Write Your Novel Now


Try the first lesson free. If you like it...


Get the next 4 lessons for $50. If you like those lessons...


Get the entire course! Learn more...

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.”

Are you ready to Write Your Novel Now?

Or your screenplay, short stories, stage play, memoir, biography — any story form, any story genre — romance, mystery, young adult, fantasy, science fiction, adventure, crime, literary, non-fiction...

My students have published 39 novels (4 more added in November 2013!) and 5 non-fiction titles—all from major publishers (we don't count self-publishing). One student won an Emmy and was nominated for an Academy Award. Another just signed a $100K book deal plus $50k for movie rights.

"I recommend it to everyone who writes." Linda Lael Miller, NY Times bestselling author, 12 million+ books in print

"Simply brilliant. Brilliantly simple." Donal Harding, winner of Paris Afton Bonds Screenplay Award

"The best there is." Michael Harvey, Emmy winner, Academy Award nominee for Eyewitness.

"Jerry proves there is method to this madness." Tim Kazurinsky, Saturday Night Live writer, screenwriter

"Better than all my writing classes combined." Donald Catherall, Back from the Brink (Bantam)

"The best storyman ever." Jane Leder, Dead Serious (Atheneum), Brothers and Sisters (St. Martin's Press)

"A powerful motivator." Laura Caldwell, Burning the Map and A Clean Slate (Red Dress Ink)

"Demystifies the story process." Michele Fitzsimmons, winner of Illinois Arts Council Award

"Simply the best workshop ever." Nicole Hollander, nation-ally syndicated cartoonist, creator of Sylvia

Write Your Novel Now is a complete writing course in weekly lessons from me — Jerry Cleaver — author of the international best seller Immediate Fiction (St. Martin's Press) and founder and leader of Chicago's legendary Writers' Loft workshop.

The one-of-a-kind lessons and exercises in Write Your Novel Now are designed to:

Get you started

Keep you going

Turn you into a publishable writer

Try the first lesson free ... or read on for more information.

Is this you?

You want to write but you have no time.

When you do find time, you just can't drag yourself to the desk.

If you do get going, your writing starts strong, but becomes such a mess you don't know whether to keep working or dump it all and start something new.

You write lots of bits and pieces, but none of them fit together into a meaningful whole.

You have training (workshops, college courses, or even a degree in creative writing) but little or nothing you write gets published.

You haven't taken a class because you're not sure where to turn or what to do first. One thing you do know is you want to get the right start so you don't waste a lot of time working on things that don't matter.

Any of this sound familiar? Then you need the kind of professional guidance I can give you, to solve these and any other writing problems.

How this works

  1. Take the first lesson free right now. There's no signup — you don't even have to give your email address. Just try the lesson and decide for yourself whether I know what I'm talking about, and can communicate it to you in the simplest, easiest way.
  2. If the first lesson clicks for you, get the next 4 lessons for $50. That's one lesson (with exercises) every week for 4 weeks, and that's all you're signing up for. There's no automatic renewal or additional commitment of any kind.
  3. If the lessons work for you and you want to continue, sign up to get the complete Write Your Novel Now course — 52 weekly lessons in all for $50 a month. You can stop at any time, at no charge.
Why can't you just sign up for the complete course now? Because I'm not the kind of person who tries to lock you in to something that may not be right for you. I want you to be sure about it. So try the first lesson, then get the next 4 — and if you want to continue, I'll email you the link to continue the course.

The Write Your Novel Now lessons and exercises are carefully sequenced for your success. From the very start you'll hit the page running, and make steady progress toward your goal: not just writing your novel — or screenplay or stage play or memoir or short stories — but writing well enough to get published.

Don't take my word for it

Sounds great, right? But why should you believe me? There are so many people teaching writing in so many different ways — why should you believe anyone? How can you tell who's right and who's wrong?† And, how can you tell before itís too late — before you've wasted years or even a lifetime writing and never publishing a word?

Here are some things that might help you make up your mind about me and my course:

"Without Jerry's course, I never would have written my play, and nobody would have produced it." Joshua Landsman, Frank Talk About Matters Big and Small (Organic Theater)

My students are successful. They publish. Not self-publish — they are published by major presses. 39 novels and 5 non-fiction books — so far!

I have over 20 years experience and real credentials. I wrote the international bestseller Immediate Fiction (St. Martin's Press), founded Chicago's legendary The Writers' Loft workshop, and have taught fiction at Northwestern University and in China.

What I tell you should work for you. By “work” I mean it must make your writing not only better but easier and more enjoyable.†That is the test, always. Once you learn youíll find itís much easier to write a good story than a poor story — easier, more enjoyable and more exciting.

Take the first lesson free right now — you don't have to sign up for anything — and see if you like it.

Try the first lesson already! It's free!

Do I read your writing?

No. That's not how this course works. Through the lessons and exercises you internalize all the tools you need to write successfully on your own. As you write you'll know what works, what doesn't, and why, without relying on someone to point it out to you afterwards. You see it on the page. You feel it. You make it happen. The only editors you'll need are yourself and the one who pays you.

I know that's not the traditional way to teach writing, which is based on a feedback loop. All I can say is — my way works. My students get published. Success. The ultimate proof.

But maybe you don't think it will work for you. Maybe you think you "need" feedback. All I can say to that is — try it. Try the first lesson free right now. You've got nothing to lose... and everything, as a writer, to gain.

Who is Jerry Cleaver?

Author of St. Martin's Press' five-star, best selling book Immediate Fiction.

Creator and leader of the legendary Writersí Loft, Chicagoís most successful writing workshop for more than twenty years.

Creativity specialist. I've spent the last thirty years studying the creative process, writing, and the teaching of writing to uncover the fundamentals that make every writer and every story work.

Teacher of Professional Fiction at Northwestern University for ten years.

Teacher of special seminars for Writer's Digest, published articles in the Writer's Digest Magazine, and featured in the Writer's Digest Yearbook.

Teacher of online students all over the world — New Zealand, Turkey, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Ireland, England, Canada, India, Alaska, more.

Creator and leader of the Fiction Writing for Lawyers seminar series.

Jerry Cleaver in China

Me in China
My book, Immediate Fiction, is the bestselling writing book in China. Hereís the banner they used on my book tour to Beijing and Shanghai where I gave student seminars at the five major universities, plus special professional writer and writing professor conferences and writing teacher workshops.

What you learn

Story Craft and Technique: Plot, character, dramatic momentum. The source of all drama. The few dramatic forces that will turn any idea into a compelling story.

The Creative Process: Overcoming doubt, fear, and panic. Techniques to overcome resistance, stop fighting yourself, and get the flow going the moment you sit down.

Self-Coaching and Self-Editing: Learn to stop torturing yourself when it doesn't come out the way you wanted. Learn to trust your own emotional radar to find that dramatic potential that's always in your work and learn how to use it to bring your story to life on the page every time.

Rewriting Techniques: Turning drudgery into excitement and inspiration. Rewriting is the best part. Once you know how, rewriting becomes re-exciting.

The Essence of Character: What's needed to bring characters to life in all their depth and complexity. How to make the deepest, most personal connection to your characters.

Short Story to Novel, Screenplay, or Stage Play: How to turn any short story or story idea into the longer form without stressing, straining, or padding. Plus the easiest (and hardest) kind of novel to write and the easiest (and hardest) kind of novel to sell. What makes literature literature (exactly what it takes to write literary fiction.) How to write a bestseller. And how to write down-and-dirty, commercial fiction with the least pain and most pleasure in the least amount of time if that's your goal.

Universal Plot Forms: Aristotle, quoted in nearly every writing book and by every writing teacher, said there were six fundamental plots. Learn what even Aristotle didn't know — but Shakespeare did and so did Tolstoy, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald and many, many others. Learn how simple and easy it is to create compelling plots.

Originality: What is it? Do you have it? (In a word: Yes. It's already there inside you. All you need are the tools to uncover it.) You're full of original ideas. You'll see how originality, this often intimidating concern, is easily achieved when you learn how to unlock your imagination and turn it loose on the page.

Work Methods: How to approach your story idea. (Should you outline, know the end first, write straight through before revising, have a plan, just jump in and go, write from a premise, have a theme in mind, etc). What you need to know before you start and what you don't.

Managing Time: Where to find it (yes, it's there) and how to use it. Learn how you can write the first draft of a novel in just minutes a day in one year, regardless of your busy schedule and have fun doing it.

Point of View: The ins and outs of this often confused and poorly explained story dimension made simple.

Dead Weight: Learn the things that sound good but only serve to confuse, impede, or even disable you. Advice and misconceptions that many writers hold dear and struggle against that you need to be aware of and ignore.

Final words: You can do this!

That's the most important thing to keep in mind. Storytelling is an acquired skill and not an inborn talent. You don't have to be brilliant or write a brilliant story. You just have to master enough craft to tell a good enough story. Plenty of writers of average intelligence are making lots of money writing mediocre stories. Look around. They're not hard to find.

Unlike the other arts (music, painting, dance, etc.) where you must have an inborn ability, to be a successful storyteller, you have what you need already. You don't have to know how to play the piano or paint a portrait to get along in the world, but you'd better understand yourself, how people work, how the world works if you're going to make it in this life. In fact, if you've survived this long, you have at least 10 novels in you. You have a full set of emotions and plenty of dramatic, painful, and exciting experience to draw on. That doesn't mean you have to write about yourself. Even if you're creating Martians, it all comes from your imagination. They're your Martians and your Martians are unlike all others.

You have what you need already, but you must learn how to use it. That means developing the skills to get in touch with your imagination and to bring it to life on the page.

All you need is the desire. Write Your Novel Now gives you everything else. Try the first lesson now!