Introducing group coaching for historical fiction writers…

Our work-in-progress group coaching programme for historical fiction writers combines critiques and guidance from an expert tutor with feedback and support from a small group of fellow historical fiction writers. It accommodates a range of experience, from writers who are just starting out to those who have already been published. All participants are working towards completing their historical novels.

It’s an online programme, so you can participate from anywhere in the world. Each class lasts six months, with new intakes starting every spring and autumn. Applications for the next class will open in spring 2020.

Key features

Tutor critiques

Every month, you’ll submit up to 5000 words of your writing. The tutor will pick two or three submissions to critique (depending on the size of your group), cycling through the participants over the course of the six months to ensure that everyone gets two tutor critiques by the end. 

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.

Peer critiques

Your monthly submission will also be critiqued by two other group 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.

Tutor support

You’ll have direct access to the tutor via a weekly Q&A session in a private Facebook group. Group members will have up to 24 hours to post questions, and the tutor will respond to them with substantive advice. This allows all the participants to learn from the questions and answers.


There will be dedicated tutorial videos and accompanying PDFs (if you don’t like video) covering the following topics: 1) the fundamentals of language, 2) viewpoint, voice, and tense, 3) setting, 4) plot, 5) structure and pacing, and 6) characterisation. Each topic will have its own module with individual lectures.


There will be an optional exercise each month to accompany the tutorial videos. This will give you an opportunity to put what you’ve learned into action. If you choose to complete them, you can submit them to the tutor for feedback.


At the end of the six months, the tutor will provide you with a comprehensive report on your progress. You’ll also have the option of a 60 minute Skype/phone call with the tutor to follow up on the report and discuss next steps. Alternatively, you can communicate over email.


“As a first-time author, I was excited to join a group coaching programme focused on historical fiction writing and led by an editor specializing in the genre. Andrew and the rest of the group couldn’t have been more welcoming and supportive. The regular critiques and learning modules gave me the extra tools and knowledge I needed to re-think aspects of my story that were causing me difficulty, and I’m now writing with renewed confidence, motivation, and enjoyment.”

Kelly Scarborough

“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 Andrew’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, Q&As, and learning modules have also helped broaden my understanding of story craft and improve my writing as I go along.”

Jonathan Hopkins




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Meet your tutor, Andrew Noakes

Andrew is the founder and executive editor of The History Quill. A graduate of Cambridge University, where he studied history, he spent nearly a decade working in the world of politics and international affairs before happily giving it up to pursue his real passion: historical fiction. He has previously lived and worked all over the world, including in the United States, Belgium, Cameroon, and Botswana.

Specialising in historical fiction gives him the opportunity to combine his historical expertise with his love of story craft. He enjoys delving into worlds so ostensibly different from our own, yet in whose conflicts, intrigues, and dramas we can see clear reflections of ourselves.

Join the waiting list

The programme will open again for applications in spring 2020. In the meantime, we encourage you to join the waiting list. Joining the waiting list means you’ll be the first to know the exact dates for the next intake, and you’ll also get an early preview of the learning material. It does not commit you to joining the programme.