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Novelist Summer Camp

Are you an aspiring novelist in need of some camaraderie and connection as you face down your manuscript? Lighten up those difficult writing days through this support and productivity group that takes its inspiration from summer camp.
For five weeks, attend a mix of fun, in-person activities and virtual sessions, all designed with novelists in mind.
On Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm, join the group virtually via Zoom. Each Wednesday session will feature a guest appearance with a published novelist. We'll also have time to check in with one another, share our progress, ask questions, participate in mini craft lessons, and maybe even get some writing time in with timed writing sprints.

On Saturdays, attend a late-night bookstore scavenger hunt, find inspiration in works of art, share ghost stories in a cemetery, enjoy some outdoor recreation by the lake, and more, all while connecting with other writers and picking up craft and publishing tips.

In-person and online events are supplemented by an online Slack group where writers can interact and share work (optional).

Attendees may choose as many or as few events they wish to attend. Novelists working in all genres and at all levels are welcome; this program aims to provide support and a productivity boost rather than critiques or traditional workshops.



  • Sat. June 3 - Opening Mixer at BrewDog: Meet your fellow novelists, share a bit about your work, and get ready for the best summer ever.
  • Wed. June 7 - Online writing group 
  • Sat. June 10 - Ghost Stories at Lake View Cemetery: We’ll gather among the graves to discuss our novel progress, share classic ghost stories, and discuss the importance of tension in our novel drafts. Optional: Read a short excerpt from your novel that demonstrates a moment of suspense.
  • Wed. June 14 - Online writing group 
  • Sat. June 17 - Late-Night Bookstore Scavenger Hunt at Loganberry: Enjoy a special after-hours trip to Loganberry Books, where a literary scavenger hunt awaits. After the game, we’ll have a chance to debrief and discuss novel writing progress and challenges.
  • Wed. June 21 - Online writing group 
  • Sat. June 24 - Lakeside Hike and Reading at Edgewater: We’ll meet at Edgewater Park for a short hike and a brief reading from everyone’s in-progress novels.
  • Wed. June 28 - Online writing group 
  • Sat. July 1 - Arts & Craft Talk at Cleveland Museum of Art: We’ll hunt down some novel inspiration in the artwork at the Cleveland Museum of Art, to be followed by a craft discussion.
  • Wed. July 5 - Online writing group 
  • Sat. July 8 - End-of-Summer Party at Bookhouse Brewing: We’ll wind down, prepare to say goodbye, and toast to a summer well spent.


Instructor: Laura Maylene Walter is the author of the novel Body of Stars (Dutton, 2021), an Ohioana Book Awards Finalist and a UK Booksellers Association Fiction Book of the Month selection. She has received grants, fellowships, or residencies from Yaddo, Tin House, the Ohio Arts Council, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, the Chautauqua Institution, the Ohioana Library Association, and Art Omi: Writers. She is the Ohio Center for the Book Fellow at Cleveland Public Library, where she hosts Page Count, a literary podcast.


Details: Novelist Summer Camp with Laura Maylene Walter will meet June 3-July 8 in-person on Saturdays and online on Wednesdays. Ongoing communications will happen via email and in Slack throughout the month. 

Prerequisites: None

Genre: Fiction

Level: All levels

Format: Generative meetings, discussions, and activities for writers drafting a novel

Location: Wednesdays online via Zoom and Saturdays at various locations

Size: Limited to 50 participants

Suggested Sequence: Follow this class with an intermediate or advanced fiction class

Scholarships: Two scholarship spots are available for this class for writers in Northeast Ohio. Apply by April 24.

Cancellations & Refunds: Cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the first meeting to receive a full refund. Email
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Share however much you would like about the novel you are working on. This will help us match you with other writers who may be interested in the same kind of work.

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NEW: As part of our ongoing efforts to make programs and classes more inclusive and accessible, we are now collecting voluntary demographic information during the registration process. The following information is entirely voluntary and will remain anonymous. It will only be used in aggregate to assess and improve services and inclusive practices to ensure we are serving our entire community equitably. Thank you!

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