Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Want to Write a Novel?

No comments

Want to take the big plunge, and write a novel? Novelist and teacher Masha Hamilton is offering two online novel writing classes starting on September 4th, and is seeking both beginning and advanced students. Susan Ito, Literary Mama columnist and fiction editor, highly recommends this fabulous teacher.

Click here for details.
Novel Writing I is right for any writer who has been thinking about starting a novel or is up to halfway through. The class will include weekly lectures, critiques, and exercises aimed at helping you see your work freshly. We’ll motivate you as we cover discovering the essence of your novel (and learning how to convey it in a single sentence), as well as the importance of the opening chapter. We’ll discuss where to start the story, how to create a strong protagonist, the dramatic arcs of major characters, choosing a point of view, and exploring the voice of your novel as well as individual characters within it. We’ll analyze scene and delve into the dramatic possibilities created by strong dialogue. We’ll also look at setting, pacing, profluence and psychic distance. Finally, we’ll consider the business end – where and how to market your novel manuscript – and you’ll get guidance on the next step. Limited to 10-15 students.

Novel Writing II is for the writer who has more than half of a novel completed and is looking for a critical, helpful eye before the manuscript reaches the agent or editor. In this class, more of your work will be critiqued, and you will be called upon to write detailed weekly critiques yourself. Lectures will spring more naturally from the nature of the work. We’ll talk about motivation in the soggy middle of our manuscripts. This will be a chance to workshop a large portion of your completed work, and resubmit if you choose. We’ll focus on the skills of revision and layering your novel, as well as how to become our own teachers, learning by reading the work of others. The class also will include guidance on what to do once the manuscript is finished. Limited to 6-10 students.

Classes are small to allow for lots of individual attention to manuscripts. Please email me at masha at mashahamilton dot com for more details about either class.

Masha has taught novel-writing privately, on-line, and for Gotham Writers Workshop in New York City, 92nd Street Y/Makor in New York City, Ann Arbor Writers’ Workshop in Ann Arbor, MI, Pima Writers’ Workshop in Tucson, AZ, Willamette Writers in Portland, OR., Ocean Park Maine Writers’ Conference near Portland, ME., Poets and Writers League, Cleveland, OH, and others.

Masha’s students have gone on to get agents, get published, to be accepted to prestigious MFA programs in creative writing. Here are some comments:

Masha is a born writer—and a born teacher. I believe she can help writers on any level with story, character, even sentence structure. I’ve earned an MFA in writing but I turn to Masha for something that no academic environment offers: concise, practical advice that brings results immediately. Plus, her energy and enthusiasm inspires me to keep writing, which is the most important issue of all. She’s the best! — John, Brooklyn

Masha Hamilton gears her writing classes to suit varying skill levels without sacrificing the pace or content of her teaching. No matter how much you’ve written, there is always something to learn. Balanced, substantive critiques combine with meaningful exercises and readings to create a productive and memorable workshop experience. Masha’s ability to maintain open classroom camaraderie while facilitating rigorous analysis of student work is particularly impressive. If you want to sharpen your craft, and approach your writing and revision with greater depth and objectivity, look no further. — Maggie, New York


Susan Ito has served Literary Mama as a Fiction Editor, CNF editor, and columnist of “Life in the Sandwich.” She edited the literary anthology, A Ghost At Heart’s Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption. She is the author of the SheBook, The Mouse Room. Her work has appeared in CHOICE, Hip Mama, the Bellevue Literary Review, MSN.com, Making More Waves, Growing Up Asian American, the Kartika Review, and elsewhere. She is a former Fiction Editor, Columnist, and Creative Nonfiction Editor for Literary Mama.


More from



Comments are now closed for this piece.