Advanced Novel Writing Course

Price: NZ$ 1995 / £ 895 / R 10 995


Advanced Novel Writing Course

Realise Your Dream of Writing a Novel

Finish writing your novel with mentoring by one of our multi-award winning tutors. Make it the best it can be.

Our Advanced Novel Writing Course is designed to guide you through to the final word of your manuscript, under the tutelage of one of our multi-award winning novelists: Alex Smith, Fiona Ingram, Sonny Whitelaw and Andrew Salomon.

If you require the support and feedback of a mentor, this course will help you complete your novel within one to two years. There is no theoretical component to this course; it is structured entirely around the material that you are working on.

Please note that this course is only open to graduates of our Write a Novel Course.

This Course Gives You...

Expert, Individual Feedback

Get prompt, honest, detailed feedback on every assignment from an award-winning writer. We focus on your unique writing strengths.

No Peer Reviews!

You will only be assessed by your tutor, a leader in their field. No more guessing and wondering how to write; you'll be guided line by line.

No Automated Marking

We use traditional methods of assessing work, as editors at publishing houses would. No generic feedback!

A Flexible Schedule

Work wherever and whenever you want. You can easily fit our courses around work and other commitments.

Relevant, Usable Content

Easy-to-digest course notes that capture a lifetime of writing experience, ready for you to apply to your own writing.

Ongoing Assessment

Your writing is assessed continuously as your course progresses.

Achieve Your Goal – Finish Your Novel

Discover where your novel can go with new skills and insights imparted by your tutor.

In the Advanced Novel Writing Course, you will learn how to:

  • complete a manuscript of approximately 65,000 words
  • hold your reader’s attention through mood, atmosphere and suspense
  • maintain logical flow throughout your story
  • edit your manuscript and eliminate plot holes
  • prepare a book proposal and present it to a publisher (optional)


The assignments consist of seven text instalments with feedback, four read-throughs of edits and two detailed manuscript assessments.

If your manuscript will be over 65 000 words we will charge per additional 5 000 words.

‘Alex turned me into a writer. It was tough, but with the help of Alex, we did it in 6 months! I received much more than I paid for. Actually, it was priceless.’

Louis Wiid, Advanced Novel Writing Course

Course Overview

Start your course at any time – applications open all year round.


Price includes GST/VAT

Other currencies will be converted at time of invoice



The assignments vary in length.





Work at your own pace – up to a maximum of 24 months.


Working with an individual tutor means you can start the course at any time.


Applicants must be graduates of the Write a Novel Course.
Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required.

Our Graduate Students' Successes

We are proud of our graduates who have achieved success. Here are a few among dozens of our creative writing success stories.

Alex smith creative writing tutor at the writers college

Tutors for this Course

You can either select a tutor when you apply, or we will assign a tutor based on your area of interest.

Alex Smith

Alex Smith is the award-winning author of five novels: Algeria’s Way, Drinking from the Dragon’s Well, Four Drunk Beauties, Devilskein & Dearlove (published by Random House/Umuzi) and Agency Blue (published by Tafelberg). 

Her work has received widespread acclaim. Drinking from the Dragon’s Well was longlisted for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award and Devilskein & Dearlove was nominated for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal in the UK. Agency Blue won a Sanlam Youth Literature Award, while Four Drunk Beauties won the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award. 

Alex tutors the Novel Writing Course, the Advanced Novel Writing Course, the Advanced Short Story Writing Course and the Grammar Skills Course, sharing her knowledge and expertise with students of all skill levels.

Novel writing course, fiona ingram

Fiona Ingram

Fiona Ingram [BA Hons (Natal), MA (Wits)] is a multi-award winning author of adult and children’s fiction. She has written eight historical romances (published by USA publisher Bublish), including Married at Midnight, The Wayward Miss Wainwright and Lord Blackwood’s Valentine Ball.
Her interest in myths and legends, ancient history and travel led to her writing the multi-award winning The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. This is the first instalment of her children’s adventure series, Chronicles of the Stone. Fiona has now completed Book Four in the series. Through her novels, she takes youngsters all over the world on amazing adventures. 

She is also an animal rights advocate and writes animal rescue stories.

Creative Writing Course tutor at The Writers College Andrew Salmon

Andrew Salomon

Andrew Salomon is an award-winning author. His debut novel Tokoloshe Song was shortlisted for the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award.

Additionally, his short fiction has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. He has also received the PEN Literary Award for African Fiction and the Short.Sharp.Stories Award.

Andrew is the author of the young adult thrillers The Chrysalis and Wonderbear. His latest novel is the dark fantasy thriller The Equilibrist. He completed an MA at the Institute for Archaeology at University College London. Some of his most memorable experiences have been at rock painting and engraving sites in subterranean caves and shelters across the world. These often find their way into his fiction.

Andrew tutors several courses at The Writers College, including the Write a Novel Course, the Advanced Novel Writing Course and the Advanced Short Story Writing Course.

Creative writing tutor at the Writers College, Sonny Whitelaw

Sonny Whitelaw

Sonny Whitelaw has enjoyed a successful career as a writer for over 30 years. Her work as a photojournalist has appeared in dozens of international magazines,  including National Geographic.

She won a Draco Award for her first novel, The Rhesus Factor, and all eight of her novels, including five based on the television series Stargate, have been international bestsellers.

A qualified adult educator with an MA in Creative Writing, Sonny taught writing courses to adults and teenagers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. In 2008, she moved with her teenage son to a small lifestyle property in Oxford, Canterbury.

When she’s not having an enormous amount of fun exploring the South Island, Sonny splits her time between researching and writing scientific reports, editing fiction and non-fiction manuscripts, and working on her own exciting young adult science fantasy series called The Runes of Creation. Find out more about this series on her website.

Sonny tutors the Write a Novel Course, the Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course and the Advanced Novel Writing Course.

Tanya Hutley

Tania Hutley

For many years, Tania Hutley worked as a Technical Writer in the software industry, but she always dreamed of writing creatively. She began by writing literary short stories and has been a runner up in New Zealand’s two most prestigious short story competitions, the Katherine Mansfield Awards and the Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition. In 2010 she won the Page and Blackmore National Short Story Award.

After branching out into novel writing, she published two middle-grade chapter books for children. Then she wrote the Skin Hunter science fiction trilogy, and co-wrote The Trouble With Witches urban fantasy series. Under the pen name Talia Hunter, she has also published eleven contemporary romance and romantic comedy novels and even made the USA Today Bestsellers List.  

Though Tania started off with traditional publishers, she’s now enthusiastic about self-publishing and the control it gives to authors.

She was born in New Zealand, but has recently moved to Australia where she’s constantly amazed and not at all freaked out by the weird and wonderful critters. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her with a glass of wine, a good book, and a jumbo-sized can of bug spray.

Course Curriculum

Module 1

  • Text instalment 1: 5,500 words with feedback 
  • Time to complete task: One month

Module 2

  • Text instalment 2: 5,500 words with feedback 
  • Time to complete task: One month

Module 3

  • Text instalment 3: 5,500 words with feedback 
  • Time to complete task: One month

Module 4

  • Text instalment 4: 5,500 words with feedback 
  • Time to complete task: One month

Module 5

  • Text instalment 5: 5,500 words with feedback 
  • Time to complete task: One month

Module 6

  • Text instalment 6: 5,500 words with feedback 
  • Time to complete task: One month

Module 7

  • Text instalment 7: 5,500 words with feedback 
  • Time to complete task: One month

Module 8

  • Edit the first quarter of your manuscript (approximately 16 500 words) and submit. Editing must be clearly tracked. 
  • Time to complete task: One month

Module 9

  • Edit the second quarter of your manuscript (approximately 16 500 words) and submit. Editing must be clearly tracked. 
  • Time to complete task: One month

Module 10

  • Edit the third quarter of your manuscript (approximately 16 500 words) and submit. Editing must be clearly tracked. 
  • Time to complete task: One month

Module 11

  • Edit the final quarter of your manuscript and submit. Editing must be clearly tracked. 
  • Time to complete task: One month


Module 12

  • Accept/reject changes on full manuscript; proofread; add final comments to self; submit final manuscript for assessment.


What Our Students Say

Michelle PeartAdvanced Novel Writing Course
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My experience on the course was simply life-changing. I now have a future as a writer and have the skills I need to move forward. The Advanced Write a Novel Course was the fourth course I've completed with the college and they have all fulfilled my needs, pushing me onwards and upwards. I have been with the college for two years and they have been the most fruitful and rewarding two years of my life.
Christine WardleAdvanced Novel Writing Course
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I really felt that my tutor wanted to get the best out of me. It was like a coach pushing an athlete for gold. She instilled a lot of confidence and always gave me advice on how to make my writing better. The course was very encouraging and positive.
Hayley BarrettAdvanced Novel Writing Course
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I would describe the course as worthwhile and well worth the money! My novel is finished and ready to go to the publishers. I am so pleased with the way it turned out. My tutor was amazing. Her feedback – positive and negative – was the most useful part of this course. I would often find myself nodding and agreeing as I read her comments and wishing I’d been able to see it myself. Her positive comments kept me going, but it was from her red pen (the bits that needed to change) that I learnt the most. I was always surprised at how quickly Sonny got my assessments back to me, knowing how many words there were to read. I am really grateful that I had her as a tutor for both this course and the Write a Novel Course as without her guidance, my novel would look very different.
H. HodgsonAdvanced Novel Writing Course
Read More

I now understand the art of storytelling and the discipline required to keep my audience involved. My tutor provided just the right amount of goading to get the job done, while I had the freedom to work at my own pace. She was a true professional, providing the ideal mix of authority and empathy.
Jade du RandtWrite a Novel Course
Read More

This course was very enlightening for me. Alex has been great and extremely helpful! I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. She was awesome to work with. The course met my objectives more than I had anticipated. It was a pleasure to be a student with the The Writers’ College, and to take part in an experience that has set the foundation to the rest of my writing journey.
Omri PieterseWrite a Novel Course
Read More

The course material was brilliant! I found everything helpful and easily applicable to my own writing. I was extremely happy with the entire course. Alex is a wonderful lecturer! Her use of positive criticism was amazing. It helped me approach my editing in a different way. The support she gave me was priceless, it got me through the times when I thought the mountain of writing was too high to climb. I have so many things to say about her, but what I will say is: Thank you Alex! The course objective was a couple of chapters and twenty five thousand words. Three and a half months in, I had hit the mark already. Alex hinted that it would be a shame if I didn’t finish my entire first draft of my manuscript before the end of the course. It was a tall order, but before the end I sat with a manuscript of hundred and seventeen thousand words. She helped me achieve above and beyond what I thought I was capable of. I’m happy to say that whatever made me stumble onto your college changed my life, and turned a small hope and dream into a reality.

Get These Additional Benefits

Lifetime Course Access

Benefit from free lifetime access to future course updates and access to our writing resources.

Join a Community of Writers

You will have access to our friendly Facebook community, daily writing tips and writing inspiration.

500+ Bonus Articles on Our Blog

A superb, constantly updated resource with articles on writing and interviews with writers.

Work at Your Own Pace

Our courses work around you. You can pace your course around your busy life.

Work Opportunities

Top students are invited to join our writers and editors for hire service.

Be the First to Know About Writing Competitions

We'll help you keep up to date with the latest competition announcements

Risk-Free 100% Money-Back Guarantee

We are so confident that you will love your course that if you’re not 100% satisfied with the quality of our training, simply ask for a refund within 30 days.

Complete the Application Form to Enrol on the Advanced Novel Writing Course

You will receive an approval email and invoice within one working day.

Questions? We've Got Answers

The course consists of 12 modules. For each module, you will email an assignment with a specific word count to your tutor for assessment. Once feedback has been received, the task will be considered complete. 

Bear in mind that you will be systematically writing, editing and proofreading your own novel during this course. By the end of the course, you will have completed a manuscript of around 65 000 words. Your tutor will be available for text critiques and support.

Absolutely. You have direct communication with your tutor for the duration of the course. The more questions you ask, the more you will get out of the course.

You will get lifetime access to the course. You will also benefit from future updates and improvements to the course.

For the majority of our courses, only your tutor will see your work. It will remain completely private unless you get it published. The journalism courses might see your work published in the public domain, but you do have the final say as to whether or not this happens.

You will receive a Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided you meet the following conditions: 

  • You must have completed all writing tasks.
  • A minimum average of 50% must be achieved.
  • The course must be completed within 24 months of registration.
  • You must be a graduate of the Write a Novel Course.
  • Computer skills as well as email and Internet access are required.

Because you will work with an individual tutor, you can start your course as soon as your application has been approved. There are no specific start dates as would be the case with a traditional college.

An application is usually approved within one working day. Once we receive proof of payment, your can start your course.

You could be starting your course today!

Everyone writes at a different pace. However, for each 1,000 words of your novel, we give a conservative estimate of about an hour of writing and at least the same amount of time for revising. For each 5,000 words of your novel, allocate a minimum of ten hours. 

Time should also be set aside for final revisions at the end of the course. Expect to work on your novel for a minimum of 120 hours in total or around ten hours per month over 12 months.

Once your application has been approved, you will receive notification of approval and an invoice via email. As soon as we receive proof of payment, your first module as well as your tutor’s email address and your login details will be sent to you. Your tutor will also be in touch to welcome you.

Any work created on our courses with is owned by you. We will never make a claim to anything you produce. We follow the rule that copyright subsists with the creator (you).

‘The hard work was worth it. I learned a lot and it was a great experience for me on a personal level. My tutor was very supportive and helpful. Studying through The Writers College was once again an awesome experience.’

Mark, Advanced Novel Writing Course

Got More Questions?

We would love to help you choose the best course for you. Tell us what style of writing you want to develop and we'll give you some options.

Our Refund Policy

If within seven days of starting your course you are not happy on your course, we can either transfer you to a different course or provide a full refund.

If you request a refund after seven days and before 30 days we will charge a 5% administrative fee, as well as any bank fees and tutor fees already incurred.

We do not offer a refund after 30 days on the course.

How can we help?

We would love to chat to you if you have any questions about our courses. If you need advice about the best course for you, drop us a line below or email us at

We look forward to hearing from you.