Novel Incubator | Instructors
is a full-time instructor at Boston University and has published short stories and novel excerpts in numerous journals, including Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, StoryQuarterly
. She has been the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell, a MacDowell Fellow, and in 2005 the winner of the PEN/New England Discovery Award for Fiction. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and published in Best New American Voices
. Her novel, The Quickening
, was published by Other Press in June 2010. It has been shortlisted for the Center for Fiction's Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, was a Finalist for the Indies Choice Debut of 2010, Forward Magazine’s Best Literary Book of 2010, and is a 2010 Massachusetts Book Award “Must Read” pick. For more, go to www.michelle-hoover.com
The Second Reader
is an established author and teacher who will be hand-picked by Michelle Hoover in consultation with the student. Each student will be paired with a different outside reader, someone with direct experience revising his/her own published novel and the novels of many aspiring and emerging writers. The goal of this pairing is to offer an objective voice and give the student and Michelle Hoover a different perspective on the revision process.
Michelle Hoover's Philosophy
We asked Michelle to tell us a little bit about her teaching philosophy and what excites her about leading the Novel Incubator Program:
The novel is the only written form that requires such extensive empathy from its author for a group of dueling strangers. A character’s obsessions, fears, and flaws drive its events, structure and plot form the often unseen but all necessary spine, and an author’s unique perception remains the only reason for the novel to exist at all. In the Incubator, we hope to support writers trying to conquer this difficult and seldom-taught form. These are writers who often work alone, with little guidance and few friendly readers willing to respond to such a heft of pages. Every novel our students bring in carries with it years of trial and error, creative triumphs as well as frustration, all at the expense of day jobs, family, and friends. This is work our writers feel compelled to do, out of a love for story, character, richness of detail and every last lovely sentence. Responding to each book therefore entails a great deal of responsibility—on the part of the instructor as well as the fellow students. Our goal is to allow authors to forge a distinct voice and vision, to create a forum where discovery is possible and hard thinking required. Through the tools we offer them, we hope to grant writers the confidence to step out of their own way, producing a finely crafted work they will be proud to offer readers.
During the 2011-2012 academic year, Grub Street piloted the Novel Incubator program with ten students and two instructors. Here are a few examples of what they had to say about their experience.
"With two novels in various states of revision, I felt stalled. Grub Street’s unique, year-long Novel Incubator program was just what I needed. With constructive feedback on an entire draft from a diverse group of talented writers, insights from critiquing other students’ work, advanced craft discussions, numerous hour-long individual consultations with our two stellar instructors, and deadlines to propel me along, I am finally back on track. All this is taking place in one of the most supportive writing environments I have ever experienced." --Belle Brett
"I am so glad to be part of Grub Street’s Novel Incubator class. Before I took this class writing my novel was like driving in the dark. At best I could see a chapter ahead and had no sense of where I was going. The feedback I got on my entire novel from the wonderful instructors and my fellow ‘incubees’ has proven invaluable. Going through the revision journey with this same group of passionate writers has enabled me to take that feedback and make it work. I now have a clear vision of where I am going and the tools to get there. I can’t begin to say how grateful I am for that!" --Emily Ross
Free Open House & Info Session
Thinking of applying? Come to our second informal gathering on Wednesday, January 9th, 5:00-7:00pm
, to meet students from the first two years of the program, instructor Michelle Hoover, and Grub’s artistic director Christopher Castellani. We will answer any questions you have about the Incubator, including the workload, the application process, what the program does and doesn’t entail, the schedule, the philosophy behind our approach, and anything else on your mind.
If you have specific questions about the Novel Incubator program, email Chris Castellani at email@example.com
or call the office anytime at 617.695.0075.