***This class is in beta. All the materials are ready and available, but I am still polishing things up (so you may find typos and notice changes in my presentation skills over the course, and I may tweak things as I apply feedback). Thanks for your patience!***

Would you like to know how to write a novel - that you actually finish?

And be able to pick the brain of a multi-published, award-nominated


To know how to get story ideas? How to start a novel? How to keep going and fight perfectionism and finish your novel? To know how to build characters readers want to spend time with, settings they long to visit, plots that won’t let them put the story down? To know how to publish a book either traditionally or on your own? To know the things you don’t even know you don’t know?

In this class, you'll learn all that and more while also working on a short story and developing healthy habits for the writing life. The course is designed to take one year if doing one session a week. It has thirty teaching lessons, nineteen weeks dedicated to the writing life (that is, writing and reading and figuring out the writing habits that work for you), plus bonus mini-lessons and recordings of live Q&As. You will also write a book proposal and learn about traditional publishing and self-publishing, so you'll know the next steps for your stories.

The course should take around a year to complete, depending on your schedule, and you have access to the course materials for three years. Deadlines (and other forms of motivation) are a large part of the writing life, as many of us need that structure to accomplish our goals. So you have a deadline of three years to finish the course.

I. W.R.I.T.E. was an incredibly helpful course! I loved the opportunity to dip my toes in the world of a writer. I highly recommend the course to aspiring authors. 

~An I. W.R.I.T.E. student

I. W.R.I.T.E. is all I have learned from over a dozen years as an author, plus my experience on the other side as a freelance editor. It's all the stuff I found most helpful and all the stuff I wish I'd known earlier in my writing career. Whether you want to know how to finish that novel you started in eighth grade or how to start your author career, you'll get what you need in this class.


Who is this class for?

This class is for anyone, teen and adult. The content is PG and stories referenced are no more than PG-13 for violence alone.

What are the details of the course? 

Teacher: Elizabeth Kitchens, author and copyeditor

Lessons: 52

Format: Online

Equipment required: Computer with word processor, internet connection

Books recommended: Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English (Fourth Edition) by Patricia T. O'Conner

Course access lasts three years - because I want you motivated to learn but have time to take breaks if needed!

This option includes:

Video access

Assignments and handouts

- For three years

Mentor option

If you would like instructor feedback (from an award-nominated author and professional editor) on your assignments and short story project, please see the Mentorship option. There is NO feedback on the regular version. It is just lessons. Mentorship option link: https://i-write-with-ej-kitchens.teachable.com/p/i-w-r-i-t-e-how-to-write-a-novel-story-track-mentoring (This is a separate purchase.)

Class Schedule

You can purchase the class at any time. All videos will be available so you can work at your own pace.

(Book links are affiliate links. This costs you nothing extra but helps me pay for the course platform.)

What do we cover in the class? 

The course is outlined according to the acronym I. W.R.I.T.E., which we will go through twice. Once for story elements and once for the actual writing (that is, for dialogue and descriptions and such). We’ll also look at what readers want in a story so you can create stories with a premise that captures reader interest. There will be assignments throughout the course to help you learn the techniques of great writing, and you'll write a short story (around 20,000 words) and a book proposal. You will also read a book over the course of the class to strengthen your grammar and writing: Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English (Fourth Edition) by Patricia T. O'Conner. I'm a self-published author who also pays attention to the world of traditional publishing, so I talk a good bit about those topics, providing an introduction to next steps for those interesting in publishing.

Module 1: Story Elements and Knowing Your Reader

I: Introduction Introduction to writing a novel.

I: Ideas Where do we get ideas and how do we decide which ones to use?

W: World The story world (setting) is more than just the place the action happens but influences everything that happens.

R: Readers What do readers expect and want? Learn about genre, tone, book length, story hook, and blurb.

I: "I" (Characters) Who is telling the story? Characters and Point-of-View.

T: Trouble, Tension, and Ticking Clock The all-important goals and conflict that drive your story.

E: Events (Plot) What happens in your story? Should you outline or discovery write?

E: Editing for big picture issues.

Module 2: Midpoint

Midpoint: Book proposals (even if you're not seeking traditional publishing, writing a book proposal will help you become a better author) and tips on beating "the Resistance" and other hindrances to writing.

Module 3: Going Deeper into Story and Words

I: Introduction to great writing. Description, Style, and Voice.

W: Words or not? Show/don’t tell.

R: Rhythm. Rhythm, Pacing, Repetition.

I: Interest. Capture reader interest with a great first line, a middle that doesn’t sag, and a satisfying ending.

T: Talk. Dialogue and action beats.

E: Editing. Self-editing and the different types of editing.

Module 4: The End.

Wrap up. What being an author is like, jobs for writers, how to get published, how to avoid scams, and references for future study. You'll turn in the short story.

Throughout the course are Writing, Reading, and Catching Up weeks devoted to allowing time to catch up, write, and read. I don't want students to be stressed trying to keep up, and I want them to dedicate time to actually writing, not just learning about writing. Reading and keeping the creative well filled, and just relaxing with a good book, are also important to the writing life (for ideas, preventing burnout, and just enjoying it), so I hope students take the time for that as well.


Weekly assignments are designed to help students learn to analyze the stories they consume for story elements and good writing technique and so learn from them. Students will also work on developing a short story (approximately 20,000 words) throughout the course and will use what they learn to create a book proposal. Students can post some of the assignments and ask questions in the online discussion board.

The short story will be a retelling of the classic "Beauty and the Beast" story. Why? Because having a framework eases the burden of starting everything from scratch. Retellings and fan fiction are how many of us started out. Retellings are very flexible, however, so you can do a lot with the idea.

Students will also read Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English (Fourth Edition) by Patricia T. O'Conner.

That’s the class summary. If you’re still with me, you may be wondering about me and why I am teaching the course and what experience I have in writing and teaching. Again, I’m Elizabeth (E.J. Kitchens), and I’m a freelance copyeditor, author of clean YA fantasy novels, and an instructor. I come from a family of writers but didn’t discover my own love of writing until I was twenty-six. Consequently, I have a science background and have taught college microbiology labs and community college biology courses. I enjoy teaching and writing and helping others with their writing.

If you want to check out my writing, you can find my books on my website here: https://www.ejkitchens.com.

See you in the course!

Meet Your Instructor

E.J. Kitchens (Elizabeth) loves tales of romance, adventure, and happily-ever-afters and strives to write such tales herself. After many years as a biologist doing non-research work (like teaching labs and growing bacteria for labs) at a university, she is now a full-time writer, freelance copyeditor, and instructor. She writes fantasy for those who love clean adventure-romance stories with compelling characters and rich worldbuilding. She lives in Alabama and loves reading, watching black-and-white movies, being outdoors, traveling, and spending time with family, friends, and her church family. You can learn more about her books at her website (https://www.ejkitchens.com). 

Picture of Elizabeth at a beach

Choose a Pricing Option

Example Curriculum

  Module 1: Story Elements and Knowing Your Reader
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  Module 2: Midpoint and Review
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  Module 3: Going Deeper into Story and Words
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  Module 4: The End.
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