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The Novel: Mapping Your Project to Completion


2: 7/10/2023 - 7/23/2023




The Novel: How do you begin and what map will guide you to completion? Guest artists will offer their own novels as case studies. We will work at the conceptual level, considering form, arc, tone and storyline. All types of novel writers are welcome - from traditional to experimental, young adult to literary, crime or sci-fi. We will also write and discuss paragraphs and chapters, how to craft sentences that lead to an entire book. You'll practice writing an agent query and leave with a clearer sense of writing and publishing a novel.

Who should take this class

Students need basic college level writing skills; undergraduate, graduate and non-students are welcome. Students from English, Literature, Social Sciences, and Communications. Japanese-American, Queer, Transgender, Latino/Chicano, and writers from other communities welcome.


Personal Statement: One page or less

Writing Sample: A three to five page prose writing sample (can include synopsis)

Course Coordinator

Kimberly Dark​ is a writer, professor and storyteller, working to reveal the hidden architecture of everyday life so that we can reclaim our power as social creators. She’s the author of Damaged Like Me, Fat, Pretty, and Soon to be Old, The Daddies, and Love and Errors, and her essays, stories and poetry are widely published in academic and popular online publications alike. Her ability to make the personal political is grounded in her training as a sociologist, and you can find her course offerings in Sociology at California State University San Marcos.

Guest Artists

Ryka Aoki

​Ryka Aoki is the author of Seasonal Velocities, He Mele a Hilo (A Hilo Song), Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul and The Great Space Adventure. Her latest novel is Light from Uncommon Stars, which was a Hugo Award finalist this year! She is a two-time Lambda Award finalist, and winner of the Eli Coppola Chapbook Contest, the Corson-Bishop Poetry Prize, among other awards.

Erin Kate Ryan

​Erin Kate Ryan is the author of Quantum Girl Theory (Random House, 2022). Her fiction has been published in Glimmer Train, Conjunctions, and The Normal School. She is a James Jones First Novel Fellow, a McKnight Fellow, and an Alumni Fellow at Bennington College. She lives in the Hudson Valley, where she and her partner are working to build a small residency/refuge for queer & trans artists and scholars.

Annie Bomke

With over a decade of experience in the publishing industry, literary agent Annie Bomke is known as “the pH test for good writing” and a bedrock for literary quality control. Her books include Gus Moreno’s critically acclaimed literary horror novel This Thing Between Us, the Macavity Award winning Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver, and People Magazine pick Double Exposure by Ava Barry.