Online | Fiction | Master Class

1-Day Online Fiction Master Class: Mining Your Passions for Inspiration

This master class is an investigation and celebration of the creative process with an emphasis on tapping into your own natural passions to sustain your fiction. Whether you’re just starting to think about a novel, are on your third draft, or have embarked on the querying process, this class will help you find inspiration, approach the drafting and revision processes, and get through creative slumps.

In this one-day session, I will give a craft talk about creative processes, including invaluable lessons I've learned as both a trade book editor of ten years and a published author. The class will be a lecture followed by an open Q&A.

We will discuss the bookmaking process from idea to finished copies, and compare examples from different drafts of Songs in Ursa Major to talk about the different creative pitfalls that can arise and how best to navigate them. My goal will be to help you locate your own wellsprings of inspiration to keep you going on the long road to bookmaking, and help strategize how to stay true to your vision while also getting your book out into the world.

For those not sure where to begin, I’ll talk about ways to locate an idea worth holding onto from inside your own sphere of interests. For those revising, I’ll discuss ways of returning to the well of inspiration to ease you back into the flow when you run creatively aground. And for those looking to sell their project, we’ll talk about using your inspiration to help position the book to market.

During the Q&A, I look forward to assisting students with specific trouble shooting related to their own projects, answering burning questions about the workings of publishing, and discussing the writing and publishing processes in general. Creative fellowship is such an important part of what sustains us as writers, and this master class exists to embrace and foster that growth.

Students who send proof of purchase of Songs in Ursa Major to [email protected] will receive a coupon for half-off tuition for the course.

Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the Zoom desktop client so you have access to all platform features.


-How to pin down your best idea

- How to approach/survive the drafting process

- How to get through creative slumps

- How to write for yourself but also a wider audience

- How to begin to pivot from writing into marketing

- How to keep writing for the long haul

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes


This master class is only one session, so all students need to show up with is an open mind and constructive questions! It’s recommended that students read Songs in Ursa Major prior to class, but it is not required.

Emma Brodie

Emma Brodie is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and packager. As an editor, she’s published authors including Awkwafina, Anna Drezen, Nathan W. Pyle, Marlee Grace, Deborah Hanekamp, and Emma Gray. Currently an Executive Editor at Little, Brown, Emma acquires a variety of illustrated non-fiction and products for the Voracious imprint. Her debut novel, Songs in Ursa Major, is due out from Knopf in 2021. 


“I’ve never read a book that so uniquely captures the experience of creativity and the shimmering coolness of being in a recording studio as music history is made. Emma Brodie perfectly channels the languorous romance of the time and the beautiful struggle of an artistic soul trying to break free. So many of the passages throughout SONGS IN URSA MAJOR are such pure poetry, I got chills as I read them. I could drink a case of this book, and I’d still be on my feet.”

Kevin Kwan #1 New York Times bestselling author of CRAZY RICH ASIANS

“SONGS IN URSA MAJOR reads like sexy, confessional liner notes to the age of the singer-songwriter. Emma Brodie sieves through history to give us a behind-the-scenes, behind-closed-doors view of an aspiring singer’s tumultuous rise to fame. But if Jane Quinn and Jesse Reid will be familiar to fans of Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, they are also intimate and sparklingly original. A drenching, delicious and impressive debut.”

Paula McLain NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of THE PARIS WIFE and WHEN THE STARS GO DARK

“Emma Brodie’s debut lilts easily between the power chords of a rock anthem and the soulful nostalgia of a blues ballad, evoking the seventies rock scene through two compelling protagonists: Jesse Reid, charismatic rock star on the rise, and Jane Quinn, electrically gifted songstress struggling to get her foot on the ladder of the music world. Their passion for each other, for performing, and above all for their music makes for splashy, engrossing reading. SONGS IN URSA MAJOR is pure sun-soaked summer fun.”

Kate Quinn bestselling author of THE ALICE NETWORKS