dive in and make the commitment to complete a full manuscript, this rigorous three-stage course will guide you through the process of planning and beginning your novel, developing essential skills in writing and composition, as well as establishing a dedicated writing practice.

26 July 2024 – 9 May 2025
Fridays (10am – 1pm)

Allen & Unwin – Sydney

Faber Writing Academy at Allen & Unwin – Sydney
83 Alexander Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065

Get directions

$6,300 / $5,355 alumni.

Presented by Australia’s leading independent publishing house Allen & Unwin, in partnership with the prestigious UK publisher Faber & Faber, Writing a Novel is a highly practical, craft-focused program designed to help you find the focus you need to stay the distance and finish your manuscript draft.

In the first three-month stage of this course (July– October), you will be given a proven combination of targeted writing exercises, group discussions and carefully selected readings. These introductory lessons will give you an important foundation for writing your novel. You will be taken through essential concepts such as narrative structure, character development, narration, voice, plotting, scene setting and more.

In the second half of the program (February – May) you will continue to develop the craft and technical skills required to turn a rough draft into a work of art. You will finish the course with a deep understanding of the novelist’s craft and how it applies to your own novel. These are lessons you can carry with you throughout your writing life.

After these two stages are complete, Writing a Novel students will be asked to submit work to our highly sought-after Faber Writing Anthology, a professionally edited and printed showcase of student work sent to leading literary agents and publishers across both Australia and the United Kingdom.

This third stage will take place after your coursework is finished, giving you the time and space to work towards completing a submittable draft of your manuscript in time for the anthology to be sent out to agents and publishers. This final stage will include a meeting with Faber’s Editor-in-Residence, a copy-editing process, and a meeting with the Faber UK team.

During this course, you will be provided with:

  • Regular classes covering everything from the first conception of an idea through to getting words on a page, narrative structure and style.
  • A personalised individual consultation on your project from your Course Director.
  • The ability to connect with fellow committed novelists, joining a selective class curated by your Course Director.
  • The opportunity to make valuable industry connections with key insiders from the Australian publishing industry.
  • The chance to be showcased in the much-anticipated Faber Writing Anthology, sent to publishers and literary agents across Australia and the United Kingdom.

Writers you'll be working with:

Eleanor Limprecht

Eleanor Limprecht is the author of four novels: The Coast, The Passengers, Long Bay and What Was Left (shortlisted for the 2014 ALS Gold Medal). Eleanor’s short fiction and essays have been published various places including Best Australian Stories,  Meanjin, The Saturday Paper, Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings, Sydney Noir and The Big Issue. She’s been the…

Fiona Kelly McGregor

Fiona Kelly McGregor has published eight books, most recently the novel Iris, shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, the NSW Premier’s Award, the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal, and longlisted for the Stella Prize. Previously, Indelible ink won Age Book of the Year and was published in French by Actes-Sud. McGregor’s non-fiction includes essay collection Buried not dead,…

Course outline

This course consists of 20 x Friday sessions from 10am – 1 pm. Six of these sessions, featuring special guests, will run the full-day (10am – 4pm) and are marked below.

A 2-hour catch up session will be run online via Zoom to report in on writing progress in December 2024. Two additional evening sessions dedicated to the Faber Writing Anthology will be run in 2025.

2024 Dates

Session 1: July 26 2024
Introductions. Why this novel? Why now?

Session 2: 2 August 2024
Planning, Practice, Reading & Research.

Session 3: 9 August 2024
Beginnings. Writing exercises for exploration.

Session 4: 16 August 2024 (Full Day)
Writing place. Guest author.

Session 5: 23 August 2024
Voice (tone and POV) and tense.

Session 6: 30 August 2024
Structure and plot.

Session 7: 6 September 2024
Characters – major and minor.

Session 8: 13 September 2024 (Full Day)
Dialogue and what isn’t said. Guest author.


Session 9: 18 October 2024
Paragraphs & sentences.

Session 10: 25 October 2024 (Full Day)
Scene & summary. How to continue your practice over the break. Guest author.


Mid-break check in Zoom session: Friday 6 December 2024 10am – 12pm

2025 Dates

Session 11: 7 February 2025
Check in. Where to from here? Writing exercises for expansion.

Session 12: 14 February 2025
Deepening character (secrets, perspective, icebergs).

Session 13: 21 February 2025
Using time as a narrative device.

Session 14: 28 February 2025 (Full Day)
Detail – what to put in & what to leave out. Guest literary agent.

Session 15: 7 March 2025
The ethics of fiction; imagery & symbolism.

Session 16: 14 March 2025
How to deal with feedback.

Session 17: 21 March 2025 (Full Day)
The pitch & the synopsis. Guest author.

Session 18: 28 March 2025
Editing – structural – how to fix the big problems .


Session 19: 2 May 2025 (Full Day)
Editing – line by line – how to fix the details. Guest editor.

Session 20: 9 May 2025
How to keep momentum. Celebration.

All sessions are held in person at the Allen & Unwin offices at 83 Alexander Street, Crows Nest. The exact course content could be adjusted according to the experience and concerns of the group and availability of guest writers. The detail of the course is at the discretion of the Course Director and Faber Writing Academy at Allen & Unwin.

How to Apply

In the first instance we ask students to submit an application for a scholarship placement. To apply you will need to submit:

  • An online application answering several questions asked by our Writing A Novel tutor
  • An attachment with a sample of up to 1,000 words of prose

 The selective process ensures that all applicants are applying for the course best suited to their needs and allows the tutor to determine your readiness for the course. Submit your application here.

What happens if I am accepted?

If you are accepted into Writing a Novel, you will be sent an email inviting you to take your place in the course from the Faber Writing Academy at Allen & Unwin team. In order to secure your spot, you will be asked to pay a deposit of $630/ $535.50 (alumni). The deposit will count as your first monthly instalment, with another 9 monthly payments to be made at the end of each month from August 2024 – April 2025. Students may choose to pay the full course fee or settle their remainder at any point.

Please contact us if you wish to discuss further payment plan options via email or phone (02) 8425 0171.