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30 Days of Writing: Create a Book in a Month

30 Days of Writing: Create a Book in a Month


Write the first draft of a book in a month

31 January - 29 February 2020

30 Days of Writing is a practical online course for writers and artists who'd enjoy the challenge of putting together a book in a month.

The course is especially suited to anyone who'd like to take on a short project not necessarily linked to the book you're working on. It's an opportunity to create that passion project you've been mulling over for years, to start the New Year with a first draft, or to find out...

  • how to turn what you love into a novella, or
  • how to compile a book of interconnected short pieces, or
  • how to devise a hybrid text combining text and images, or
  • how to make a book from what you thought was "just a hobby"

The online course is devised so that you can start a project from scratch and complete a first draft by the end of February. The course is a month-long commitment and will benefit anyone who'd like the inspiration and support to write daily for 30 days alongside other writers from around the world.

There will be a dedicated and private course blog where you can share your work and receive ongoing feedback and suggestions from the tutor and fellow participants. The course will be led by the writer and editor, Shaun Levin, who's also the creator of Writing Maps.

You'll start the course by choosing a manageable 30-day book project. Through a one-to-one consultation with the tutor, you'll refine a book idea that can be completed in a month. The aim is to identify a passion project you can dedicate a month to, and by the end of the 30 days, have a first draft to rework and prepare for publication. 

Whether you're writing fiction, non-fiction, hybrid writing, creating comics or illustrations, we'll look at how to create a layered and dynamic work. Some of the elements we'll focus on will include: movement in time and place, conflict and tension, chronology and tone, as well as ways to enhance your text through research and the inspiration of genre companions. 

The primary focus throughout the course will be your daily practice of writing and the creation of your book.

The course is inspired by the 12 Doable Writing Projects Writing Map. All participants will receive two copies of the Writing Map.

30 Days of Writing requires commitment, and participants will be encouraged to write at least 500 words per day, so that by the end of the course you'll have enough material for a novella or a collection of short pieces. 

The course includes:

  • 2 x 30-minute one-to-one consultations at the start and end of the course. In the first, we'll pin-point a manageable project for you to work on throughout the month. In the second consultation we'll look at ways of refining your draft and explore possible avenues of publication.
  • Daily prompts and suggestions. There'll be general prompts to work from, as well as prompts that are specific to your project.
  • Ongoing and personalised feedback throughout the course.
  • Advise about self-publishing, zines, and photobooks. Suggestions about places to submit your work for publication.
  • Two copies of 12 Doable Writing Projects.

The workshop is devised to suit writers and artists of all levels who are willing to try out new ways of writing and creating what the book artist Keith A. Smith calls "a book experience." 

Dates: 31 January - 29 February 2020

Fee: £380

limited to 15 participants

About the tutor: Shaun Levin is the author of Snapshots of The Boy, A Year of Two Summers and Seven Sweet Things, amongst other books. He is the creator of Writing Maps and runs The A3 Press, an independent chapbook press. Shaun has been teaching creative writing for over twenty years and has worked closely with writers at all stages of their journey towards publication. 

What previous participants have said:

  • “The prompts are wonderful. So different from those I've experienced at other writing groups. Very inspirational. They have certainly got me writing.”
  • "The tasks are encouraging a different perspective on writing which means I can move out of my 'default' mode allowing for a certain amount of risk taking."
  • "The act of 'publishing' work online gives me a deadline and a feeling of achieving something... I like seeing my work grow over time in my space... on the blog. Its alive on the internet, not stuck in a document"
  • "The prompts [...] are taking me beyond my thoughts and preconceived ideas to things I hadn’t considered. They are taking my work higher!"
  • "Your feedback is insightful and helpful in showing me how to further develop a piece. I enjoy reading the works of other writers in the class and reading your comments on their work too as I can extrapolate to my own."

“Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combination of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable.” Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium )