Dive in: Write your Novel with Jill Dawson

DIVE IN: A six-month online course starting Friday 30th September 2022

Novelist and writing mentor Jill Dawson will work with you in webinars and discussion to offer techniques, encouragement and the discipline needed to make this the year you write that novel you’ve long dreamed of writing.

Each monthly Friday Zoom class, Jill will explore an aspect of writing a novel, and hear from you about the challenges and joys of your writing. The sessions will be an injection of inspiration to get the novel inside you onto the page and learn how to shape it into something special. You will form an exclusive writing community, enjoying insider tips from the publishing world and the chance to put your questions to a top literary agent.

This six-month online course is for all writers from beginners to veterans, all over the world. If you have an idea for a novel and a desire to write it, this course is for you. It offers access to Jill Dawson, well-known in the business for the many famous writers she has helped reach publication (starting with Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman and including Booker short-listees and award-winners).  Jill will offer deadlines, prompts, cheer-leading and accountability to get you to the end of your creative project.

One, Friday 30th September 2022 2-4pm
Welcome and beginnings. Starting a novel. What research do I need?  How do I begin? Jill will give you all her best tips for cutting through the confusion and getting started, with a plan and accountability.

Two, Friday 28th October 2022 2-4pm
Character: techniques of characterisation. What does a protagonist need to carry a whole novel?  How to grow the novel and cope with all the ideas and natural chaos of the early drafting stage.

Three, Friday 25th November 2022 2-4pm
Plot – five searing incidents. What is my narrative arc?  Jill talks about her own method of using synopsis to find your story.

Four, Friday 16th December 2022  2-4pm
Finding Time to Write: practical questions; developing a routine. What to do when you get stuck, keeping going, hitting the first major turning point – writing what you don’t know. Dealing with breaks, family commitments, and still feeling like a novelist.

Five, 20th January 2023 2-4pm
Rebooting: starting again after a break. Research for novelists. Finding a voice. How does a writer create a distinctive voice? Memories and autobiographical material, what is beneath the text. Special guest input from top literary agent!

Six, 24th February 2023 2-4pm
Checking in: what next? Redrafting, troubleshooting and next steps. Celebrating your progress and making a promise to yourself to finish. A chance to reflect on what you’ve achieved and plan your next steps.

1. Friday 30th September 2022 Beginnings
2. Friday 28th October 2022 Character
3. Friday 25th November 2022 Plot
4. Friday 16th December 2022 Finding Time
5. Friday 20th January 2023 Rebooting
6. Friday 24th February 2023 What next?

Fee: £1500

What writers on DIVE IN 2021 said about the course

‘Jill is a hugely inspiring woman who, with great skill and generosity, enables writers to better understand and situate themselves within the world of writing, to find ways to reveal the essence of communicating through the written word and ways in which to best express that essence for themselves.’
–  Catriona Jarvis

‘The course was a total pleasure and a genuine privilege! To get such valuable guidance and insights firsthand from Jill and people such as Shelley Weiner and the others was – continues to be – the biggest gift imaginable for a hopeful novelist, and I’ve shifted from hoping to write a novel to believing that I can.  Honestly, every bit of every session was amazing, and perfectly balanced ‘creativity’ with ‘practical’. 
– Natalie Woodhead

‘I shall miss those Friday afternoons. The breakout rooms were great for discussion with the other participants. The guest speakers were lively. It was important to temper this liveliness with realism, and the literary agent did exactly that. Being lifted up is great – the course delivered on its promise to provide support to those of us who were feeling hesitant or nervous about possibilities – but having expectations tempered is also important.’ 
– Mark Grant

‘If you are complacent about writing, or have stopped for no reason, Jill awakens a desire to dive deeper and swim across currents of words, their meanings and discover your intention to WRITE, with joy.’ 
– Vayu Naidu

‘It has been a really challenging year for me personally, and for many months, the Dive in session was my one opportunity to remind myself that I am a writer, even if I was unable to devote time to writing that month. I am grateful to have had that regular reminder, as well as the opportunity to connect with a community of others. I’ve really appreciated the DIVE IN support’
– Marcie Dejesus

‘I also want to say a huge thank you for the Dive In course. It has been a brilliant course – the timing of monthly meetings over 10 months, the course content, exercises and advice all resulted in a really valuable and thoroughly enjoyable experience.’ 
– Shaheena Warrington

Read about Jill Dawson’s teaching style in Harpers Bazaar here.


Six Friday afternoons for the webinar, 2pm-4pm

When does it start? 
Friday 30th September 2022

Who is it for?
Anyone who wants to write a novel (and is prepared to work hard to do so)!

Yes!  How do I sign up?
Please complete the application form below. We will reply to you with details of how to pay the fee (1500 GBP) by bank transfer.

Do you consent to Gold Dust storing and using your personal information so we can get back in touch with you? We will not send to or share the data with any third parties.

Once we have received your application we will contact you with details of how to pay the fee (1500 GBP) by bank transfer.

Which author runs Dive In?