Q: Can you help with any kind of novel?
A: Honestly, our expertise is helping authors write novels and memoirs that are commercial and would be appealing to a fairly large market. Of course, we encourage originality and depth and the unorthodox, but we are not the people to help you write a 1000 page palindrome or an experimental novel told in only Haiku. Not that we don't appreciate these art forms, but our skills are best used to help writers who want to achieve something more mainstream.
Q: What are the advantages of being in your group session or downloading your online course rather than hiring you to help me one-on-one?
A: First, we only take one client a year for one-on-one help and those requests usually come through a publisher. Second, instead of paying $7k to $25k, you can pay $250 a month or a one-time fee as little as $49 (if we find the right online university to host our class!). We also offer a sliding fee and scholarships to passionate writers who have stories we think are amazing so nobody deserving escapes us. The goal is to help as many writers see their dreams come true as we can.
Q: Do you organize short term writer retreats?
A: We do not. We like being in it for the long haul. And, there are already a lot of great retreats out there. If you're looking for one in the San Juan Islands, we've heard great things about Write Doe Bay.
Q: What can I get out of the Private Novel Lab Facebook Page you started and how do I join?
A: Anyone enrolled in any form of Novel Lab can join the Private Novel Lab Facebook page for no cost. This allows you to see questions by other writers and see our answers to those questions as well. You can also ask any questions you have and you will gain access to other guest writers, agents and literary managers that you may learn from. To join, just request an invite in the upper right corner when you go to the page. You can also follow us on our Public Novel Lab Facebook page where we will share some of the same information, but not answer questions.
Q: Is there any required reading for your Novel Lab Workshop in-person or the online version?
A: We ask that everyone has read at least one of the following novels because we will reference their plots and structure to illustrate points. The novels are Gone Girl, Harry Potter, Deep Winter, The Hunger Games.
Q: What if I decide I don't like the workshop?
A: Workshops can be refunded within three days after the first workshop. After the first week, no refunds will be given, however writers may find someone else to take their spot, offer their spot to someone on the waiting list who is willing to pay for it, or use their payment as credit for a future session.
Q: How do I know that I would like the group workshop? What would be required of me?
A: The group workshop is an intimate, supportive environment that can help writers meet their goals by offering deadlines, a chance to receive feedback on work, and the potential to learn from other writers, as well as a safe and inspirational haven. We do require that only writers who can maturely handle receiving and giving criticism take our workshop so that we can build the most creative and supportive environment possible. Because spots are limited we also ask that only writers who are super ready to commit to their projects step forward with us.
Please feel free to email us questions. We love answering them.