Book Development Class

Develop or rewrite a manuscript agents will love

This six week class is designed to help students develop their manuscripts the way professionals do: from the seed of an idea, to bullet-proof outline, to high quality first chapters. Participating writers learn tools of the craft, the secrets of a solid structure, and how to find a “hook” that will sell their book.

Lessons include: successful plotting, compelling conflict, dynamic relationships, the keys to credibility, choosing a point of view, and the importance of theme.

In this class you’ll learn to:

  • Design a breakout premise
  • Write a strong road map–and how to revise it
  • Create memorable characters
  • Strengthen relationship dynamics
  • Sustain narrative tension and suspense
  • Braid in subplots
  • Explore universal themes

Writers will have weekly assignments designed to help them progress with their manuscripts and receive written and in-class critiques in a supportive environment. By the end of the class you will have a strong outline and solid first chapters. Fiction and creative nonfiction writers at any stage of their projects welcome. Students with completed drafts will revise using the same development process.

Classes are limited to 8 students.
7:30-9:30 pm. Santa Monica/Brentwood. Wednesday eves. New class starting in January.


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Dedi Felman has worked in publishing for over a decade. She began her career at Oxford University Press, where she became an executive editor in charge of the social sciences. She subsequently worked as a senior editor at Simon and Schuster and at Henry Holt/Times Books. Her authors have been shortlisted for the Booker prize, won the Bancroft Prize, the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, and the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism prize. Titles she’s developed have been New York Times bestsellers and a Washington Post book of the year.

For more about Dedi, please see her About page.

Email for more information.


“Thanks, Dedi. The class was a great experience–the perfect blend of discomfort and encouragement. I grew a lot and now have a solid outline (and a dilemma) from which to work.” — Julie A.

“Thank you so much for your last class. I learned so much. I took a fragmented idea and developed all the elements for a good story.” — Paula B.