How to Write a Novel: A High-Level Introduction for New Writers

with John DeDakis

Saturday July 13, 2024 1:00pm US Central time • 2 hour webinar

One-time Zoom webinar

Perfect for
New and emerging novelists

Live attendance is not required: enrollees can watch the recording at any time after the workshop!

Writing a novel can seem like an enormous, overwhelming undertaking. Where do you start? How do you plan a plot? How do you keep up the pace of writing and overcome your insecurities? How do you know when you’re finished, and what do you do with your manuscript once it’s complete?

In this high-level workshop for new and emerging novelists, John DeDakis will give you a broad overview of the novel-writing process from 30,000 feet that demystifies and deconstructs how it’s done. You’ll learn how to go from the mere germ of an idea, all the way through the creative process, with an eye on getting a finished book into the hands of your eager readers.

You’ll take part in an energizing writing exercise that will show you how to tap into your subconscious and life experiences to transform them into a book-length project, populated with interesting characters, a twisty-turny plot, snappy dialogue, and an evocative setting. You’ll also touch on strategies for finding an agent, marketing your finished product, and facing your writing and marketing fears. Whether you’re just getting started, or you’re well along the path of draft writing, this workshop is a comprehensive introduction to what it takes to plan and execute a successful novel.

Some of John’s career highlights

CNN The White House Fast Track Claggett Center Fake Sistes in Crime Troubled Water The Loft Bullet in the Chamber The Muse Writers Center The Writer’s Center Bluff

Zoom schedule

Everyone enrolled in this webinar will receive a copy of the recording afterwards, so you can review it later in case you missed it.

  • Saturday July 13, 2024 1:00pm US Central time — 2 hours

How this workshop works

This workshop is a live Zoom webinar. Sign in from anywhere in the world and participate live as the instructor conducts the workshop, with time for Q&A at the end.

$49  •  2 hour webinar

Student praise for John DeDakis

The class was a good mix of lecture/informative material and practical, hands-on assignments. I love that you brought your whole being into the workshop. This wasn't an academic “here's some information on writing,” but here's a particular writer's life, inspiration, and practical tools. I also admire that you were so vulnerable and open with your struggles and losses and how you took your grief and molded it into art.

—Maliha Balala, The Writer's Center, Bethesda, Maryland

John is a great teacher, very patient, kind, and gracious. I felt supported and empowered to write—and to share my work.

—Anonymous, The Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis

John DeDakis's workshop was power-packed with all I need to up my game as I continue my efforts to write a novel. In a concise, personal way, John walked us through a methodology that makes this insurmountable task seem possible.

—Susan Feit, social justice strategist, Norfolk, Virginia

John DeDakis provided the perfect setting for the class in terms of demeanor. He provided thought-provoking questions and ideas and a comfort zone in which to engage in class participation. John planted the seed of courage in that we, too, can move from novice to novelist. He richly deserved the round of applause that exploded on our last day. It was a fantastic class.

—Anonymous, The Chautauqua Institution, New York

From Novice to Novelist is a high quality online writing course taught by an experienced and compassionate teacher. The writing exercises helped me have a breakthrough on how to write a scene.

—Anonymous, The Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis

Mr. DeDakis’s class changed my lethargic indifference to motivation and enthusiasm, enabling me to get my first novel traditionally published.

—F. M. Deemyad, author, The Sky Worshipers

From Novice to Novelist was the best course I have been involved in for the past ten years. John DeDakis was very down to earth, insightful, and full of valuable information.

—Anonymous, The Chautauqua Institution, New York

I encountered John DeDakis at a seminar he held in Nashville. I'd rewritten my novel eighteen times by the time we met and been turned down by about forty agents. John took me under his wing and after extensive revisions over nine months I was able to acquire a west coast agent. Five publishers bid on my book and we finally settled on a two-book contract with Seventh Street Books. My debut novel, A Knife in the Fog, was a finalist for the Edgar Award. I credit John with helping me to get to this level of success.

—Bradley Harper, author, A Knife in the Fog

Questions about this class?

We’re happy to answer any questions you might have!

  • Contact us and a real person will get back to you ASAP.

About John DeDakis

John DeDakis

Award-winning novelist, writing coach, and manuscript editor John DeDakis is a former editor on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. DeDakis is the author of five mystery-suspense-thriller novels. In his most recent novel, FAKE, protagonist Lark Chadwick is a White House correspondent dealing with “fake news” in the era of #MeToo. DeDakis, a former White House correspondent, regularly leads writing workshops at literary centers and writers’ conferences. He is also the host of the video podcast One-to-One with John DeDakis on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Originally from La Crosse, Wisconsin, DeDakis now lives with his wife Cindy in Baltimore, Maryland.

You can visit his website at

Other workshops starting soon

Saturday July 13, 2024 1:00pm US Central time
2 hour webinar

Enroll now