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How a Great Novel Works

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St. Edward's University
Fleck Hall 106

12/1/2012 From 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM


Sorry.  This event is sold out.  To get on a waiting list, please send your contact information to Jennifer Ziegler at  For information on class policies, please see our Classes and Workshops page.



with Amanda Eyre Ward


$49 for Writers' League members (log in to get member price)

$109 for nonmembers


Some writers begin writing on page one and find that their novel or nonfiction narrative comes out beautifully structured, one chapter following perfectly after another. This class is for everyone else. 

You might have an idea for a novel or nonfiction book, or you might have 600 pages. But if you're wondering about how to structure your project to make it as compelling as possible, this class is for you.

The class will cover:

- The three-act structure. You can use it or not, but it's a wonderful guide.

- How to lay out your novel, making a plan before you begin.

- When to throw away your plan and let the characters lead you.

- How to make your first page - and the pages along the way - sing.

- The publication process. 

Please bring a one-page description of your novel-in-progress and a copy of your favorite novel. The class will include both lecture and class discussion. Each class member will receive a personal critique of his/her novel outline and tips on how to best structure the work-in-progress.

Amanda Eyre Ward wrote her first novel, Sleep Toward Heaven, in a Writers’ League class. She received an MFA from the University of Montana and has published four novels (Sleep Toward Heaven, How to Be Lost, Forgive Me, and Close Your Eyes) and a collection of short stories (Love Stories in This Town). Her work has been optioned for film and television, chosen as a Target Bookmarked pick, and published in 15 countries. Amanda’s new novel, CloseYour Eyes, was named a Kirkus Best Book of 2011 and Elle Magazine's Fiction Book of the Year.


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Please see our classes page for information regarding refunds or walk-up registrations.



Our classes & workshops are funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin's future. Visit Austin at