Part 2 of this Level III creative writing course runs on 22 January – 18 March 2024 with a hiatus on 19 February and meets online for 8 weeks with 1.5-hour live sessions on those Mondays from 19:30 – 21:00 Amsterdam time (CET). Class size is 6 – 10 people.

This two-part course offers a practical, hands-on approach to learning the fundamentals of novel writing, taught by best-selling author Ellen Keith. Her novel The Dutch Wife won the HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction and reached #1 on the Globe & Mail Canadian Fiction Bestseller List and #12 on Publishers Weekly American bestsellers list. Her second novel The Dutch Orphan, released in April 2023 is also on the Canadian Fiction Bestseller List.



This course is useful for writers in various stages of the process – from the idea stage to a completed first or second draft. The course builds on the lessons on dialogue, characterisation, and structure mastered in our regular Level II courses.

It is open to writers who have completed at least one of our Level II (fiction) courses or equivalent and by permission of the instructor. If you’re not sure if you qualify, get in touch.

Students can opt to take only Part I (offered Spring and Autumn) or only Part II (offered Winter and Summer) but we strongly recommend completing both, ideally in order.



Class discussion and exercises form the basis of the course and create a fun and intimate environment. Students will receive feedback from the teacher and fellow writers. However, the focus is not on workshopping pages of your novel-in-progress, rather the aim is to support you in working through the big-picture elements that so often cause first-time novelists to give up or fail.

The topics we’ll have covered in Part I include: how and why to outline (even if you’re not an outliner or you already have a complete draft), structure and plot, character arcs and developing secondary characters, choosing a narrative style and point of view, genre considerations, and openings and endings.

Part II covers pacing, the role of dialogue, managing chapters and transitions, common problems and what to do about them, tackling revisions, and how to approach publication.



No matter how early you register, if something changes and you can’t join the course, you can let us know at least 72 hours before the first class (so we can offer your spot to someone else) and we’ll give you a complete refund. For multi-part courses purchased as a package, any discounts (incl possible early-bird coupon discounts) will be voided before any refund if you cancel any course part.  You can find the full details of our generous refund policy in our terms.

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