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'Write a Novel in a Day'



Thank you to all for the terrific interest in this course! We've had two fantastic days in York - thanks to all who attended and who made each of Donna Douglas's novel-writing masterclasses such a success.

Donna is the award-winning author of the popular Nightingale series, published by Random House. As Donna Hay, she has also written eight contemporary novels for Orion.


Date: 1 February 2014

Venue: The Grange Hotel, York (see below for more details) Fee: £85

About the course: In this creative but practical and interactive masterclass, Donna showed writers how to: * Where to get your ideas from; how to find an idea that works * How to plot: basic plotting structures and how to use them * Start with a bang: the first chapter * How to create memorable characters * Location, location,location: using place to deepen your story * He said, she said: Realistic dialogue that really works * The classic rookie mistakes, and how to avoid them * The end - or is it? The art of revision...

* And, how to find a publisher.

We'll be announcing further workshops here ... and in our Workshop Diary.



Travel: The Grange Hotel (Tel: 01904 644744, Address: 1 Clifton, York, YO30 6AA, a 10 minute walk from the Minster), is a 15-minute walk from York train station. Or there's a taxi rank just outside the station.

If coming by car, please allow plenty of extra time for heavy traffic and parking. There is a car park at the hotel, but this can get busy. If there isn't a space for you, the hotel reception can give you a discounted ticket (£7.50) for a nearby public car park for the day. Alternatively, the A19 Rawcliffe Bar park and ride is a good option (about £2.50 return). The bus stops about 100m from the hotel.

Food and drink: A sandwich lunch is included. The hotel will take your order on the day. Please let us know if you have any special requirements - gluten-free bread etc. Tea, coffee and biscuits, also included, are available throughout the day.

Start and finish times: We start at 10am. Please do come early to settle down with a cup of tea or coffee and a chat with Donna and your fellow attendees. The course itself finishes at 4pm, but may go on later. There will be plenty of time for questions, so no need to dash off unless you have to.

What to bring? Just yourselves! Pen and paper will be provided. You are welcome to bring your laptop if you prefer, but please ensure it is fully charged as we can't guarantee you will be able to recharge it on the day.

Mobility: The Library and Drawing Room, where the workshop will be held, are up a flight of stairs. If you need assistance in any way, please just let us know.

Any other questions? If you have any further queries, please don't hesitate to call us on 020 3078 7825 or email us on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Hello everyone,

After Write a Novel in a Day, I can't quite promise you'll go home with a finished first draft (if only it were that simple!). What I can promise is that you'll go home buzzing with ideas and inspiration for your own writing project.

Perhaps you've had an idea but you don't know where to start? Or maybe you've reached the dreaded chapter three, and you're wondering ... what next? Or perhaps you've finished your first draft, but you're worried that your characters are flat, your plot lacks pizzazz and your dialogue sounds as convincing as a Speak Your Weight machine?

Don't panic, it can all be fixed.

On this workshop you'll learn all the tips and "tricks" I've learnt over the years, while I've been writing my 10 novels.

We'll be covering all the basics of the novel-writing craft, from planning and plotting to creating convincing characters and realistic dialogue. I'll also teach you how to hook your readers and keep them turning those pages.

And because we all know the first rule of successful writing is "show, don't tell", there'll be plenty for you to do, too.

Plus, I'll tell you the two words a successful novelist should never, ever use ...

Til then, with all best wishes,



The Grange Hotel is offering a special discount on its room rates for WriteStars delegates who would like to attend Donna's course while staying over for a night or two: www.grangehotel.co.uk

To reserve a place call 020 3078 7825 or email on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

(£2.50 from each place booked goes to literacy charity Children in Crisis.)