Fiction, with Ellen Bryson: The First 100 Pages

September 20th, 2020 - February 20th, 2021

with Ellen Bryson

Group started

Are you ready to take a hard look at your work and make sure that what is on the page is what you set out to write? Share your first one hundred pages (25,000 words) with novelist, editor, and writing teacher Ellen Bryson, and get professional feedback on story level issues: narrative arc (internal and external), pacing, character development, and structure. Then, revise and resubmit up to 25 pages and put editorial suggestions into practice.

This workshop offers one-on-one feedback and professional mentorship for a longer-than-usual section of your work.  You will also be paired with a peer partner whose pages you will read and critique along with Ellen.  Working with a partner extends the learning process by allowing you to practice observational and analytical skills, and to benefit from a second reader’s opinion.  So you will be learning both by apprenticeship and by focusing on another’s person’s work. (Writers may sign up for the class with a partner in mind, and if so, should let Ellen Bryson or Brooke McIntyre know when signing up.)

Since this group will include up to four writers, you’ll also have the opportunity to read the work of others as well as read Ellen’s comments. 

Workshop Flow

*We will start with an initial group call so all participants can briefly meet and introduce themselves. 

*Participants will post their first 25,000 words (100 industry standard pages).

*Then there will be a reading period, during which a private discussion board will be open to ask questions, share ideas and resources, and where Ellen can offer craft exercises and tips to help deepen and clarify your fiction. You will peer critique your partner's manuscript during this time.

*Ellen will then post edits and comments, after which there will be a debrief call.

*You’ll independently revise and resubmit 25 pages of your choice. 

*Ellen will share her feedback on the revision and you will be able to address any lingering questions on the discussion boards.

What You'll Get

A deep reading and a detailed line-edit of your manuscript, along with editorial comments and a conversation regarding the work, to be held online or over the phone.

Ellen works sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, and scene to scene, with an aim of separating the cloudiness of intention from the clarity of the words on the page. She will comment on flow, scene integrity, and emotional impact, as well as note where things could be opened up or clarified, and also, where your writing shines. 

For any questions, please contact Brooke:


Who this workshop is for: The workshop is for Adult and Young Adult Fiction writers looking to prepare their work for submission. At a minimum, participants should have completed their first draft before joining the workshop. Different genres are welcome and encouraged, but this workshop is not best fit for high fantasy or otherworldly science fiction.

Focus: Adult - Book-length works - Literary - Adult - Book-length works - Up…

Group size: 5 writers

Submissions: You will submit first 25,000 words (about 100 pages) of your novel at the workshop start. After the revision period, you will have the opportunity to resubmit up to 6250 words (about 25 pages).


Members: $650; Non-members: $720

About Ellen Bryson

Ellen Bryson authored The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno, a novel set in P.T. Barnum’s American Museum in New York of 1865, about human appetites and longings, and what it means to be profoundly unique. Transformation won the San Diego Book Award for Historic Fiction, 2010, and was shortlisted for Great Britain’s Historic Writers Association’s Début Novel in 2012. It was selected Indie Pick of the Month, Notable, in July 2010, and Book-of-the-Month Club Alternative, 2010. Ellen earned her BA in English from Columbia University and her MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. She has taught fiction classes since 2012, and currently lives in Paris, France.


September 20th: Initial group call
September 23rd: Submissions due
October 28th: Critiques due
November 10th and 11th: Group debrief Calls
-Revision period-
Submit 25 revised pages anytime Dec 1-Feb 1*(note that the group will take a holiday break Dec 15th- Jan 1st)
Feb 20th: Group closes

*R&R critiques will be turned around within two weeks