Last year, there was a boom in books with sales up by 8.2% in the USA, propelling the publishing industry to $25 bn. Sales of fiction in the UK were up a whopping 25% last year, defying predictions. While J.K. Rowling remains the top-earning author worldwide, there’s room for more at the table in the bookshop!
Home alone, many aspiring authors have been tucking into online creative writing courses, and novelists have found a home at the worldwide writing school The Novelry. Founded by Booker-listed author Louise Dean, the school takes a radically different approach to teaching fiction writing. It all starts with story. According to The Novelry, page-turners don’t happen by accident; they’re constructed. So a writer’s year at The Novelry begins with pairing the author’s desires, interests and experiences to the all-time bestselling books. Borrowing a phrase from T.S. Eliot, if you start with a bang, you won’t end with a whimper. Every writer gets a co-pilot with a bestselling author at their side for the big write, and recent guest tutors have included Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train) and David Nicholls (One Day.)
The course doesn’t end with a whimper; far from it. The Novelry submits writers’ work to leading literary agents like Trident Media Group in New York (home to Pulitzer Prize Winners). One of their homegrown published authors scooped a top ten summer read in the UK’s Independent in 2020. At ‘the home of happy writing’ as Louise Dean calls it, writers are cosseted and nurtured, and with five-star reviews, The Novelry has become a bit of a cult for both published and aspiring novelists (with a few famous names among their members) described by its writers as “life-changing.”
Last year made readers of more people than ever before, and according to the founder of The Novelry, a love of reading is the sole requisite for embarking on an adventure in writing fiction.