Writing a Novel Online

w/ Pip Smith and guests

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.

Thursdays 7pm – 9pm, 29 February – 26 September 2024

 $5,900 / $5015 alumni


Using a proven combination of targeted writing exercises, group discussions and carefully selected examples, the focus of this course will be on your own work, with the aim of ending the course with a substantial body of new writing, heading towards a complete first draft of your novel.

In the second half of the program you will continue to develop craft and technical skills required to turn a rough draft into a work of art. Using exercises focused on your own work, you’ll 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.

Presented by Australia’s leading independent publishing house, Writing a Novel: Online is a targeted program specifically designed to help you find the focus you need to stay the distance and finish your manuscript draft throughout the year. During this time, your Course Director will provide you with:

Regular online classes covering everything from the first conception of an idea through to getting words on a page, narrative structure and style.

• Dedicated guidance from your experienced Course Director, as well as industry guests.

Personalised individual consultation on your project from your Course Director.

Support to progress your novel through classroom learning and close reading exercises. Outside of your workshops, you will be encouraged to devote as much time as possible between classes to writing.

• The ability to connect with fellow committed novelists, building a close-knit community of trusted readers.

• The opportunity to establish valuable industry connections with key insiders from the Australian publishing. There is no better way to get on the road to publication than to meet the people who know how to make that happen.

In addition to dedicated course work, students who complete Writing a Novel will be invited to submit to the digital exclusive version of the Faber Writing Anthology, a professionally edited and designed showcase of student work, sent out to leading literary agents and publishers in both Australia and the United Kingdom. During the course, you will meet with the editor who works on the anthology and have the chance to see an extract of your novel professionally edited.

Writers you'll be working with:

Pip Smith

Pip Smith is a writer of poetry, fiction, literary criticism and punk songs. She was named an SMH Best Young Novelist of 2018 for her debut novel, Half Wild, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Voss Literary award, the Davitt Award, and longlisted for an ABIA Best Debut Fiction award. Her first collection of poetry, Too Close…

Course outline

The course consists of 22 online evening sessions (Thursdays 7pm – 9pm AEDT/AEST), 6 half-day sessions (Saturdays 1.00pm to 4.00pm) and an additional evening session dedicated to the Faber Writing Anthology.

Session 1: Thursday 29 February

Session 2: Thursday 7 March
The workshop process

Session 3: Saturday 9 March

Session 4: Thursday 14 March

Session 5: Thursday 21 March
Point of View

Session 6: Saturday 23 March
Guest author and introduction to dialogue

Session 7: Thursday 28 March


Session 8: Thursday 2 May
Dialogue – tension and subtext

Session 9: Saturday 4 May
Place and setting

Session 10: Thursday 9 May
Dialogue exercises

Session 11: Thursday 16 May

Session 12: Thursday 23 May
Introduction to character

Session 13: Thursday 30 May
Author guest and more on character

Session 14: Thursday 6 June
Establishing your writing practise

Session 15: Thursday 13 June
Project check in and writing exercises


Session 16: Thursday 25 July

Session 17: Thursday 1 August
Introduction to plot and structure

Session 18: Thursday 8 August
Pattern and design in narrative

Session 19: Saturday 10 August
Backstory, time shifts and narrative time

Session 20: Thursday 15 August
Research, ethics and appropriation

Session 21: Thursday 22 August
Editing your work and guest editor

Session 22: Saturday 24 August
Editing processes and modelling exercise

Session 23: Thursday 29 August
Synopsis, blurbs and pitches

Session 24: Thursday 5 September
Reading your work – voice coach

Session 25: Saturday 7 September
Titles and covers

Session 26: Thursday 12 September
A&U editor guest – anthology Q&A

Session 27: Thursday 19 September
Literary agent guest

Session 28: Thursday 26 September
Final readings. Where to from here? Advice for completion.

Please note 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.

Praise for this course

‘The course has, to date, been a very enriching experience. It has met and exceeded my expectations.’





How to Apply

Writing a Novel Online is now booked out.

Use the FREE booking button to join the waitlist and we will let you know if a place becomes available or if the course is scheduled to run again.