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I GOT ACCEPTED...

I heard last night I got into the 'Ultimate Novel Writing Course' that starts in July, and runs for a year... 

it's a HUGE expense (since the price is in GBP, and I'm in Canada, so almost double with the exchange), but I have a significant birthday coming up, and my DH wanted to get me something special... he started with a car, LOL, but settled on this.

Getting in isn't as easy as just signing up, you have to apply - fill out a questionnaire about what and why you write, your experience etc.; send a 1500 word writing sample; select the mentor you're hoping for (there are 3, but each one only takes 10 people), though they don't guarantee you'll get your selection... THEN there's a phone interview... 

It was quite a process.

But I heard last night I was accepted, and I just sent my payment, so I'm now confirmed... This is a huge commitment for me, and a big step in my learning journey, so I'm doing happy dances around my office, 😁 . 

The course seems to be worth the money in terms of what you get - mentoring (12 sessions - 1 a month) and feedback (on top of the actual course); not to mention a manuscript evaluation, and TWO agent one-to-one sessons, which adds up to about half the cost of the course.. PLUS an intro and feedback from an actual agency...

AND a lifetime membership to Jericho... If I'm a member for 10 more years, it covers the cost of the course right there (HA!).

There may even be an 'in-person event' in Oxford at the end. We try to get to England at least once a year (both our girls live there)... or we did pre-Covid, so we'd just work that into a trip...

Just bursting to share with someone, and I knew you guys would appreciate how momentous this is for me ... Thanks for listening!

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Replies (29)
    • Congrats, Jo. Sounds like quite a process but I am happy you are ready to go for the next year.

      Tom

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      • Well done. Sounds hard but I expect it will be worth it. Enjoy it.

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        • Congratulations, Jo Gatenby! I'm happy for you that you were selected for the course, and even MORE thrilled that you are investing in yourself and your art. Best wishes to you!!

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          • Great news! Congratulations, Jo. I'm sure you'll put in the work to make it worth the money and, just think, next summer you'll be subbing your novel to agents!

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            • Congratulations can't wait to hear how you get on 

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              • Congratulations, Jo. By the looks of the course, it'll be an absolute game changer for you. And you've already have vindication of your work, just being accepted!

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                • Congratulation, Jo!

                  Looking forward to hear more about your experience and your book.

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                  • Ahhhhh congggraaaatsss I’m on the current Ultimate Novel Writing Course (International version) that started back in October. TOTALLY worth the money. You’re gonna love it and learn LOADS! Everyone is super nice and encouraging too. I’m so excited for you. This is gonna be an EPIC journey. 😁 

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                    • Thanks everyone... and Frances, thanks for the feedback... I really hemmed and hawed over spending the money, as I'm in Canada, so the course is basicly $2000 short of double (gulp)... But my DH has some really good contracts working right now, and he pushed me to go for it... He also gave me the lifetime ProWritingAid for Christmas, so super supportive!

                      I have literally been smiling all day!

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                      • Wow, Jo, that sounds amazing. Who's your mentor? And it sounds like you've worked out the cost really sensibly. You're right it sounds like a lot, but when you add things up it looks like they've calculated things pretty carefully. And the most important thing is that YOU get what you want out of it. Personally, I think it's a brave move.

                        Keep us up to date on your progress and any feedback on the course once you start, it'll be really interesting. 

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                        • Not sure how I replied to your post, but it didn't show up here, LOL, so trying again... I asked for Donna Freitas, as the was the only one of the three who did both YA an fantasy... both of which I write... But I won't know till closer to the time who I get, as apparently the mentors decide which of us they want!

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                        • Your post sounds like the perfect add for JW. They'll be thrilled with you and should give you a discount.

                          Oh... you mean they have? Well done! Go for it!

                          LOL 😂

                           

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                          • That would have been nice... I even queried why they charged VAT, since education and training are exempt, but apparently you have to be a registered school or educator, and JW dn have that qualification... though I think they should apply for it - nothing but education here!

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                            • Good for you, Jo. Investing in oneself is never a waste and if it's fun too that's even better. Hope you get a lot out of it.

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                              • That's what I'm hoping... I was looking at that weekend get-together too, but that's kind of greedy for one year 😆 and we weren't planning on England until October (this year). I might also have a tradeshow in Sept., so that's pushing it... 

                                But maybe next year... I'll have a lot more knowledge under my belt, and be better prepared to take advantage of all the opportunities an event like that offers... I'll just sent my DH off to visit the kids until I'm done, LOL...

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                              • Well done Jo.  Hope it goes with a swing!


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                                • Wow! That sounds super-exciting! Really happy for you - and now I'm curious about the course. Going to check it out!

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                                  • Well Done! Will you let us know how it goes? It seems like there are a few people on this thread, who like myself, are curious about this course. THanks. It sounds brilliant.

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                                    • Will do... it DN start until July, but I'm still excited - and nervous... I keep waffling on what I'm going to work on in the class... 

                                      Do I use the beginning-of-the-series novel I just sent to Beta readers, and improve that... or do I work on the second book in the series (which might be weird to present to an agent, right?)... or do I use this new(ish) story that I started outlining here a few months ago, that I'm just getting back to (now that my novel is out to Beta's)...

                                      I may use my first session with the mentor to hash it out with them and see what they suggest... There's a lot more pressure when you know it's going to read by professionals who will assess it's marketability!

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                                    • Well done, Jo. From what I hear, it will be money very well spent. What a super birthday present. I wish you every success on the course. 

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                                      • That's so cool! Well done! :D. If you're writing YA fantasy that's like the same genre I want to write in too! I'm wanting to join the course in the future hopefully. What was the phone interview like?

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                                        • Very casual, the woman who called was in the US... I guess she does the interviews for NA, but I was working out time differences etc., thinking she would call from the UK, so I was totally blindsided when she called.

                                          But we had a nice chat... it was a while ago now, but I remember one of her big concerns was whether I would be comfortable critiquing work by members of my class (as they will critique mine), and thanx to Jericho (and all you wonderful writiers), I have been doing that for a while.

                                          At first I only asked for advice here, but I've taken so many classes and done so many of the courses, that I'm finding I actually have feedback to contribute to other writers, and that feels awesome!

                                          She also wanted to answer any questions I might have... but really, the prospectus they send you is very complete and I can't remember having much to ask...

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                                        • Just an update... I was getting concerned, as there were only a few people signed up for the class - I feared they might cut it if they didn't get enough students... but in the past couple days a bunch have joined.

                                          I see the group they've put us in is up to 12, so that's at least one full class, plus a bit of the second (they said approx 10 per mentor, and if I remember right, they're only offering 3 mentors)...

                                          We still have a month to go before it starts... 

                                          I've also signed up for NINE of the Summer Writing Festival events so far... anyone else seeing things they'd like to hear?

                                          I haven't booked any August yet, that's too far ahead to make decisions... 😁 plus we're going to England end of August to see our grandkids (3 years - boo Covid)...

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                                          • Hi Jo, I added you as a friend as I am doing the same course, and also write fantasy. I can't wait AND I am a bit nervous - but I am sure it will be great.

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                                            • I saw another new member this a.m., so I think we're up to 13... though I see two of those are administrators, so not sure if they're taking the course, or monitoring?? Anyway, seems like we're slowly filling up - so hurrah! I'm very excited as well, and looking forward to getting to know everyone better...

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                                              • As of this morning we're up to 16 in class (PLUS the 2 admins, so might be 18)... getting there... getitng excited!!

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                                                • Congrats Jo! I wish I was joining with you! What an immense leap forward in your writing this will be, wishing you every success 🎉

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                                                  • Two more signed up today... total is 19 now, plus 2 admins... so two classes at least! Received the schedule (for the whole year) today, and notification of my mentor's name - Emma Cooper.

                                                    Unfortunately, the mentor I requested seems to have been replaced with someone else (not Emma) as in she's not listed on the info page any more, there's another lady there instead... but it looks like they all do some teaching, and I'm sure they're all qualified, LOL. We're assigned for the monthly one-on-ones....

                                                    Zoom meet-and-greet on Friday, then we start actual work on Monday... to introduce topics and do lectures, the entire group links in, then we work in our smaller groups separately... Seems very well organized, but I guess they've been doing it for a while, so it should, LOL.

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                                                    • Just a quick update... we had our first meet-n-greet last night, and got to talk to our mentors. Emma seems fun and enthusiastic, and I'm looking forward to talking with her about my novel.

                                                      They ended up with 26 people, so 2 mentors have 10, and one has 6... but I also found out they turned away a number of people they thought weren't qualified, or ready for, this course. So that makes me feel encouraged... they saw something in my writing that they thought they could work with, LOL, and they're not just in a money grab, accepting anyone...

                                                      And I'm not the oldest one in class (hurrah), which was a bit of a concern... We have the calendar for the year, so know, roughly, what we'll be covering each month. First Zoom instruction on Monday, and homework (plotting) due on the 15th... time to get to work!

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