Free writing course for aspiring novelists

Damien Mosley from North London-based publisher Indie Novella invites people to join a new writing course

Indie Novella is launching a new writing course in October, led by Damien Mosley
Indie Novella is launching a new writing course in October, alongside literary agency Watson Little (credit Deepesh Thobhani, Indie Novella)

Our North London-based publisher Indie Novella is launching a brand new form of writing course for new, aspiring and experienced writers.

What makes this writing course different to those currently out there can be summarised as follows: it is the only publisher and literary agent led writing course that is completely free and available to anyone.

The story of Indie Novella and out writing course began when we contacted Arts Council England to discuss the lack of diversity in UK publishing. The industry talks a good game about inclusion and increasing opportunities but, at the grassroots level, resources are still swayed very much in favour of the wealthier members of society.

Over the last ten years we have seen a glut of writing courses created by publishers and literary agencies with titles such as ‘How to Hook an Agent’ and ‘How to Polish Your Novel’ and each in turn offers valuable insight into the tricks and tips of the publishing industry and what the professionals are looking for when taking on a manuscript. The only problem is they cost a fortune and they therefore largely attract a middle-class audience.

Some courses have started running bursaries and scholarships but have also been quick to pat themselves on the back for doing so, ignoring that by creating this financial barrier in the first place it limits inclusivity and accessibility in publishing and novel writing.

We have other ideas. Arts Council England offered us funding to develop an online writing course that would promote diversity and make publishing more accessible for everyone. As a result, some amazing literary agencies have got involved to develop game-changing content for us, providing industry insight into how the submission process works, what the role of an agent is, what they look for in an opening chapter, and how to hone your characters.

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In particular, we have been thrilled to work with leading literary agency, Watson Little, to lead on the production of this content and, through their guidance on what literary agents are looking for when it comes to an author’s writing, new and even not-so-new authors now have the tools and knowledge to develop.

The best thing, as we have said, is that the course is completely free. Many aspiring writers think that they have to attend expensive writing courses in order to be published. At Indie Novella we want to demonstrate that this is not true. Publishing should be about storytelling, for which we need diverse, unique stories told authentically by people from a whole host of backgrounds. That is what makes reading so exciting. That is what makes novels so wonderful.

Both Watson Little and Indie Novella are North London-based, giving our course a distinct North London provenance. The Indie Novella writing course also includes significant contributions from those across publishing, including literary agents David Godwin and Philippa Sitters from David Godwin Associates, who represent multiple Booker Prize winners such as The God of Small Things author Arundhati Roy, Shehan Karunatilaka who was shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize, and poet laureate Simon Armitage.

Indie Novella’s big aim is to create a partnership that involves other agents and publishers across publishing who all want to see the barriers to writing removed and works toward creating real progress on inclusion and diversity. Indie Novella is committed to making publishing more diverse and accessible and welcomes North London’s aspiring writers to our course.

Indie Novella’s writing course begins on 18th October. For more information:
Visit indienovella.co.uk/writing-course

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