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The Art of the Middle: 6-Week Novel Workshop

  • Flatiron Writers Room 5 Covington Street Asheville, NC, 28806 United States (map)

There are plenty of classes on how to write dynamic first sentences, opening chapters, and closing lines, but very few resources to help an author conquer the hardest part of a book: the middle. Encountering the depressing middle work is often referred to as "sag syndrome," and many would-be novelists abandon their projects altogether during this period.


This class is designed to save you from that.

During The Art of the Middle, writers with a novel-in-progress will work intensely to add new sections to their book each week by roughly drafting the middle of their novel.

Each 3-hour weekly class will feature:

manuscript feedback on your work, critical reading, craft talk, lively discussion, and in-class writing time.

Depending on the number of registrants for the class, you will be required to submit at least two small excerpts for your colleagues to read and review: one prior to the workshop so we can all become familiar with each other's works-in-progress, and one during the class on your assigned date. 

You will also write outside of class. In six weeks, you can potentially add six more chapters to your novel.

For critical reading, we will dive into short but specific examples of how authors use time (Graham Greene, John Banville), place (Jessie Burton, Patricia Highsmith), character (Donna Tartt, Paul Yoon), POV (Jeffrey Eugenides, Lauren Groff), and backstory (Michael Chabon,Stephen King) to buoy the dense midsections of their novels as well as maintain pace in plot. These will be printed handouts given to you in class. This will help participants better understand how to write a novel in which the middle sustains momentum and narrative depth.

Workshop Hours:

Wednesday evenings, 6-8:30pm for six weeks starting August 23

(15-20 total hours of in-class and creative support time)

Professional Investment:



12 writers - you must have a novel-in-progress

Everything You Need To Know

This 2 1/2 hour 6-week workshop takes place at the comfortable and crafty bungalow, Flatiron Writers Room, in West Asheville.

Limited off-street parking is available. You can also park on Covington Street or across the street in the gravel parking lot. Please do not park at UpCountry's Brewing parking lot next door!

Wheelchair accessibility is available. Please email me if you need other accessibility needs met prior to the class. 

Entrance is the front door. Please feel free to arrive between 6:15-6:30pm, relax and get settled. We will have water, hot tea, coffee, and some light snacks available. We will take a stretch break during the workshop, and you'll have the option to stand up and move around whenever you like. 

Please bring: your workshop submissions in printed copies for the group, a pad of paper, a pencil or pen, a light shawl or jacket to make sure you're comfortable. Cell phones must be turned to "silent" mode. Laptops or tablets are optional. If you cannot afford printed copies, or do not have access to a printer, please let me know ASAP and I can help coordinate it for you.

Bring your questions! This is an interactive, dynamic workshop, so don't be shy to ask questions.

Be prepared to write between classes. In addition to the weekly time together, you need to set aside time to write! Whether it's 30 minutes each morning or all day on a Sunday, find the time that works for you to create new paragraphs on your novel. This is a GENERATIVE workshop, which means it's not about revising, but generating new work. Don't let your inner editor stop you. Put one sentence in front of another. 

Bring your submission to the class only when you're assigned. After registration, you will receive a welcome packet with all the details and what to expect.