Book your place on novel writing masterclass with award-winning author

Jill Dawson sitting in chair

Jill Dawson will be hosting a creative writing masterclass on how to write a novel for Cambridge Literary Festival. - Credit: Supplied by Cambridge Literary Festival

A literary festival will be hosting an online creative writing masterclass with an award-winning author.

Cambridge Literary Festival has joined forces with Jill Dawson to offer a two-hour interactive online class on Saturday, January 30 at 10am.

With the country now in another lockdown, the arts play an increasingly important role, providing many with an escape and a chance to fulfil their artistic dreams.

For those who have long harboured an ambition to write a novel, what better time to start writing.

In a year that follows the Booker Prize being awarded to a debut novelist, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, and his book being one of four debuts on the six strong shortlist, it is surely the time to turn off the TV and put pen to paper.

Festival patron Jill Dawson has taught creative writing at the Arvon Foundation, the Faber Academy and the University of East Anglia’s famous MA programme.

In 2008, she founded Gold Dust Mentoring and through it she and her team, including writers Louise Doughty, Sarah Hall and Andrew Miller, have helped a huge number of writers reach publication and writing success.

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Jill's masterclass on how to write a novel will share her own unique method: starting points, planning or plunging, characters, narrative, making time to write, how to get the first draft on the page.

She will also cover some of the tools needed to keep you going with the project.

Suitable for writers at all levels, this class is sure to boost confidence and make 2021 a year many seize the moment to start that book.

The session will be comprised of a one-hour masterclass over Zoom, a 10-minute break, and a second hour in which you can ask Jill your questions, chaired by writer Leigh Chambers, writer and presenter of Bookmark, Cambridge 105 Radio.

Jill has plenty of experience in the field. She is the author of 10 novels and editor of six anthologies of short stories and poetry.

Her latest is The Language of Birds, the story of the nanny murdered in the Lord Lucan affair.

She has won an Eric Gregory award for poetry, East Anglian Book of the Year for her novel on Patricia Highsmith, The Crime Writer, a Richard and Judy recommendation for her novel on the poet Rupert Brooke, The Great Lover, a Fiction Uncovered prize for her novel Lucky Bunny, a Folio nomination for The Tell Tale Heart, and been twice nominated for the Women’s Prize and shortlisted for the Costa Award.

For more on the creative writing masterclass on Saturday, January 30 visit

Cambridge Literary Festival has been running since 2003 and presents two festivals each year plus one-off events.

It is a registered charity and received an Arts Council England Culture Recovery Fund Grant.