Write Your Book: Planning, Starting and Sustaining Your First Manuscript *COURSE FULL*

This day-long seminar is aimed at anyone who is writing – or has ever thought about writing – a novel. What are the shortcuts, tips and tricks to get you started and keep you going?

Whether you’re struggling to generate ideas, unsure of where to begin or confused about whether your expanding short story may actually be a book, this seminar will offer clarity, inspiration and practical insights into starting, sustaining and structuring your first novel.

In this seminar, we will talk about how great novels start and what the first line, page and chapter of a good novel need to contain. We will then look at strategies for dealing with the difficulties of turning a first chapter into a sustainable narrative. We will begin by looking at how successful second chapters work, and go on to explore different ways of developing character profiles and plots. We will also look closely at the opportunities and limits that different narrative voices offer us, trying our hand at writing different approaches and exploring what effect this has on our stories.

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. Ideal for anyone who has ever wanted to write a novel, this workshop is an essential guide to completing your first (or second) manuscript, all in a friendly and supportive environment.

The seminar will end with a Q&A, during which you can ask all about the process of writing and publishing a novel. Ben will also take a look at the publication process, and discuss what agents and publishers will be looking for once you have a finished draft and are ready to pitch.

To sign up, send an email to hello@thereaderberlin.com



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.

Ben’s second novel, The Other Hoffmann Sister, was published in 2017 by Little, Brown, who will also publish his third novel An Honest Man in Summer 2019. 


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