The Mini-Novel Course

Have you always wanted to write a novel but not sure where to begin?

This 6-week online course will help you get started — working with author and award-winning publisher, Amanda Saint, you’ll discover tools to plan and plot your novel, get to know your characters and the world they inhabit and start writing some chapters.

Course start date: 06th February 2023

Course costs: £150 (pay in full or in 3 instalments)

Course spaces: Limited to 12 writers

There are 2 half-price space available to low-income writers. Email us to ask about getting one. First come-first served!

Course details

The course materials will be online for you to access 24/7 at a time that suits you best. There will be a dedicated course forum to share your work with the tutor and fellow writers for feedback.

Week 1 – From inspiration to outline

You’ll take your idea and flesh it out while discovering whose story it is and which point of view it will be best to tell it in.

Week 2 – Character development

Characters are what make your novel stand out to readers so you’ll get to know them inside and out.

Week 3 – World-building

You’ll think about where your story takes place and why, and what that can bring to character, atmosphere and plot development.

Week 4 – Writing Chapter One

We’ll look at all the things beginnings have to do and analyse examples from famous novels to see how it’s delivered. Then you’ll write your own! You can send this chapter to Amanda Saint for detailed editorial feedback at the end of the course.

Week 5 – Pacing and structure

How to keep your reader gripped and your story flowing by playing with your prose.

Week 6 – Keeping the momentum going

How to carry on once the course is over – you’ll leave with tools and strategies for overcoming obstacles to get to the end.

Additional benefits

You’ll also have access to our friendly and supportive online community space, which is filled with resources about writing and has loads of live and recorded events.

This course is a miniature version of the year-long Novel Creator Course and if you then wanted to sign up for the full version at a later date, the cost of this course would be deducted.

Course tutor



Amanda’s debut novel, As If I Were A River, was longlisted for the Guardian Not The Booker Prize, a NetGalley Top 10 Book of the Month and a Book Magnet Blog Top 20 Book of 2016. Her second novel, Remember Tomorrow, published in March 2019 to critical acclaim. Amanda’s flash fictions and short stories have been widely published and placed/listed in many internationals competitions. She has just completed a novella-in-flash, is two-thirds of the way through a flash fiction collection, and is just about to start work on a hybrid novel/flash long-form project.


Amanda is the founder of, commissioning editor and publisher at the award-winning Retreat West Books (Winner: Most Innovative Publisher 2020 Saboteur Awards), which publishes novels, memoirs and short fiction. She has been designing and teaching online courses, and live workshops, for many years and has worked as an editor on hundreds of manuscripts. She is passionate about helping writers get to the heart of their characters to create memorable narrators that really come alive for the reader.