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Write a fantastic opening page for your novel so that any reader— including agents, editors, and publishers—will sit up, take notice, and keep reading.
WRITE A GRIPPING FIRST PAGE is a comprehensive online master class presented by award-winning novelist and writing teacher, Joan Dempsey.
Simple lessons with robust content and engaging assignments are designed to help you write a fantastic opening page for your novel so that any reader—including agents, editors, and publishers—will sit up, take notice, and keep reading.
“An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.” ~ Stephen King
The course takes place entirely online inside the Gutsy Great Novelist Writers Studio, an online community hosted by Joan Dempsey, and can be accessed from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or phone.
Once you enroll, you can start immediately on the day the class opens, or any other time that's convenient for you. Work at your own pace, whenever you wish. You have lifetime access, too, so revisit the class at any time.
Bite-sized lessons let you work in short bursts over time or binge-learn on a weekend, whichever works best for you. Each lesson is designed for learning that sticks – for your current project and all future novels.
Easily engage with other writers who are all working on their novels – read each other's work, meet new friends, chat together, share tips and resources and celebrate your newfound writing skills – fun!
I highly recommend Joan Dempsey as a mentor to help aspiring authors produce publishable writing pieces.
I will always be in her debt.
I am finished with what is now a published book—Waking in Havana—that grew from a project I had almost tossed away in frustration. I can’t say enough about the value of Joan's support to a self-doubting but determined writer!
As an instructor, Joan is present and active.
Her online courses were well worth my time and money. They have been the best investment in strengthening my writing craft.
Joan’s input and advice has made me a far better writer.
If you want a teacher who is honest, superb at her job, and kind as well, I unhesitatingly recommend Joan.
She’s the best!
“That's what writing is. It's moving past your fear.”
~ Jacqueline Woodson
Write a fantastic opening page for your novel so that any reader, including agents, editors, and publishers, will sit up, take notice, and keep reading.
Don't miss out—enrollment closes in . . .
Begin whenever you wish after you enroll – there's no set schedule.
"You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence." ~ Octavia Butler
The course takes place entirely online inside the Gutsy Great Novelist Writers Studio, an online community hosted by Joan Dempsey, and can be accessed from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or phone. Once you enroll, you can start immediately on the day the class opens (Wednesday, December 16, 2020), or whenever it's convenient for you after that. Nothing is on a set schedule, and you have lifetime access, so start whenever you wish and proceed at your own pace.
Not usually, no. The course is asynchronous, which means you can participate at any time you wish, when it's convenient for you! No worries about scheduling, or living in different time zones. You have access to the full course at all times, and there's no end date, so come on back whenever you wish.
Depending on how the class is going, I might on occasion invite you to participate in a live, online, scheduled event, which would be optional. If this happens, I'll record the event so you can view it at your convenience if you can't participate live.
As long as you'd like. Work whenever you wish, whether two in the morning or one in the afternoon. It's entirely up to you. You'll have lifetime access to the course, so you can revisit the content at any time.
It's entirely up to you. The proven way to truly master your learning, however, is for you to apply what you're learning by completing the assignments. If you don't, you're short-changing yourself. The assignments have been specifically designed with your learning in mind—complete them and you'll master new skills, leave them out and you won't. It's that simple.
I, Joan Dempsey, am your guide. I’m an award-winning author and writing teacher with advanced degrees in both from Antioch University Los Angeles. I love working with writers and I'll be with you every step of the way during your course.
I will always be monitoring your progress, commenting when I can on your work in the comments section, and be available via e-mail to respond your questions, comments, or suggestions. I'm on US Eastern time and will be checking in numerous times a day, Monday through Wednesday, to see what you're up to. (Thursday and Friday I focus entirely on my own writing.)
No. Mighty Networks, which hosts the class, has designed an online learning environment that's streamlined and simple to navigate. There's helpful and friendly online support, and I can also assist if you run into trouble. Complicated tech stuff can be frustrating, so the course design is deliberately simple. So far all participants have easily managed. That said, if you are not adept at all with email and the internet, you might find it difficult to learn online.
You bet! Learning from each other is as important a part of your learning experience as working with me. The Mighty Networks learning platform makes it easy for you to connect directly with other writers in the class, through the comments sections, via tagging and private chat, and I'll be asking you to provide feedback on the first pages of other writers in the class, as well as receiving feedback from others.
In addition, the class takes place inside the larger Gutsy Great Novelist Writers Studio, a free online community where serious creative writers gather to finish their novels, and as of the time I'm writing this, there are more than 700 writers in the studio, all of us working on novels. There's a lot of great stuff going on in the studio, so that's an added benefit.
I never know exactly when I'll be offering the course again, or if I'll be offering it again. I work alone and make my own schedule, so there are times when I'll set my teaching work aside to focus on my own writing, and times when I want to do something new and I develop a new online class and ditch the older ones. That means I can't predict if or when the course will become available again. If you're okay with the risk of missing out, don't enroll now.
But if you don't want to miss out, sign up right now and don't begin the class until you're good and ready, a week from now or six months from now; that's the beauty of "lifetime access!" If you're too busy right now, sign up anyway and start when it makes the most sense for you. You'll still get every single benefit from the class, and I'll still provide you with personalized feedback on your work.
I don't. The price of this course has been set to be as reasonable for you as possible while still allowing me fair compensation (I'm a sole proprietor and a working writer). Compared to similar online courses, my prices are more than fair.
Yes! If, within 15 days of the date you enrolled, you discover it's not for you, simply contact me to request a refund and I'll give you 100% of your money back, no questions asked. Please do not ask for a refund later than 15 days after you enroll.