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"The Novel Hatchery: Moving a Novel Idea into Its First Draft" ONLINE with Stacey Swann

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Online Class

3/12/2020 From 06:30 PM CST to 09:30 PM CST

This class is part of the "Fill That Blank Page" Online Class Package. To purchase the class package, click here.

All registrants will have access to the class recording for one week.

$49 for members (sign in for member pricing)

Are you trying to move past the first stage of the novel writing process and into the next development?

Writers often have a great idea for a novel but aren’t sure how to dive in. Or they have already begun but hit an early wall. No matter the type of novel, this class will increase students' skills and confidence to jump in head first. Discussion will explore the following areas:

  • Foundational pre-writing, getting a clearer sense of characters and their problems
  • Roadmaps, whether they be detailed outlines or a handful of bullet points
  • Crafting effective opening chapters
  • Using craft elements to expand drafts: stakes, theme, and setting

This class is designed for students ready for their novels to crack open their shells, grow and fly to completion.



  • You started a novel during National Novel Writing Month and are trying to take it to the next stage in its development.
  • You're worried that you're not giving yourself enough balls to juggle to reach the end of the book.
  • Parts of your novel feel fuzzy to you, and you'd like to clarify them.



  • "Stacey Swann was very engaging and responsive."
  • "Writing exercises really helped me get back in the flow of my book, and great resources to turn to after class."
  • "Lots of useful information pertinent to writers at all levels. Handouts and references with additional relevant craft instruction."


Stacey Swann’s debut novel, Olympus, TX, is forthcoming from Doubleday in 2020. Her short fiction has appeared in Epoch, Memorious, Versal, and other journals.






$49 members (sign in for member pricing)

$109 nonmembers


Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

Registration will close on Thursday, March 12, at 5 p.m. If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it.

Once a purchase has been made, tickets are not refundable and registration cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster.



Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven't taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to give us a call at 512-499-8914 if you'd like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to


This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit