The Threshold of the Novel with Ian Nettleton

Saturday 12 October
National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall
10.00 - 12.30
£ 45.00 - £35.00 conc

Perfect the beginning of your novel is this relaxed session with award-winning writer Ian Nettleton.

Where does the novel begin? How do you draw the reader into your story? How much information do you need to release and how much do you need to withhold? What kind of expectations do you need to create in the readers mind?

The first three chapters of a novel are where all these questions need to be answered. Getting the balance correct in your opening chapters is crucial to your success as a writer as this is the part of the novel you will submit to agents, publishers and competitions for their consideration.

In this session, Ian will lead you through writing exercises and discussions that will help you to work on the essential aspects that make the beginning of a novel really work. It is, after all, the threshold the reader must cross in order to fully engage with your story.


Part of NCW Academy

Ian has such a wide background and packs every minute of his teaching with information and advice. His attitude is encouraging and non-judgemental. He is the best tutor I have ever had.

Sheila Preston

Ian Nettleton

Ian Nettleton has a doctorate in Creative & Critical Writing from UEA. His literary thriller Out of Nowhere won the Bath Novel Award 2023. He has been shortlisted for the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2019, the Edinburgh International Flash Fiction Award 2020, longlisted for the Winter Reflex Fiction Competition 2019 and longlisted for the Ellipsis Flash Fiction Collection Competition 2020. I Never Said You Could was longlisted for the Letter Review Flash Fiction Jan-Feb 2023 and shortlisted for the Scratch A4 competition 2023. His literary thriller The Last Migration was runner-up in the Bath Novel Award 2014 and runner-up in the Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award 2014.

Ian is an associate lecturer for undergraduate creative writing courses at the Open University, and also teaches on the Open University MA in Creative Writing.

NCW Academy Bursary Programme

There is one bursary space available for this workshop.

You are eligible to apply for an NCW bursary if:

  • You are a full-time student or pensioner
  • You are in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Disability Benefits, Income Support, Universal Credit or Working Tax Credits
  • You have an income of less than £18,000 per year
  • If none of these apply but you feel you are still eligible, you may be asked to submit a signed declaration outlining your circumstances.

To apply for the bursary placement, email [email protected] with the name of the course/workshop you would like to attend. Please also attach one of the following proofs of low income listed here.

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