Writing a novel is tough. We've got your back.

Monday 7th March - Sunday 4th September 2016

Applications closed.

Imagine yourself looking smugly at a big sheaf of paper on your desk. It’s six months from now, and that’s your finished draft.

Yep. It’s possible. Not only is it possible, but you can do things that make it likely to happen.

Like, er, actually working on your novel. Every day for six months.

This time next year you could have finished edits, be talking to agents and be working on your next novel. Sound good?


    Typewriter2 Quill_sixmonthnovel Typewriter1

So why haven’t you written it yet?

The thing is, even if you’ve completed novels before, there’s no getting away from the fact that they take a lot of work. Slogging along by yourself month-in month-out is hard, and it’s easy to lose faith when the first 26,592 words look worthless (hello, wall).

There’s a reason why deadlines are a writer’s best friend.

The Six Month Novel from Urban Writers’ Retreat is for committed writers who just need a little bit of extra help to make sure they make it to the end of their draft, who want to actually write and to make the journey alongside a team of fellow writers.



Think of us as your personal trainers. We’re here to motivate and guide you, not to teach you to write or judge your efforts.

We’re Charlie and Amie.

We’ll give you online accountability, with a month-by-month structure to take you from initial idea to completed first draft. We’re not so much into giving lectures on character or setting essays deconstructing character in War and Peace. Making easy, fun worksheets that will get you doing the actual work of character creation is much more our style. We think that you already know most of what you need to (even if you don’t realise it), and we’re here to provide a framework and support that will put you back in charge of your writing and finishing things.

The thing is, we actually care about you and your writing. We only take small groups of writers so that we can keep track of you and respond to you individually, because we want to know YOU and your work personally. We both write so we understand the joys/horrors of writing and we’ll be behind you all the way, supporting you and holding your hand (in a digital sense, otherwise things might get weird).

Uh, did we mention the accountability yet? You’ll get weekly cheerleading and tools aplenty from us, and we’re always on hand to help, but we also set firm deadlines and will give you a firm dig in the ribs if you miss them.

Carrot and stick folks, carrot and stick.



Here’s how it works

The Six Month Novel runs from Monday 7th March to Sunday 4th September 2016.

Six Month Novel Calendar 2016


We’re entirely online, which means that you can join in whether you like to work at 5am or midnight and regardless of where you are in the world – we’ve had writers from California across the globe to Beijing.

You’ll carve out large chunks of your free time over the next six months to writing (yes, this is possible if you have a full-time job),  and with a nifty combination of your dedication and our prodding support you’ll leave with a completed first draft of your novel.

You get

4-week plotting bootcamp

  • Weekly tasks walking you through developing a plan so that you know the world of your novel inside-out before starting
  • An editorial review of the one-page plot outline you produce during bootcamp


4 writing months

  • Weekly emails prompting you to check in, set targets and cheer on/commiserate with your teammates
  • Targets that you set yourself to fit your novel and life
  • Monthly deadlines for submitting your work to us
  • Personal accountability (yes, we will chase you if you submit late)
  • Monthly live group video call with Charlie and Amie
  • Catch-up weeks at the half way point and the end of your writing time


4-week editing bootcamp

  • The weekly tasks will take you through editing from a big structural audit right down to checking grammar, and you’ll put the processes into practice on your first chapter
  • Comprehensive professional edit of your polished opening 3,000 words


Online forum

  • A space for you to support your team, share work and discuss writing, life and the relative merits of hob nobs vs custard creams (hob nobs every time.)
  • Monthly reader reviews
  • Weekly progress check-ins


How it works

Interested? Pop your name in here

We'll let you know when we open the Six Month Novel again, plus you'll get access to our free Novel in a Nutshell development challenge and occasional updates from Urban Writers' Retreat.

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