Virtual Course: Starting a Novel

Mon 22 March 2021 - Fri 26 March 2021
Tutors / Tom Bullough & Tiffany Murray
Course Fee / From £275 per person
Genre / Fiction
Language / English

If you have the urge to write but don’t know where to begin, or have made a start but need fresh impetus to push on through to the end of a draft, this week is for you. Join tutors and experienced novelists Tom Bullough and Tiffany Murray on this Tŷ Newydd virtual course which will cover the basic areas a new fiction writer needs to engage with: character, setting, and the events that form the plot. We’ll study different openings to successful novels, carry out exercises to begin building and honing your characters, and help you find ways to shape your ideas into a structure that suits your story.

You’ll take part in workshops, readings and discussions, and will receive personal one-on-one tutorials with each tutor. During the week you will also have plenty of time to write and experiment with new techniques. This course is a chance to spend five days of quality time with your writing, to help put the spark back in your words and push your work to the next stage and beyond.

In the spirit of Tŷ Newydd’s late night library gatherings, a safe digital space will be created for you to discuss your inspirations, frustrations and more with your co-writers. To make the experiment even more authentic we have put Tony’s recipes on our blog for you to prepare snacks and meals to enjoy during the week.

You will need good internet access to take part in this course, as it will mainly be delivered through the video platform Zoom. The number of participants will be capped at 12 to ensure that everyone receives close individual attention and feedback.

For further information about our virtual courses and how they work, please click here. However each individual course might be slightly different, and timetables for each course will be provided to the participants beforehand.

For information about Financial Assistance, please click here.



Tom Bullough

Tom Bullough is the author of four novels – most recently Addlands (Granta Books, 2016), a story of seventy years on a Radnorshire hill farm, which was received to great acclaim in the UK and the US and, among other plaudits, was the subject of a sermon in Westminster Abbey. His work has been translated into nine languages. At present Tom is working on his fifth book, Sarn Helen –  a study of Welsh history and the climate crisis – which will be published by Granta in 2022. Among other jobs, he has worked as a screenwriter, a sawmiller, a tractor driver, a university fellow, a Rough Guides contributor and a Zimbabwean music promoter. He lives in the Brecon Beacons.

Tiffany Murray

Tiffany Murray has been an International Hay Festival fiction fellow; a Fulbright scholar and she was a senior lecturer for over ten years. She is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow and Director of the Hay Festival’s Writers at Work programme, a long-term professional development strategy to nurture Welsh writers. Her novels Diamond Star Halo (Portobello Books, 2011) and Happy Accidents (Harper Perennial, 2005) were shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, and her latest, Sugar Hall (Seren, 2014) was listed as one of David Mitchell’s favourite ghost stories in The Week. She has had short fiction and non-fiction published in various magazines and collections, and features in national newspapers including The Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian.

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