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A masterclass in novel-writing with Kate Mosse and Maggie O’Farrell | Guardian Masterclasses


If you’ve always wanted to pick up a pen to write a novel but are daunted about where to start, or you have been writing for some time but feel like you’ve lost your way, this event will provide insights into the creative process of novel-writing from two global bestselling award-winning authors. Together they will discuss writing techniques to help you to begin your narrative – how to come up with a character, develop your plot and differentiate between character and author voice. Through a blend of short talks, discussions, easy-to-follow exercises, informal feedback, and an audience Q&A, this masterclass will help you to develop skills that you can embed into your own writing, strengthening your work – and giving you the confidence to take it forward.

Course content:

  • Kate Mosse will discuss how to develop a character and create a plot.

  • Maggie O’Farrell will address the use of point of view, the opening pages of a novel, and the difference between an author’s voice and a character’s voice

This course is for…

  • Beginners and writers wanting to develop their fiction skills.

  • More established writers looking for an opportunity to refine their authorial voice, and locate their place in the publishing world.

Tutor profiles

A champion of women’s creativity, Kate Mosse is the Founder Director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction – the largest annual celebration of women’s writing in the world. She was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to literature and women and was named Woman of the Year for her service to the arts in the Everywoman Awards. Kate is the author of eight novels & short story collections, including the No 1 bestselling The Burning Chambers Series – The Burning Chambers and The City of Tears – as well as the multimillion selling Languedoc Trilogy – Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel – and No 1 bestselling Gothic fiction including The Winter Ghosts and The Taxidermist’s Daughter, which she has adapted for the stage. Her books have been translated into 38 languages and published in more than 40 countries. She has also written four works of non-fiction – including An Extra Pair of Hands (Wellcome Collection, 2021) – four plays, contributed essays and introductions to classic novels and collections. She is a regular guest on book and arts shows on radio and television. She also writes and presents documentaries.

Professional content writers

The City of Tears by Kate Moss is published by Mantle. To order a copy go to guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply

Maggie O’Farrell was born in Northern Ireland in 1972, grew up in Wales and Scotland, and currently lives in Edinburgh. Previously a journalist, she is now the author of eight novels: After You’d Gone, which won a Betty Trask Award, My Lover’s Lover, The Distance Between Us, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, The Hand That First Held Mine, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, Instructions for A Heatwave, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, This Must Be the Place, which was published by Headline in 2016 and shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. Maggie’s memoir I Am, I Am, I Am was published in 2017 and became a number one Sunday Times bestseller. Her eighth novel Hamnet won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction, the 2020 NBCC Award for Fiction, the 2020 Waterstones’ Book of the Year, and was the Fiction Book of the Year at the 2021 British Book Awards. Her first book for children, Where Snow Angels Go, is published by Walker Books. Maggie became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2021.

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell is published by Tinder Press. To order a copy go to guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply.

You will be sent a link to the webinar 1hr before the start time of 7pm (BST).

This masterclass is brought to you in partnership with the Women’s Prize Trust. To find out more about the Women’s Prize Trust and Prize, or to sign up for their newsletter, please visit the Women’s Prize Trust website.

If you live in the UK, you can purchase a ticket with a copy of The Women’s Prize for Fiction Journal at checkout for the combined price of £61.29 including postage and packing (RRP £14.99).


Date: Tuesday 11 January 2022
: 7pm-9pm GMT
Price: £49 (plus £2.66 booking fee) or £61.29 for journal + ticket (plus £3.18 booking fee)

This masterclass is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use this time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.

7pm GMT | 8pm CET | 11am PST | 2.00pm EST

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Returns policy

Once a purchase is complete we will not be able to refund you where you do not attend or if you cancel your event booking. Please see our terms and conditions for more information on our refund policy.

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