Something a little bit different for the blog today…
- Are you an aspiring writer?
- Are you a writer who is looking to change the type of setting you use in your books?
- Do you currently write in coastal or country settings but would like more guidance?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you might be interested in joining my one-month course all about writing a novel or a series in a coastal or country setting … something I might have a smidge of experience in doing myself!
I ran this course for the first time last year through the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) who run an RNA Learning programme. I loved running it, using my skills again from my former life as a trainer and coach, and the feedback was so good that I was thrilled to be invited back again this year.
Do I have to be a member of the RNA to take part?
No, anyone can take part. As you might expect, the cost is more for non-members but this is still way, way, way less than what you might expect to pay elsewhere. It’s £75 for members and £150 for non-members.
Do I need to be a romance writer?
No. I write contemporary women’s fiction under the overall umbrella of ‘romance’ so I will be drawing on my experience of this genre when giving examples. However, the learnings are transferrable across all genres. I have also drawn on the experiences of other author friends and not all of them are romance authors.
When is it?
The course runs across the duration of March 2023. Delegates will be given access to an online learning portal on the morning of 1st March and access will disappear late evening on 31st March. The portal can only be accessed during March but delegates will be able to download materials to refer to beyond that time.
How is the course structured?
The big emphasis is on flexible learning so it’s ideal for anyone who works and/or has family responsibilities. I’ve divided the learning into four units:
- Before you start
- Building your setting
- The characters in your setting
- Your plot and what happens next?
Each week will be a mixture of:
- Pre-recorded training sessions (1-2 hours of input per subject)
- Some exercises for you to do at home
- Feedback given on those exercises, should you choose to share them in the portal (very much encouraged in order to get feedback but not mandatory if you prefer not to)
- A 1-hour Zoom meeting (held on Monday evenings) which will be recorded for those unable to attend
Because the emphasis is on flexibility, you can choose when you watch the materials and undertake the exercises. The first week will be available when you enter the portal and all weeks will be available by the mid-month point. The reason I don’t upload everything right from the start is that I do want to encourage delegates to take some time to do the exercises rather than race through everything at once without doing any exercises or taking the time to reflect on the learnings.
If you can’t make Monday evenings for the Zooms, please don’t be put off. It would be impossible to find a day that suits everyone which is why they’re recorded and available for catching up. They’re an opportunity to ask questions about the materials and exercises as well as asking me any general questions about writing. If I can help, I will! I have some small bitesize presentations that I can run too. If anyone has questions they’d want to pose in the Zoom but aren’t able to attend, they can ask them in the portal and I’ll answer them in the Zoom.
What have previous delegates said about this course?
I was blown away with the phenomenal feedback last year and here are a few of the feedback comments received:
- “Jessica went above and beyond in her content and I am extremely grateful for all the hard work she must have put in”
- “It exceeded my expectations”
- “Jessica has given me so much knowledge about the writing process that I feel in a much better position now to develop my novel”
- “Jessica’s feedback was excellent and inspiring”
- “All the learning materials were very helpful giving many different insights into various aspects of writing a novel or series in a coastal or country setting. The breadth and range of the coverage was brilliant and the exercises really made me think about how to develop and write my novel. Jessica’s feedback on the exercises was given quickly so that Icould make the most of it and her feedback was knowledgable, kind, constructive and thoughtful. In a nutshell the learning materials and Jessica’s feedback and her response to questions was really excellent”
- “The discussion forums were great -it was daunting at first to put your work up but it was a great confidence builder”
- “The weekly training sessions – prerecorded ones – were very easy to take info from and put it into the homework. The homework was a gamechanger – if we were not challenged to put what we learnt into action, I would not of got as much out of the course”
- “Jessica is a gem. She was helpful, encouraging and lifted my confidence”
- “Best tutor I’ve ever experienced”
- “Jessica’s willingness to share her own experiences,good and bad,made it more realistic than making it look like ‘this is easy, everybody can do it'”
- “On the 1st of March I Started this course with no clue about writing and where to begin – I now have a plan of a novel with a setting, specicic setting, characters, plot and possible material for a series. I am as proud as punch”
I’m interested! What do I do now?
There’s some really helpful information about the RNA Learning Workshops on their website here.
You can specifically click in for more about my course here. You can also book your space through Eventbrite from this page.
If this isn’t for you but you know somebody who might be interested, please do pass them the details. Thank you.