Novel Boot Camp 2018: Update & Schedule

Riverdale Public Library Logo(1)Need help with your novel? Join the fifth annual Novel Boot Camp and whip your story into shape!

What is Novel Boot Camp?

Novel Boot Camp is a free writing course and workshop for aspiring novelists.

You can view the videos by subscribing to my YouTube channel, but if you’d like to participate in the workshop, please follow this blog so you receive updates to your email.

Changes to Novel Boot Camp

There will be a couple of changes to Novel Boot Camp this year. Because I want to increase the quality of the videos by providing more examples from published novels and by tackling more advanced topics, I need to cut back on the number of videos and workshops.

Rather than four videos per week, I will be posting three videos per week (15 total!) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (starting July 30).

Rather than three or four workshops, I will just be doing a single workshop (details below).

I know the reduced number of videos and workshops might be disappointing, but due to the higher number of participants and the more advanced topics, to make the best Novel Boot Camp possible I needed to simplify.

Thanks so much for all of your support over the last four Novel Boot Camps! I’m hoping this year will be better than ever!

The Schedule

Week One – Novel Openings, Prologues, Hooks

(July 30 – August 3)

Week Two – Backstory, Setup, Flashbacks

(August 6 – 10)

Week Three – Scenes & Momentum/Thrust

(August 13 – 17)

Week Four – Chapters & Chapter Titles

(August 20 – 24)

Week Five – Plotting & Query Letters

(August 27 – 31)

First Page Workshop

If interested, starting August 6, you can submit the first page of your unpublished novel for a free professional critique (by me!). Please note that these critiques will be posted on the blog but your name will not be included.

Important notes on the workshop:

  • Submissions open Monday (August 6) and close Friday (August 24).
  • The critiques will be posted the final week of Novel Boot Camp (August 27-31).
  • I will accept up to 500 words, but in the interest of critiquing as many writers as possible I will only critique as far as I feel is necessary to provide useful feedback (see last year’s workshop to get a sense of the format).
  • A submission form will be posted on the blog (inside a blog post) on Monday (August 6).
  • My hope is that you will be able to apply the information from the first week of videos (which are all about novel openings!) prior to submitting.
  • Submissions will be critiqued in the order they are received.
  • Due to time constraints and the number of submissions, I cannot update your first page after you submit it.
  • I also (sadly!) can’t guarantee that every submission will receive a critique.

Want to Join Novel Boot Camp?

There is no sign-up form for Novel Boot Camp. Simply follow the blog so you will receive notifications when the workshop submission form and videos are posted (the RSS feed and an email notification form are available in the sidebar).

You can also subscribe on YouTube to view the videos there instead of on the blog (but you won’t be notified when the workshop submission form is posted).

Want to connect with other Novel Boot Camp Participants?




14 thoughts on “Novel Boot Camp 2018: Update & Schedule

  1. Calensûl says:

    Wow, I’m so excited! I learnt about your Boot Camp after it was over, and I dind’t expect another one. I’m already thinking on how to improve my not-very-interesting first page jajaja

  2. Brittany Wang says:

    I’m so excited that I have something to submit for the critique workshop this year! Thanks so much for continuing to hold Boot Camp Ellen, I’ve always loved and appreciated your videos and your content so much!! I just had a quick question. When you say you post the critiques on your blog at the end of the boot camp, will you also post the text that you’re critiquing? I guess you would have to for it to be valuable to others but what should you do if you’re concerned that someone might read what you wrote and try to take some of your ideas?

  3. bluepasj says:

    Damn, I made a mistake and my excerpt ended in “get” without the last, important word, “revenge”. If mine is chose to be critiqued, and although that is on the very end of it and probably won’t be read, I decided to post this here so that at least there is an explanation.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone receive a confirmation that your document was received? I’m not sure mine was submitted successfully.

  5. Douglas Hazelrigg says:

    I also want to thank you for doing this again. I think this is the third year for me.

    I am having trouble finding the first page critiques…maybe they have yet to be posted?

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