Creative writing – plan a novel with Rebecca Horsfall

Creative writing and publishing

Ref: SWE11925

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About this course

Plan your novel in an intensive weekend workshop. Step-by-step, put together a full novel plan that works, ready for you to go home and write. For those with an idea in mind, or simply keen to know how to make a start.

Course Description

Explore and apply the different aspects of planning a novel in an intensive weekend course.

Over the weekend, you will devise a plan for a novel, whether you come with an idea in mind or would simply like to try writing a novel and don’t know where to start; or, equally, you may have a partially-developed idea for a novel or already have written a draft that you want to improve.

Through teaching, general discussion and working both individually and in small groups, you will build from the ground up, putting each aspect in place to make sure your novel will work, including the setting, characters, viewpoint and structure. You will plan the essential elements of the plot so you know you have a story we can write from beginning to end without getting bogged-down in the middle or losing your way.

We’ll also think about the concept for your novel, developing it from scratch or strengthening what’s already there, to make sure it will appeal to readers - and to the market if you are aiming for publication.

By the end of the course, you will have learned the skills to plan a novel successfully and with confidence. You will know what works and what doesn’t, as well as a few structural editors’ top tips, and you will also know what you need to plan before you start writing and what can be left to emerge during the writing process.

When you finish on the Sunday, the aim is for you to have developed a comprehensive plan for a novel, ready to take away and start writing or to develop further. Either way, you will have taken a large step towards a completed novel, and you’ll know what you need to do next to bring your project to life.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Paper and pen, or a laptop or notebook
Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Rebecca Horsfall

Rebecca is a best-selling novelist who has also worked for many years as a script writer and editor in the West End theatre. She has been teaching fiction writing for the past decade and has worked as an editor and coach with more than a hundred different novelists.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Write your future with further study

If you’re looking to complete the first draft of a novel and learn about the publishing process. The two-year, part-time MA Creative Writing and Publishing is taught by professional authors and visiting industry professionals. Find out more

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