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One-on-One 7-Month Novel Mentorship Program with Editor Chas Gillespie, Starts The Week of May 6th, 2024
Regular price
€4.736,95

One-on-One 7-Month Novel Mentorship Program with Editor Chas Gillespie, Starts The Week of May 6th, 2024


Unit price per

**Applications are Required**

Click HERE to Apply by April 29th, 2024. Early applications are encouraged. Payment plans are available.

The program starts the week of May 6th, 2024

IMPORTANT: Please do not pay for the mentorship until you receive an acceptance notification via email.

Application Process: Complete Application Questionnaire.

Any questions about this mentorship? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.

*Note: This program is limited to four students.

Taught by Chas Gillespie, an editor, writer, comedian, and teacher whose work appears in The New Yorker, The Onion, and McSweeney’s, where he contributes regularly. He graduated from Harvard College, where he studied English Literature, and Warren Wilson College, where he received his MFA in Fiction.

With an extensive background in editing, writing, and teaching, Chas has dedicated his career to nurturing the talents of emerging and established writers. Beyond humor writing, Chas offers his expertise in editing and mentoring across a spectrum of projects, including novels, 30-minute TV pilots, and more. He is adept at collaborating with writers at intermediate or advanced levels, providing them with detailed feedback that surpasses the usual advice from peers or workshops. His approach is uniquely holistic, focusing on accepting projects on their own terms, leveraging their strengths, and identifying opportunities for growth. Chas’s mentoring is characterized by deep engagement with both the micro elements of line editing and the macro components of plot, characterization, and structure.

Chas is not just an editor; he is a passionate reader who believes in the importance of understanding a project's essence and its potential path to success; his willingness to guide writers toward helpful resources is a testament to his commitment to their success. He values establishing long-term editing relationships for a single book project or a series of works.

Chas Gillespie's mentorship is an opportunity for writers seeking a mentor who sees the value in their work, acknowledges its strengths, and is dedicated to crafting a clear pathway toward their project's fruition. Join him in the 7-Month Novel Mentorship Program to experience a supportive, insightful, and transformative journey in bringing your novel to life.

ABOUT THIS 7-MONTH PROGRAM:

Completing a novel is a beast of an endeavor. It requires time, skill, experimentation, hard work, and loads of persistence. Some writers get to the end by themselves, but a bit of help might get you there in a way that’s faster, more interesting, and more enjoyable. This novel mentorship course gives students the opportunity to work one-on-one with an established writer and editor in order to bring their novel-in-progress to the finish line.

The course’s goal is a completed manuscript and a roadmap for what to do next.

IS THIS 7-MONTH PROGRAM FOR YOU?

This course might be right for you if:

  • You already have some experience with fiction writing and have a basic understanding of its craft elements.
  • Your novel has at least 10,000 words of fluid, readable prose.
  • You have at least 10,000 more words of “stuff” that give you a strong sense of where the novel is heading. This might include general plot notes, specific ideas for scenes, character backstories, and bits of dialogue.
  • You know the basics of your novel: the narrator(s), the characters, the setting, and why this story matters to you and to the characters.
  • You have at least 15 hours per week to devote to reading and writing.
  • You are excited about revising, trying new things, and experimenting.

PROGRAM STRUCTURE:

Over the course of seven months, you will submit six packets of writing and receive six responses. A typical packet will contain new prose (up to 50 pages, double-spaced, in a Word doc) and a letter explaining what you’ve been working on, what’s going well, where you are struggling, and what questions you have. Each response packet from Chas will include in-line comments in your document, as well as an editorial letter that responds to your concerns and builds on the in-line comments. The letter may also recommend craft essays or other readings that will address your questions. The goal of the response letter is to point out the prose’s strengths, make suggestions on how to build on those strengths, and motivate you to keep going.

Common feedback may include notes on point of view, narrative style, plot escalation, establishing conflict, building suspense, negotiating backstory, character arcs, scenes vs. exposition, and so on. The goal is not to impose a prefabricated idea about novels onto the work; rather, it’s to accept the novel on its own terms, figure out what it’s trying to do, and help it get there.

COMMUNICATION & MEETINGS:

Most communication between you and Chas will be through these (emailed) letters. Having a written record of both suggestions and praise allows you to review what’s going well and what might be improved whenever you’d like.

Over the course of the program, you will also have three meetings with Chas over Zoom. At the beginning of the course, the week of May 6th, you and Chas will have a Zoom call in which you introduce yourselves, chat about where you are in the project, and decide on a schedule for packet submissions. At the course’s midpoint, in early September, you will again check in over Zoom to discuss how to best use the second half of your time together. And, finally, after you have submitted your final packet, you will meet over Zoom one final time to discuss your next steps.

SUBMITTING YOUR PACKETS:

Each student will get a week when their packet is due, and each packet will be due on a Thursday. Like this:

  • Week of May 6: Introductory zoom calls
  • Thursday, May 9: Student #1 packet due
  • Thursday, May 16: Student #2 packet due
  • Thursday, May 23: Student #3 packet due
  • Thursday, May 30: Student #4 packet due
  • June: Packet #2 is due on the Thursday of each student’s week.
  • July: Packet #3 is due on the Thursday of each student’s week.
  • August: No packets are due. Get some space from the project. Focus on reading fiction and craft essays that Chas recommends based on your specific project.
  • First week of September: Check in over Zoom.
  • Rest of September: Packet #4 is due on the Thursday of each student’s week.
  • October: Packet #5 is due on the Thursday of each student’s week.
  • November: Packet #6 is due on the Thursday of each student’s week. Check in over Zoom on a personalized date. Celebrate seven months of hard work!

Some flexibility is expected because of holidays or unforeseen circumstances, but we will try to stick close to the above schedule.

Some email correspondence is expected, as well, but the bulk of back-and-forth will be through the packets.

Chas will return your packet within one week of its submission.

This course is a significant commitment, so please reach out with any questions you may have. Let’s get your novel finished!

APPLICATION PROCESS & REQUIRED MATERIALS:

Applications are required. Complete Application Questionnaire.

*Note: This program is limited to four students.

TESTIMONIALS:

“I consider Chas a vital part of my writing process. His thoughtful analysis, insightful questions, and clear edits have helped me elevate my work across multiple genres: screenwriting, fiction, memoir, and humor. With his feedback I’ve been able to elevate the work, getting more published pieces and better representation. I don’t even want to write this recommendation because I’m terrified he will become too busy to work with me. But he asked and Chas has helped me so much, I feel indebted.”

-Kristina L.

“Chas is arguably the smartest person I’ve ever met. He’s also one of the nicest, most encouraging, and creatively challenging (in a good way). I’ve reached out to Chas many times in need of help trying to crack and craft a humor piece and his insights, suggestions, and guidance have helped me ten-fold. If you want someone that can help you take your work to its fullest potential, teach you valuable writing / humor lessons, and help you distill your work into a coherent train of thought, work with Chas.”

-Tim C.

“Chas is an extremely intelligent, funny, detail-oriented, and no-nonsense editor and reader. He's been my go-to editor on a major project and has given me incisive, priceless feedback and, crucially, helped me find and address my blind spots. He is friendly, efficient, easy to communicate with, and I've been consistently impressed by his quick turnaround times. I can't recommend him highly enough.”

-Hilary H.

“Chas changed how I approach humor writing. I usually start with a funny thought and go from there. But Chas challenges you to begin with something that’s not necessarily funny—a topic that frustrates or preoccupies you. He then shows you how to make it funny, with techniques and strategies that have worked for him. The result is McSweeney’s-level humor that’s more personal, original, and hard hitting. I learned so much from Chas. He’s insightful, helpful, and inspiring. I can’t recommend him enough!”

-Tod B.

“Chas taught me the fundamentals of humor writing, and over the course of 5 weeks I was transformed from complete noob to comic initiate. He was a patient teacher who demonstrated his expertise in the subject and passed on his knowledge generously. Not only did I have a polished piece by the end of class, but I also had the tools I needed to continue to generate clever ideas worthy of publication in some of my favorite corners of the internet.”

-BriAnna O.

“If you imagine yourself as a writer but have trouble putting your thoughts to screen (or paper), Chas Gillespie is a great help. Working with Chas, I learned the power of tying what could be an entertaining idea to what I’m really passionate about. Therefore, instead of booting up the computer and wrestling with ways to motivate myself to put 700 words into the processor, I know exactly what I’m writing about and why I care about it. That leaves a lot more time to come up with creative laugh lines and ways to enhance the piece.

Chas is also an excellent mentor who teaches with quiet confidence. He hones in on what you want to write and works toward finding ways to elevate the stakes while keeping focus. I look forward to continuing to work with Chas in the future.”

-Jesse L.

“Chas is a pleasure to learn from. He masterfully presents the freeing aspects of structure and logic – true friends when the muse is running late – as well specificity -- the one lad you can always count on.

Chas sets up solid ground rules which lead to respectful interactions and contributions… and healthy fun banter.

Each class helps you feel one step closer to identifying as a professional writer and taking your humor craft more seriously.

Extra bonus:  siblings might appreciate you more – and I quote my sister:  ‘hey that humor writing class is really working!’

A very happy student.”

-Nina Z.

“ Taking Humor Writing by Chas has not only changed my writing but also the way I look at life. In class he gave specific things to think about to help make our pieces comical and provided multiple ways to generate ideas. One memorable one was to write to an audience who can relate to a struggle we were going through. And let the people come to us. I’ll always remember that.
Chas gave us a solid, reliable structure. I look forward to reviewing my notes from this class on the future pieces I write.”

-Grace R.

I recently finished taking a humor writing class taught by Chas Gillespie that he did for the Los Angeles-based Writing Pad, which offers various online writing classes. It was terrific. Since taking the class, I’m wealthier, taller, and my teeth are whiter than the blank page I was always staring at. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the truth is: Chas is a terrific teacher. He knows comedy. And he has the published credits to prove it. Not only did he provide tips on how to write humor pieces and get them published, when he critiqued students’ humor pieces, he was adept at pointing out problem areas, as well as where and how to punch up the writing. Although I’ve made my living writing sit-coms and animation for TV and have taught animation writing at UCLA… I learned a lot about writing humor for publications from Chas and look forward to utilizing the various techniques he taught me. So my advice: If you ever have the chance to take a class by Chas, don’t pass up the opportunity.”

-Kevin Hopps

“As a screenwriter, copywriter, and storytelling producer/performer taking Chas's kick ass class was a winning idea. It greatly expanded my comedy toolbelt of writing strategies. From the get-go Chas had the entire class rapt... around his little finger. His super chill and thoughtful presence combined with lucid feedback boundaries provided a welcoming and supportive space to take risks. This is no small feat and this sort of environment is only created by the best of teachers. Chas has a genuine interest in students as individuals, there is nothing cookie cutter about his care in feedback and notes. I left every class with helpful new writing processes. And that, simply put, is fucking exciting.”

-Frayn Masters, Executive Producer/Host BACKFENCE PDX

“Chas is an amazing teacher and editor! He gave me thoughtful notes that were always dead-on and made my work better. He’s an ideal reader for any budding humorist’s work. Plus he’s an exceedingly polite Midwesterner. (I’m not sure he’s from the Midwest but it’s a vibe.)”

-Julia W.


PAYMENT OPTIONS:

Tuition for this 7-Month Program is $4,995. You can pay for the course in full or use Shop Pay or Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.

If you have questions, please use the Chat Button or contact us via email HERE.

Instructor Chas Gillespie is a writer, comedian, and teacher whose work appears in The New Yorker, The Onion, and McSweeney’s, where he contributes regularly. He is a graduate of Harvard College, where he studied English Literature, and Warren Wilson College, where he received his MFA in Fiction. You can find his work on his website, chaschaschas.com. He is currently at work on a novel.