Novel in Nine - Spring Session

Write & revise your novel in 9 Months

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Learn your craft, grow as a writer, and write your novel. Join us for Novel in Nine...because the only person who can write your story is YOU.

This course is archived. Please see the course directory for current novel writing courses.

So you want to write a novel, but you don't know how to begin. Maybe you tried writing a novel in the past but didn't finish. Maybe you took writing classes in college or even completed an MFA, but you need guidance and inspiration to get to the next level.

In Novel in Nine, you will write a complete draft of your novel in eight months and devote the ninth month to revision. Instead of a burst of activity followed by months of stalemate, you will take the slow and steady approach. At the end of nine months, you will have a solid novel of about 80,000 words.

In Novel in Nine, you get guidance, inspiration, community, and accountability, as well as dozens of practical lessons and one-on-one encouragement from an internationally bestselling author and veteran writing teacher.

"This class is keeping me motivated to get the words on the page! Enjoying the recommended topics - they keep me going." Kathy B.

Scroll down for more student testimonials.

What you will learn and accomplish in Novel in Nine:

You will begin by focusing on your novel's protagonist, inciting action, setting, and point of view. Then you will work on introducing progressive complications, additional characters, new plot points, and subplots. We will also be investigating theme and characterization in your novel, with an emphasis on how theme drives plot and how the choices characters make reverberate throughout the novel. Because the middle is often the most difficult part of a novel, you will receive guidance and inspiration to help you tackle your novel's middle distance and push your plot and characters through to a logical but surprising and satisfying end.

"This course is giving me great structure and discipline. The lessons are helping me think like a writer." Colin M.


Weekly Lessons and Assignments: Each week, you will receive a written and video lesson, plus an assignment to help you write a specific scene or chapter or complete a specific task. You will write about 2,500 words per week, which you can break up in any way you wish--whether you want to write 360 words every day or have one marathon writing session per week. All assignments and lectures will remain online, so if you miss a week or two, you can go back and catch up.

Checklists and Worksheets: Monthly checklists will help you keep track of your progress. Some lessons will also include downloadable worksheets.

Videos: Short videos throughout the course will offer encouragement and practical advice.

End-of-month check-ins: I'll be checking in with you by email at the end of each month to see how many words you've written. Why? When it comes to writing your novel, accountability is key!

The interactive version of the course also includes:

Active discussion forums: Throughout the course, if you are enrolled in the Novel in Nine Community (the interactive version of the course), you will have access to active discussion forums.

Monthly webinars: Each month, join me for a live webinar, in which we'll discuss process, craft, and student progress.

Personal interaction with an internationally bestselling author and veteran writing teacher: This course is taught by a working writer with extensive teaching and publishing experience. Scroll down to see the instructor bio.

Community: The current session of Novel in Nine is filled with interesting people of all ages and professions: visual artists, a Broadway performer, a neonatal ER doctor, a popular blogger, a graduate student, small business owners, a recent retiree who has just moved to her dream home, a librarian, an attorney, a stay-at-home dad, a professional athlete, and more. We have participants from all over the United States, as well as Costa Rica, Dubai, France, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and elsewhere. When you join Novel in Nine, you join a community!

Student Feedback Optional: This is not a workshop course and you will not be submitting your completed assignments to the instructor for critique. The purpose of this course is to keep you motivated to get your novel on the page. However, you can informally share your work with your peers for feedback in the optional share spaces.

Non-interactive option: If you're on a tight budget or just prefer to work alone, you can choose the non-interactive version of Novel in Nine at checkout. This gives you access to all written and video lessons and assignments, but you will not participate in discussions and webinars. You can join as a non-interactive member and upgrade at any time to get the full experience.

Month nine will be dedicated to revision. Instead of writing new material, you will approach what you've written with an objective eye, revising for plot, character development, point of view consistency, and more.

This course begins on April 1, 2019 and ends on December 30, 2019. You will have access to your course materials for two full years. If you miss a couple of weeks, no worries! The material will be available for you to catch up when you return. You can even repeat the course again next year at no additional charge simply by working through the lessons again.

Why now is the right time to start your novel:

How much time have you spent thinking about writing a novel? How often have you started a novel, only to become distracted or overwhelmed?

Your time is valuable, and your goal of writing a novel is achievable. Novel in Nine provides you with the tools, incentive, accountability, and community you need to complete your novel in exactly nine months.

Join us for Novel in Nine, because now is the best time to write your novel.

"The organization you offer in this program is really helping me structure and flesh out the book and it's feeling really helpful. Thank you!" Allyson P.

Your Instructor

Michelle Richmond
Michelle Richmond

Michelle Richmond is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels and two award-winning story collections. Her books have been published in 30 languages. She has taught in the Masters of Fine Arts programs in creative writing at the University of San Francisco and California College of the Arts and has served as Distinguished Visiting Writer at St. Mary's College of Moraga, Bowling Green State University, and Notre Dame de Namur University. She has also designed and taught novel writing courses online for Stanford Continuing Studies. She is the founder and publisher of Fiction Attic Press.

What Participants are Saying About Novel in Nine

"I'm blown away. I'm vastly enjoying meeting all of these creative minds." - Josh C.

"This class is keeping me motivated to get the words on the page! Enjoying the recommended topics - they keep me going." Kathy B.

"I'm really happy to have found this course. Your class has encouraged me to: 1) write in the living room, (wait, I can do that? on the couch?), which morphed to 2) oh, goodie, I can write in bed, yay. 2) I am also daring myself to be really productive in 30 to 45 minutes, which has been a real pleasure, results in so many surprises in the writing, and is more manageable...I really like the exercises and am delighted at what is coming up." - Ellen S.

"I'm encouraged by the idea of taking it paragraph by paragraph and not overwhelming myself with the idea of creating the whole. I also am telling myself to have fun instead of...telling myself 'I have to write a novel today!" -Madeleine K.

Get started now!

Real results from the January, 2019 participant word count check-ins, of 28 respondents:

  • 1 participant with 39,000 words
  • 3 participants wrote more than 20,000 words in January
  • 3 participants wrote 14,050 to 20,000 words in January
  • 9 participants wrote 10,050 to 14,000 words in January
  • 5 participants wrote 7,500 to 10,000 words in January
  • 5 participants wrote 5,001 to 7,499 words in January
  • 2 participants wrote 3,000 to 5,000 words in January

"Would you believe 10,621? It's been a great experience so far." Debra, on our first word count check-in

More thoughts from happy, productive participants of Novel in Nine

"In the past two days I have written 1,000 words! Less pressure on myself= more words." Jessica M.

"The organization you offer in this program is really helping me structure and flesh out the book and it's feeling really helpful. Thank you!" Allyson P.

"The prompts and organisation are really working well for me." Rachel F.

"The course is giving me great structure and discipline. The lessons are making me think like a writer... I have the wind at my back...I have learnt more about my story and characters and I owe that all to you." ~Colin M.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course begins on April 1, 2019 and ends on December 30, 2019.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for two years - across any and all devices you own.
What if I change my mind?
I want you to be happy. If you are unsatisfied or the timing just isn't right for you, contact me within the first 30 days for a full refund. PLEASE NOTE: If you start the course late (after the April 1 start date), you have two weeks to request a refund. If you start late and decide to cancel, you will be charged for each month to which you have had access.
Do I need to have an outline to start this course?
No, all you need is the desire to write a novel. Some participants will begin with a novel in mind, others will begin with a partial draft, some will begin with an outline, and some will begin with an entirely blank slate. I'm here to support you no matter where you begin.
Is this a workshop course?
This is not a critique or workshop course. You will receive word count check-ins from the instructor but you will not be submitting your work for critique. The purpose of this course is to inspire you and keep you motivated to get your words on the page.
I've already written part of my novel. Will this course work for me?
Absolutely! If you have a novel-in-progress, you can use the lessons and assignments to work through, expand, and streamline existing scenes. The assignments will help you discover new pathways in your novel and strengthen the existing structure. We have participants who have already completed a draft, as well as participants who are starting from scratch and others who have written a few chapters. We'll meet you where you are.
Can I start this course late?
Yes, you may enroll in the non-interactive version course at any time during the first three months. If you enroll late, you will be able to access every lesson that has been published up until the date of enrollment. You will begin receiving email notifications on the first Monday after your enrollment. If you enroll late and later decide to cancel, you will be charged for the number of months to which you have had access. (For example, if you enroll on June 1 but decide to cancel on July 1, you will be charged for April, May, and June.)

Why nine months? A typical novel is between 70,000 and 90,000 words. Nine months gives you the ideal amount of time to achieve the goal of writing 80,000 words. By breaking the big task of writing a novel into weekly small tasks, you will make real, recognisable progress that will keep you motivated. 2,500 words per week is manageable for most writers without being overwhelming. At the end of each month, you will have made serious progress on your novel.

Nine months is long enough to go deep and write a compelling story driven by complex characters, and it's short enough that you will stay motivated and engaged.

Make your time count in 2019, and join me for Novel in Nine!

Get started now!