WORK-IN-PROGRESS GROUP COACHING
Introducing work-in-progress group coaching for historical fiction writers…
Our work-in-progress group coaching programme for historical fiction writers combines critiques and guidance from expert tutors with feedback and support from a group of fellow historical fiction writers.
The programme takes place entirely online, so everyone participates remotely. There are two intakes a year, in the spring and autumn, with each round lasting for six months.
Applications are currently closed. To register your interest and get updates on when you can apply, join our waiting list via the button below.
Every month, you’ll submit up to 5000 words of your writing. You will receive six critiques, one per month, on the enhanced tier, or two critiques on the standard tier.
The critiques will include margin comments on your work, together with a substantive report. They will be shared with the wider group so that everyone can learn together.
Every month, your writing submission will be critiqued by two other group coaching participants. In return, you’ll critique two submissions yourself. You’ll do this by adding margin comments and a summary of your impressions at the end.
As well as being a fair exchange, you’ll find the process of critiquing other people’s writing a useful learning exercise.
Live tutor Q&As
Once a month, your tutor will host a live video Q&A on our group coaching platform. You can ask questions about your writing, or you can benefit from the Q&A as an observer.
If you can’t attend live, you can submit a question in advance and watch the recording later.
One-to-one coaching session
At the end of the six months, you will have the option of an hour-long one-to-one coaching session with your tutor via video call.
They will review the progress you’ve made, answer any questions you may have about your writing, and help you consider the next steps on your writing journey.
For the duration of your participation in the programme, you will receive free access to The History Quill membership and all its benefits, including monthly masterclasses, access to our online community, exclusive blog content, and discounts on many of our services.
Head to our membership page via the button below to find out more and watch an online tour of our community platform, which is where our group coaching activities take place.
Since we launched the group coaching programme in 2019, many of our participants have gone on to achieve their goals – from completing their first novel, to getting a publishing deal, to self-publishing their books. Below, two of our participants explain how group coaching has helped them.
Who is the programme for?
The programme accommodates a range of experience, from writers who are just starting on their first novel to those who have already been published. You might be about to start writing, you might be halfway through, or you might be editing your first draft. As long as you expect to be writing and/or editing your novel for at least the next six months, this programme is for you.
How long does the programme last?
When and how can I apply?
Applications open twice a year, in the spring and autumn. You can join the waiting list via one of the buttons on this page to register your interest and get updates on when you can apply. When applications are open, you will be able to apply via the buttons on this page. You will be asked to submit 1) a brief blurb outlining the premise of your novel (a full synopsis is not necessary), and 2) a writing sample of 1000 words. The sample can be from your current project or from a previous one, but it must be fiction.
Where does it take place?
It’s an online programme, which is hosted on a dedicated platform linked to our website. You can access the platform via your browser or via an app on iOS and Android.
Can I participate from anywhere in the world?
You can participate if you are resident in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or any EU country.
How many writers will there be in my group?
There will be approximately ten to twelve members per group.
How is it structured?
Each group works to a timetable. The deadline for writing submissions is the 19th. Critiques are due by the end of the month. Every month, there is one live Q&A session with the group tutor, the date and time of which will vary. You will be invited to have a one-to-one coaching call at the end of the six months.
How do the submissions work?
You’ll submit up to 5000 words of your writing each month. This is the maximum amount you can submit, but you can submit less if you like. The minimum submission is 1000 words. You don’t have to submit new writing every month, though. You can alternatively submit writing that you’ve edited after submitting it in a previous month.
What happens if I change my mind?
You can leave the programme if you change your mind or are no longer able to participate. You will pay for the duration of the current month, but we’ll refund any payment you’ve made for the following month, and you won’t have to pay for any subsequent months.
More questions? No worries. There’s an extended FAQ section further down.
$174.00 USD per month
Receive access to all programme features, including two peer critiques per month, two tutor critiques over the course of the six months, and a one-to-one coaching session at the end of the six months.
$298.80 USD per month
Receive access to everything that’s included in the standard tier, but with six tutor critiques, one per month.
Meet the team
Pippa Brush Chappell
“Before I joined the group coaching programme, I had started four different novels but never finished, finding it difficult to transition from short stories and poetry to a much longer piece of work. But I’m delighted to say the programme has been transformative for me. I find the writing deadlines extremely motivating and strive to craft my 5,000 words carefully each month for review. The group environment really helps to build accountability, and the critiques have been extremely helpful for enhancing the quality of my writing, particularly drawing attention to things I probably never would have noticed by myself. For the first time, I’m on course to complete a full novel.”
“As someone with limited experience in writing historical fiction, I really needed a tribe to keep me motivated. The History Quill’s group coaching programme has provided a safe and supportive environment, detailed and respectful feedback from editors, critiques from peers, useful masterclasses and many opportunities to engage both formally and informally. The requirement to stick to strict timeframes has been invaluable in enforcing discipline. I’m now much more confident of being able to produce a high quality novel within a reasonable timeframe.”
“Whether you are an experienced writer or, like me, a novice aspiring to write their first work of historical fiction, The History Quill’s group coaching programme is an ideal and stimulating partner on your journey. The masterclasses provide additional inspiration when you need it most, and the camaraderie and input of the critique group, along with the insightful professional tutor reviews, have been instrumental in my development as a writer.”
“I’ve had an excellent experience with The History Quill’s group coaching programme. The team’s expert and very detailed feedback has sharpened my writing and given me a much-needed sense of direction for my novel. The critiques from fellow writers have provided me with some superb advice and fresh insights into my writing. Regular reminders from the team have helped me to keep on track, and the deadlines for submitting work have meant that my writing output has increased. I thoroughly recommend this online programme to my fellow historical fiction writers.”
“Being a part of The History Quill’s group coaching programme has given me precisely what I needed to elevate my draft. Examining, then breaking my story down to a more granular level, bit by bit, has opened my eyes to the value of working with top-notch specialists in historical fiction. Whether it’s multiple timelines, character arcs, dialogue, or story craft – led by a brilliant team of editors and fellow critique partners, the masterclasses, articles, and knowledge imparted have been profound and indispensable.”
“After self-publishing my first novel and having the sequel picked up by a traditional publisher, I was keen to write a third to take the series forward. Inevitably, life got in the way and progress was slow, so I joined The History Quill’s group coaching programme with the aim of getting back on track. The accountability and support have given me a much-needed lift, helping me put in the time and effort necessary to boost my word count. The critiques and Q&As have also helped broaden my understanding of story craft and improve my writing as I go along.”
Frequently asked questions
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Which sub-genres and forms will you accept?
The programme is designed for people who are writing historical novels. Applicants who are writing novellas or short stories will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Time-slips and dual timelines (including where a portion of the story takes place in the modern day) are both welcome. Most sub-genres will be accepted, including action/adventure, thriller, mystery, romance, drama, biographical, epic, and many others.
Applications from historical fantasy writers are welcome and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The same goes for YA writers and children’s historical fiction writers. Erotic fiction will not be accepted.
We reserve the right to make other exclusions on a case-by-case basis. If you’re not sure whether your sub-genre/form is a good fit, don’t hesitate to email us and ask.
Are there any other eligibility requirements?
Yes. The programme is carried out in English, so you’ll need to be able to write and communicate proficiently in English. You’ll also need to be at least 18 years old and over – as is the case for all of our programs and services.
What if I haven't started my novel? What if it's finished and I'm editing it?
As long as you’re expecting to work on your novel for the duration of your time on the programme, this is a good fit for you. Beyond that, it doesn’t matter what stage you’re at, and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been working on it previously.
Do you accept applications from anywhere in the world?
You can apply and participate in the programme if you are resident in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or any EU country. If you are resident elsewhere, you are welcome to get in touch via email and register your interest as we hope to open up to other countries in the future.
When and how can I apply?
We open for applications twice a year, in the spring and autumn. When applications are open, you will be asked to submit 1) a brief blurb outlining the premise of your novel (a full synopsis is not necessary), and 2) a writing sample of 1000 words. The sample can be from your current project or from a previous one, but it must be fiction.
Which tutors will critique my work?
When you join the programme, you will be assigned to a group of up to twelve members. Each group is led by a tutor who will carry out the group’s critiques, Q&As and coaching calls. They are supported by a roving tutor who carries out critiques across all the groups. Your critiques may come from the group tutor or the roving tutor.
If you wish to be placed with a particular tutor, please let the programme leader know in advance and we will do our best to arrange it.
How does group coaching tie in with The History Quill membership?
Group coaching is centered around coaching and critiques. It enables you to benefit from feedback and guidance from expert tutors, along with a close-knit group of fellow historical fiction writers, while you work towards your writing goals. As an additional perk, you will also receive a free pass to The History Quill membership, which includes monthly masterclasses, access to The History Quill Community, exclusive blog content, and discounts on some of our most popular services. Your membership will remain active for as long as you remain on the group coaching programme.
Group coaching takes place on a dedicated, private space within the community platform. Only group coaching participants can join or see who is a member.
Find out more about the membership on our membership page.
How will we share our writing?
You’ll upload your writing and critiques to your group’s dedicated space on The History Quill’s community platform. We’ll provide instructions on how to do this.
Will we have to be available at certain times of the day?
No. There’s no requirement to be available at any particular time or to be in any particular time zone. You’ll complete critiques in your own time, allowing you to participate around your schedule, no matter which time zone you’re in. The timings of the live tutor Q&As will vary from month to month to accommodate different time zones, and you will have the opportunity to submit a question in advance and watch the recording afterwards if you can’t attend live.
5000 words? I can’t write that fast!
5000 words is the maximum you can submit, but something around the 3000 to 4000 range might be more typical. You could aim to submit roughly a chapter each month. However, you can also submit much less, such as a single scene. 1000 words should be the minimum you aim for.
You can also submit previous writing that you’ve improved upon, rather than submitting something new each month.
Will I be able to email the programme leader or tutors with questions during the programme?
What if I'm away/on holiday for part of the programme?
No problem. Just let the programme leader know, and you won’t have to submit any writing or do any critiques for the period that you’re away.
Am I guaranteed critiques?
Yes. On the standard tier, you’ll receive a tutor critique every three months. On the enhanced tier, you’ll receive a tutor critique every month. On both tiers, you’ll ordinarily get two peer critiques each month. However, it’s occasionally possible that, for various reasons, another group member may not be able to complete a critique for you. This only happens rarely.
What if I change my mind or need to leave the programme before my novel is complete?
Although it’s a six-month programme, we know that circumstances can sometimes arise that may prevent you from continuing. You can leave at any time if you’re no longer able to participate. You will pay for the duration of the current month, but we’ll refund any payment you’ve made for the following month, and you won’t have to pay for any subsequent months.
Is there a limit on how long I can stay in the programme?
There’s no limit – once the six months are up, you can re-enroll for another six months at the click of a button!
What’s the difference between the standard and enhanced tiers?
The standard tier gives you access to all aspects of the programme, with a tutor critique once every three months. On the enhanced tier, you will receive a tutor critique every month.
Can I change tier?
You can upgrade or downgrade your tier once in any six-month period. Just contact the programme leader to let them know you would like to do so. This change will take effect from your next subscription payment.
How do I pay?
Payment is via credit or debit card. Your first payment will be taken when you enroll, and it will renew automatically every month on the same date during your participation in the programme. UK clients will pay in GBP, US clients will pay in USD, and EU clients will pay in EUR. All other clients will pay in USD.
What are the full terms and conditions?
You can view our full terms and conditions here.