Novelists! Classes start Monday at Yukon College

rightimg1Happy New Year to Everyone! I hope this coming new year brings you what you want.

It’s a long and interesting journey, no doubt.

Perhaps, you are looking to work on your novel? Perhaps, you have been working on one for years and you want to get some guided help through a course? Maybe, you just plunked one out in November during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and you want to work on revising it, or just getting feedback on it.

Yukon College is offering two courses: Monday nights for Realism/Mainstream writing and Tuesday nights for Speculative Fiction (Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Fantastical Children’s Lit). The school, though, is closed till Jan 2, or Friday. So, if you’re gonna sign up and come to the first class on Monday, you’ll have to sign up on Friday or Next week. Regardless of when you sign up, come to the first classes. We have to get a viable head count to know if the classes will make. We need 8 people each class, at least, to make this happen. We’ll be working on synopsis writing and editing three chapters of your novel.

Click on Writing Classes to learn more.

Also, don’t forget that Yukon writers, in classes or not, should be getting ready for the Editor’s Weekend that is happening at the beginning of April. Six editors are coming up to talk with Yukoners, give workshops, about the next steps in publishing their manuscripts. This coincides with the last weekend of our coursework. So it makes a fitting transition after our class is done to move towards shopping a manuscript around.

So, if working on your novel is part of your planned journey for 2009, I hope to see you in class in the new year!

Writing Classes at Yukon College–Get Your Novels Out

Hey, Novelists!

For some of you Nanowrimo was a great experience–but what next??  Or some of you have an old novel kicking around in your closet.  Dust it off, get it ready.

I’m teaching two courses at Yukon College in the Winter, both of them are Fiction Writing Workshops.  You can read more about them if you click on Writing Classes up on the Menu Bar.

In brief:  Monday night is for novels that are more realistic–they don’t have magic, or time travel, or science fiction, or monsters in them.  They are set in this world, working with people as we know them.  They can be set in the past.

If you have at least 3/4 of a novel manuscript through a first draft, you are welcome to join the course.  If you don’t have that much done, that’s okay to join too, as long as you know that a majority of people will be working on novels, and that class time discussion will be focussed on longer story arcs.  People with novels are required to workshop 3 chapters over the course of the semester, comment on other people’s chapters, and with a group, present one novel to the class, one of the ones that we will be reading (we have three on the schedule), and  turning in to the class a synopsis of your novel.

The practical side is that in April you will need one synopsis and the first three chapters of your novel ready to show editors who are coming to the Yukon!!  Don’t pass up this opportunity. BIG name people are coming to look for manuscripts and help people move towards publication.  They will take our class to the next level, much farther than most could take you.  They will also take you to that next level if you AREN’T a part of the class–the Editor’s Weekend is a Yukon Wide event… (oh, it won’t be named Editor’s Weekend…I just made that up….).

Tuesday nights are for those novelists with a speculative element in their novel.  There are different considerations when you are working with speculative elements and you will want people who are familiar with those elements.  The rest of the class will be VERY similar to the Monday night group–all that’s different is that we will be working with texts that are outside of realism, even just slightly.

The courses are 16 weeks long, are the cheapest prices in any college in North America (dare anyone to beat $150 per course), and I think you will get more bang for your buck.  Workshops are good to use to get a good opinion of what to look at more closely.  Only come if you are ready to receive the opinions of 15 other readers, and to consider their thoughts on your work.

Come and Join us for a good workshop experience!  CRWR 241: Fiction Writing Workshop (Mondays–realism; Tuesdays–Speculative) Starts Jan 5 at Yukon College!

Write or Die: a new writing tool

Or new to me.

I was threatened by a fellow NaNoWriMo writer, and she sent me this link to help me fight procrastination. As you know, nearly every student of mine is ahead of me in word count—not that it MATTERS!–but it just looks soooo sooo bad.

Welcome to Write or Die, the website.  Below is a Youtube presentation on how it works.  I’m not gonna try it.  It scares me.  I’m a baby.  On kamikaze mode, if you stop writing, it ERASES YOUR WORDS….

So if you get desperate—or you are a spouse of a NaNoWriMo participant, you can switch them over to Write or Die and watch them put many many words on a page just to save themselves from the consequences….

(Actually there is a Gentle and Normal mode which merely prods you into writing….it’s the Kamikaze mode that scares me….)

Let me just say here that I am mucho impressed by the 14 writers in my Novel Writing Class and the 8 writers in my Fantasy and Science Fiction Novel Writing class at how they are SMOKIN’ along Waaaaaay past 10,000 words and we’re only into the second week.

Now that they’ve done it, I have to write 50,000 words!  Great.  Well, I gotta go write a novel…see ya.

Twenty Three Novels By Yukoners Being Written in November (at least!)

Yep, twenty three novels. Hard to imagine twenty three people all writing novels at the same moment, but that’s the glory of NaNoWriMo. You jump in and you have thousands of words when you get out. I have two classes right now who are participating in this month-long event: 14 in a novel-writing class, 8 in a science fiction/fantasy novel writing class and myself. I’m only requiring 10,000 words which is a novella, but they still count as non-short stories.

Wanna join us in November? Go to and register for National Novel Writing Month. We can encourage each other. I also encourage you to buy Chris Baty’s book No Plot? No Problem! or to download from the youth section of the nanowrimo website, the youth novel writing workbook which is actually good stuff. I’m using some of it for my high school group, Rocketfuel.

Can you write a novel in one month? Yes. Yeah, you might say, but will it be any good? Most first drafts are good to get out of you, but need some work later. But you can’t make a pot without putting some clay on the table first. Yukoner Ivan E. Coyote pushed out a novel during NaNoWriMo, called Bow Grip. It’s damn good. So, it’s both possible to push out a decent first draft of a novel and possible that this draft can be useful for later publication. Remember the first draft is the hardest.

But everything’s a bit easier if you have a whole crew doing it with you. So, join our CREW!!


World Building: Novel writing for SciFi/Fantasy Writers begins soon

The novel writing course for Fantasy and Science Fiction writers will begin on Tuesday, Sept 23. Come join us this year to learn to write novels. If you are part way working on one, join us anyway. (If you have a draft completed of your novel, you might want to wait till January to start with us in the Workshop phase. )

World Building will cover plot structure and character arc for the novel and then join up with NaNoWriMo in November to push out a first draft. It will be fun and exciting to do this with 15 people. Come join us on Tuesday nights! Registration is now open through the City of Whitehorse, so you can sign up today!

Come build a world, spin a plot, go on a journey.

[In conjunction with this class, the City of Whitehorse will be offering a lunchtime lecture series, free and open to the public, called We All Began With Fantasy, talking about the first great epics of many cultures and their fantasy elements. More details soon…]

CRWR 244: Intro to Novel Writing begins Monday

Jumping into the New Dimension by Fadzly Mubin, all rights reserved

Take the Plunge!

“I just need a kick in the pants!” —You might have said that about writing a novel. You have one in you, but you never had the time or the direction to push it out. Now you do.

If you’re thinking about signing up for the Novel Writing course–then sign up soon! It’s the first time a novel writing course has been offered at Yukon College. It all begins on Monday night, Sept 8, 7-10pm.

Writing can be a lonely business, and novel writing can be daunting–but this course aims to keep you encouraged through a group of people all writing their own novels. Read more about the class on the “Writing Classes” page, and through my posts, “The First Draft is the Hardest.” Write me if you have any questions at

There are no prerequisites to the class and Andrew Richardson has agreed to sign off on any students who are interested. You just need to want to write and push out a novel–but with 15 people–it will be enjoyable and we will go through all the roadblocks to writing together! We need 15 people to make the class work at optimum level–there are 7 spaces left.

*All genres of writing are welcome–however, we have a separate class for Science fiction and Fantasy writers on Tuesday nights through the City of Whitehorse, called WorldBuilders, if you want to work with other SFF writers!

Come to Yukon College and take the plunge into a novel!