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How to Map Your Book: A Practical Online Course  (18 April - 23 May)

How to Map Your Book: A Practical Online Course (18 April - 23 May)


a book is a crafted thing

18 April - 23 May 2018, £160 (£120 before 20 March)

This course is full. If you'd like to be added to the waiting list, please send us a message to

Whether you're writing fiction or non-fiction, a novel, a memoir, a biography or a research-based book, this practical six-week online course will help you plot your book, create memorable characters, and focus on the elements of dramatic and multi-layered writing.

The process of writing a book is also the process of working out how you want to write that particular book! Beyond the technical side of composing a book, there is the personal desire for a meaningful creative journey. This course will also encourage you to explore the creative side of writing a book: authenticity, risk-taking and bold statements of intent!

We will look at "the bigger picture" of your book: the plot, the book's subject matter, and the "issues" you want to tackle in your work. We will also look at how to create suspense, intricate characterisation and meaningful settings, as well as experimenting with different impactful endings to your book.

How to Map Your Book is a practical course. The focus will be on the writing itself. You will receive weekly exercises to prompt you to write scenes from your book and share them on the course blog. You will receive detailed feedback from the tutor, as well as from fellow participants. The course will be an opportunity to explore the different options open to you as a writer with regards to every story you tell. How to tell it, where to set the story, and its timeframe are just some of the choices we make when writing a book. Through writing, you will experiment with various alternatives.

Only when we begin to write a book, do we really start to know what the book wants to be, rather than what we think it should be. Part of the writing process is learning to listen to what your project wants to be. You will learn how to become more attuned to your writing, and examine the insights your writing gives you into the story you want to tell.

The workshop is suitable for writers at all stages of a book project. Whether you have an idea you've wanted to explore for years; or you've been working on a novel for a while and feel overwhelmed; or maybe you have several short stories you'd like to gather into a collection, the course will help you gain a better overview of your project and also provide the encouragement and space to write and share your work.

limited to 10 participants

Course tutor: Shaun Levin is the creator of Writing Maps and is the author of Seven Sweet Things, A Year of Two Summers, and Snapshots of the Boy, amongst other works. His short stories have been anthologised alongside writers such as Ali Smith, Nadine Gordimer, and Edmund White. He has taught writing for over twenty years at, amongst other places, Bishopsgate Insitute, The Complete Creative Writing Course at The Groucho Club, the BBC, and South Thames College.

Shaun has worked with thousands of writers throughout his teaching career, many of whom have gone on to publish novels with both mainstream publishers and small presses. He is committed to working with writers to find the heart of their story, and will support writers in taking on audacious fictional and creative non-fiction projects.

Dates: 18 April - 23 May, 2018 (6 weeks)

Where: Online

Fee: £160 (£120 early-bird booking before 20 March)

Previous participants said:

  • "I am beginning to 'see' places and my characters not just feel their motivations or actions. Seeing things has drawn out ideas and helped describe the world on paper."
  • "I really like Shaun's feedback. It pushes me to think more deeply about each step. I also like the small size of the class. Often times, online courses are so big that I feel invisible."
  • "I like the mapping exercises! ...they do help me 'see' things in the story and characters I had not considered and to develop a bigger picture of my novel"