NaNoWriMo Success

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) takes place in November every year. The aim is simple to write 50,000 words of a first draft during the month. However, the key to NaNoWriMo success is two-fold:

  1. Preparation
  2. Dedicated writing times and spaces.

My NaNoWriMo Success course is divided into two sections — October is all about essential NaNoWriMo preparation to ensure you make the most of November; and then November is about mentorship and driving you to success to meet that word count. The course is designed to suit writers of all genres.

Most importantly, in October you’ll get my NaNoWriMo Workbook, which you’ll then be able to use to write in November (and for every novel you write in the future). The workbook will include many of the things we’ll work on in the October classes – such as your new novel’s premise, controlling idea, setting, character pics, character back story, other character exercises and plot breakdown/exercises.

“Phillipa’s NaNoWriMo writing course was illuminating, inspiring, informative and life-changing. That all her students produced 50,000 words of a manuscript by the end of the course held at the atmospheric Abbotsford Convent is an extraordinary achievement and reflects her tenacious and methodical approach to teaching novel-writing.” Annie Lawson, 2014 NaNoWriMo student

Key features

  • Sundays in October (10am-4pm), Sundays in November (9am-5pm)
  • Two months of weekly sessions for complete creative immersion
  • Small group sessions for individual attention
  • Creatively inspiring environment — the Abbotsford Convent
  • Full catering included on all nine Sundays so you can focus on the writing
  • Four days intensive training with PD Martin
  • Four days of fully catered write-ins
  • Extensive notes
  • In-depth exercises to help you put theory into practice
  • Intensive work on characterisation and plot development (with application to your novel)
  • PD Martin’s NaNoWriMo workbook


  • $1,500 for eight days (inclusive of GST)
  • $1,300 Earlybird/student/concession

Day-by-day breakdown

Sunday 4, 11*, 18 & 25 October — 10am-4pm

Day 1:  Story ideas, genre, research and sense of place

Day 2: PD Martin’s Writing Rules to Live By

Day 3: Character intensive (character exercises to get intimate with your protagonist(s))

Day 4:  Plot intensive (plot your novel, ready to start writing on 1 November) Note: 11 different plot techniques presented.

Sunday 1, 8*, 15, 22 & 29 November, 9am-5pm

Intensive writing sessions (Note: Phillipa will be leading these sessions but also writing herself. However she will be available for half an hour before and after for questions.)

Full catering provided (morning tea and lunch)

Please email Phillipa on for more information and enrolments.

* Due to the Abbotsford Convent’s unavailability, the marked sessions will be held in the Jenny Florence room of Ross House in the city.