What is the course about?
What to do when you’ve finished your novel. On this short course, you'll receive answer guidance on how to edit and present your manuscript, and how to craft submissions to pulbishers and agents in order to boost your chances of success.
Students say: "I appreciated the opportunity to practice synopsis writing and the chance to ask someone knowledgeable about points I struggled with"; "The discussions about publishing were really useful"; "I liked working within a group and I received very useful feedback, enabling me to make my writing better and gear it towards what publishers are looking for."
The Tutor: Author and screenwriter Neil Arksey has had a number of novels for children and young adults published by Penguin Random House. His writing has been shortlisted for and won a number of prizes. He has also worked for two decades in film and TV drama as a screenwriter, script and story editor, head writer and producer. He teaches at the London Film School.
City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
- What to do with a manuscript you think is finished
- Structural editing, copy editing and other forms of revision
- Online and other services for authors
- Approaching agents and publishers
- Crafting loglines, synopses and letters of introduction
- What agents do and don’t do
- The publishing process
- Advances, agent’s fees and royalties
- Self-publishing and variants thereof, marketing yourself and your work, social media
- Strategies to increase your chances of getting published and/or getting an agent.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify the work that needs to be done on your manuscript to boost its chance of success
- Determine the best way forward for you and your novel
- Craft the best approach for a particular agent or publisher
- Navigate some of the financial complexities of the publishing industry
- Improve your chances of getting published.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Ideally you will have finished or be far-advanced with a novel or other similar full-length piece of writing.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
A variety of methods including discussion, exercises, question and answer and written tasks in class and as homework.
There will be homework that involves writing and rewriting. To get the most out of the course you will need to do this.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day, regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No. Please bring a pen and paper to the first session.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
If you feel your manuscript needs further work, you may wish to apply for one of our advanced critical workshops.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details