So you have a killer novel concept—now what? Great novels aren’t written in a vacuum. Getting as many smart eyes on your work as possible and being open to what people have to say is an important part of drafting your novel.
In this class, Los Angeles author Anna Dorn will help you structure, organize, and develop your novel so that it can reach your target audience. Topics to be addressed include narrative structure, plotting, rewrites, and drafting query letters to agents and publishers.
This workshop is a good fit for anyone with a novel idea, whether it’s just a loose concept or a rough first draft. Each student will submit work for a short workshop each week. By the end of the course, you will know the steps you need to get your novel into the world.
This class will meet over our text-only chat platform. There will not be any video or audio component to class.
A note from Anna on the format: I've noticed in my recent Catapult classes that many students have Zoom fatigue and are more comfortable communicating in the text-chat portion of Zoom than speaking. The text format is generally less stressful and better for students who are shy about their work. I've therefore decided that a text-based platform is ideal. Beyond this, the text-based course makes a record of what's said in class that students can access after the class.
Check out this page for details about payment plans and discount opportunities.
- Develop a novel outline and logline with feedback from the class and instructor
- Structure your novel using Francesca Lia Block’s 12 questions
- Produce a query letter to send to agents and publishers
- Polish and receive feedback on first page of novel
- Brainstorm structural challenges and path-to-publication
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
The class will meet for 2 hours a week for 6 weeks. There will be roughly 1-2 hours of homework for each class and students should be prepared to give thoughtful feedback on their peers’ workshop submissions.
Week 1: Introductions + Lecture: Loglines & Three-Act Outline
Week 2: Workshop Outline + Lecture: Francesca Lia Block’s 12 Questions
Week 3: Workshop 12 Questions + Lecture: First Page
Week 4: Workshop First Page + Lecture: Query Letters
Week 5: Workshop Query Letters + Lecture: Finding agents & publishers
Week 6: Final questions, Advice, and Path-to-publication
"Anna Dorn writes vivid, striking prose that reinterprets pop culture, the particularities of Southern California, and the complex technology of our human brains. An original, hilarious, and spot on debut."
"Dorn’s narrative is intoxicating, particularly in its depiction of the existential ennui that’s stemmed from our insatiable consumer culture... Dorn may have written the horror novel we deserve."
"A fantastic novel that feels contemporary in all the right ways. In the world of VAGABLONDE, fame is more important than mental health, good lighting is more important than food, and ‘thriving’ is more important than any mundane obligation. Anna Dorn’s sentences are sharp and addictive, absorbing me completely into this world of music, friendship, and self-interrogation."
“Anna Dorn is an excellent teacher that not only helped me find my voice, but edited my manuscript with kindness and care. I would absolutely take another writing class with her.”
“As a reader, Anna Dorn has a knack for understanding what a writer is trying to accomplish with a piece and her notes help direct a writer to make a piece what they want it to be. Her enthusiasm for producing new, strong work inspires me as a writer to keep moving forward in my own career.“
“Anna’s knowledge about different techniques and styles of writing makes it so she is always ready to narrow down ideas that will best compliment your tone, target audience, and mood.”