NAW 10-week course April-June 2014

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Exclusive NAW Ten-Week Course Freeword Centre, London 2 April - 4 June 2014

Wednesdays: 6.00 - 8.30 p.m.

The next NAW ten-week course will run from 2 April until 4 June 2014. Six writers will be selected for this course, and applications can be made by sending 3000 words of narrative prose (fiction or non-fiction) to NAW Director Richard Beard by the deadline of midnight 12 March 2014. Places will be allocated to the six successful writers on 14 March 2014.

This course is suitable for writers who have early drafts of novels, novel chapters or stories that they wish to improve through detailed attention to the text. During the course the six writers will benefit from the precise editorial feedback generated by the NAW Masterclass, as well as a collective reader response from the Creative Writing workshop.

The NAW Masterclass

The unique NAW Masterclass is an innovative public edit that answers the need to learn about craft in the most direct possible way, by looking closely at a specific piece of writing. Your piece of writing.

Twice over the ten weeks of the course each writer will submit a text of up to 2000 words. This text will be read in advance by the writers on the course and then publicly edited by NAW Director Richard Beard. The NAW Masterclass works on the Conservatoire principle that all writers face similar challenges, and an edit for one is an edit for all. All writers receive a copy of the detailed Masterclass edit to take away.

The NAW Workshop

The NAW workshop is an opportunity to try out extracts of work (up to 3000 words) that may feel less finished than those submitted to the Masterclass. The workshop acts as a community of writers, an attentive readership committed to expressing a considered critical opinion. The NAW workshop will improve reading and analytical skills as well as benefitting the writer.

All writers will be sent the workshop texts to read in advance, and the objective of the workshop is always to improve the end result – the writing. There will be no reading out loud of texts.


The course includes an introductory class, in which Richard Beard will discuss the technical ingredients that go into making a succesful narrative. During the course there will be two further classes that offer guidelines on how to exploit structure for narrative effect, and on strategies for editing.

The Writing Industry

The course will be visited by an editor from a major publishing house and a literary agent. The visiting speakers on this course are Francesca Main, Editorial Director at Picador, and Nicola Barr from Greene and Heaton. There will be plenty of time for questions.


The tenth week of the course is a one-hour 1-to-1 with the NAW Director for a personalised overview of the work submitted to the course, and a look ahead to what happens next.

NAW 10-Week Course Timetable

The course consists of nine 2.5 hour evening sessions, which will take place on Wednesdays from 6.00-8.30pm at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon Road, London.

Wednesday 2 April Week One: 6-8.30pm Introduction, Submission rota, Class: The Ingredients of Narrative Writing
Wednesday 9 April - Week Two: 6-7pm NAW Masterclass; 7.15- 8.30pm Workshop
Wednesday 16 April - Week Three: 6-7pm NAW Masterclass; 7.15- 8.30pm Workshop
Wednesday 23 April - Week Four: 6-7.15pm Class: Structure; 7.30-8.30pm Publisher Visit
Wednesday 30 April - Week Five: 6-7pm NAW Masterclass; 7.15- 8.30pm Workshop
Wednesday 7 May - Week Six: 6-7pm NAW Masterclass; 7.15- 8.30pm Workshop
Wednesday 14 May - Week Seven: 6-7.15pm Class: Editing; 7.30-8.30pm Agent Visit
Wednesday 21 May - Week Eight: 6-7pm NAW Masterclass; 7.15- 8.30pm Workshop
Wednesday 28 May - Week Nine: 6-7pm NAW Masterclass; 7.15- 8.30pm Workshop
Wednesday 4 June December - Week Ten: Mentoring (times to be arranged to suit each writer)

To Apply

Writers can apply by sending 3000 words of narrative prose (fiction or non-fiction) to by midnight on Wednesday 12 March.
NAW will acknowledge receipt of all applications, and successful writers will be notified on Friday 14 March.
There are 6 places on this course.
The course costs £1250, payable in full by Friday 28th March, or in two equal instalments (on or before Friday 28th October, and on or before Friday 2nd May).

Previous NAW Writers

Christine Breen Williams, author of Her Name is Rose (St Martins Press, New York 2015): “The course works as a whole entity. Having the visit breaks every 3 weeks is one of the many design aspects that I think works perfectly.”
Nicola Gault: “I've really enjoyed the course - have learnt so much.”
Ziggy Evitts: “... lots of helpful stuff about language and character etc, with a level of insight and precision that is bloody breathtaking.”

Press on NAW Masterclass

‘Impressive ... precise, intelligent and unarguable.' Leo Benedictus, Prospect magazine
‘After my initial shock, I felt pathetically grateful.’ Nigel Farndale, Sunday Telegraph

NAW Honorary President Ion Trewin, Literary Director of the Man Booker Prizes

'Richard’s declared intention for the course is to attract writers whose work is better than promising, but not yet good enough to find a publisher. With publishers cutting back on editors rather than acquirers the course is timely. It is Richard’s avowed wish that his students will learn from his teaching, that the quality of what they are writing will improve, that agents and publishers will queue up for their work.'