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6-Week Online Novel Workshop: From Your First Pages to Your Debut

Many writers wish to take that first step into novel writing but feel unsure about how to get started. Are you ready to transition from short story writing to novel writing? Is it time to take that idea that's been floating around in your mind for years to paper? What does the path to publishing really look like?

When a writer makes the brave, labor-intensive decision to write a longer narrative, it can often feel intimidating as they look forward to what the road to selling a novel actually looks like. This course aims to give you the understanding of the publishing world and business side of the industry so that you leave with the knowledge of what the next step will be the day you finish your novel. We’ll be covering a broad range of topics, starting from the agent search all the way up to what to expect that first year as a debut novelist. We’ll discuss in-depth the tools that can help you move your career forward and reach the goals you’ve set for yourself and your work.

Together we'll work on your concept, talking about themes and the bigger picture ideas of your narrative. We'll also jump right in and workshop your first few chapters so that you have a strong start as you move forward. This class is geared for the short story writer who is looking to transition into novel writing, or a writer who maybe has already started a manuscript and is looking for feedback and a greater understanding of the process of selling their work. This class could also be a good fit for someone who has an idea for a novel but feels they might need the motivation to take those first steps. Writers of all experience levels are welcome. Let's get you writing and get you on the path to making your novel a reality!

This class will meet over our video chat platform. You will need to use Google Chrome and a computer to join your class meetings.


- Understanding the process of selling a novel with an actionable plan for a path to publication.

- Leave with a clear concept for a long narrative.

- Walk away from class with strong first pages or chapters.

- Access to Catapult's list of writing opportunities and important submission deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes


Each student will be expected to have an idea for a novel that is developed enough that they feel confident to start writing. We will work on the idea together but having an initial direction is important so that they can submit work. This is a workshop, so while there will be (light) supplemental reading, the main focus of the class will be writing. Each student will be expected to bring in two submissions of the beginning chapters of their novel so that the other students can provide feedback to their work and of course they will be expected to provide feedback of their peers' work as well.


Week One: Introductions and Getting Started: From Idea to Pages

Week Two: Finding an Agent

Week Three: Editors: Going on Submission

Week Four: Selling Your Novel: Let's Talk Money

Week Five: Publicity: How it Works

Week Six: You're a Debut Novelist Now: What to Expect

Jana Casale

Jana Casale has a BFA in fiction from Emerson College and an MSt in creative writing from Oxford. She recently moved back to her home town of Lexington Massachusetts with her husband. The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky is her first novel.


"Casale makes a particular female experience vivid, centered, seen.... The disarming wit and granular detail of these vignettes feels intensely personal, drawn from the lively mind of a unique character, yet universally recognizable.”

“Stellar.... Raw and articulate.... Reading [Casale’s] work is like watching a play from the dressing room as the heroine squeezes into pants she hopes conceal extra weight, tries to make sense of last week's one-night stand and murmurs her lines before stepping onto the stage."


"’s the quiet moments that Casale nails, all of the tiny details that she gets so right."


"Jana Casale is a thoughtful, insightful and supportive participant in workshops and writer development sessions. I have worked with her on a number of occasions, both during our Master’s course at the University of Oxford and on freelance projects. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her as a tutor; she is both a talented writer and has the skills necessary to be an excellent facilitator."

former student

"Jana is not only one of the greatest writers I’ve met, but one of the best teachers. She had a keen ability to offer insight and feedback that’s encouraging while remaining constructive. Her feedback is always actionable and leaves you feeling like your goal really is within reach."

former student

"Jana has a great eye for the little details while focusing on the story’s big picture. I left the workshop motivated and confident thanks in part to her specific feedback, but also because I learned how to think about my writing more holistically going forward. Also, her genuine enthusiasm and warmth created such a comfortable vibe, which led to truly helpful workshop discussions."

former student

"I wrote more and better work in the six weeks I was in Jana's class than in the past six years. She is an incredibly supportive and encouraging teacher who helps you connect with your voice and the bigger thematic ideas in your writing. Her feedback is detailed and well-reasoned, which helps you be reflective in your own revisions. She also dares you to up your game through writing a lot, which helps you get your creative muscles in great shape. Don't pass up an opportunity to work with Jana! "

former student