How to Write Engaging, Evocative and Immersive Novels with Ben Fergusson *COURSE FULL*

Following his sold-out novel-writing workshop in May, author Ben Fergusson is back with a brand new class on writing immersive fiction. How do we create exciting plots? How do we write engaging characters? How do we conjure up evocative settings? Simply put, how do we immerse readers in our novels and make them turn the page? In this one-day workshop we are going to talk about the ingredients of great novels and apply them to our own ideas for books, first chapters and first drafts.

We will begin by looking at the starting points for good novels, coming up with pitches for new or current projects, which we will use to understand the fundamentals of planning and starting a novel. We will discuss the bones of writing good scenes and chapters, exploring how we can use suspense and emotional tension to engage the reader and keep them reading.

Inspired by excerpts from great novelists, we will talk about how we evoke place in our novels and work on exercises that help us understand how a sense of place can help carry the emotional thread of our books. And looking at classic plot structures, we will discuss why these narrative patterns come up again and again in world literature and apply them to our own writing and ideas.

Throughout the seminar, there will be plenty of opportunities to draft, develop and discuss your own ideas, using practical tools to help think through characterisation, structure, plot and style. You will leave this workshop brimming with ideas for how to plan, improve and refine your long-form fiction.

This workshop is ideal for anyone working on a new novel, their first novel or even just thinking about writing one and can be taken by students who took the first novel-writing workshop or are new to the class.

To sign up, send us an email at

BEN FERGUSSON is an award-winning novelist. He was born in Southampton in 1980 and grew up near Didcot in Oxfordshire. He currently teaches at the University of Potsdam. ​Ben’s debut novel, The Spring of Kasper Meier, won the 2015 Betty Trask Prize for an outstanding debut novel by a writer under 35 and the HWA Debut Crown 2015 for the best historical fiction debut of the year. It was longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. The second and third books in Ben’s Berlin trilogy are The Other Hoffmann Sister, published in 2017, and An Honest Man, published in 2019, which was selected by both The Sunday Times and the Financial Times for their ‘Best Books of 2019’ lists.


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