The Great Novel Challenge

Challenge Yourself... Write a Novel Every Two Months

The Great Novel Challenge

For the last few years I have done quarterly challenges that many people have enjoyed. And a lot of novels or short stories have come out of those challenges that I enjoyed reading.

So a new challenge, with a brand new form. One a little saner and a little crazier in the same breath. And again, the fee goes toward two workshop fees.

Here are the basics…

The Great Novel Challenge is to write a new novel within two months and turn it in to me. I am your deadline.

Only rule for the novel is that it be original, not something from your inventory. But yes, it can be a new novel in one of your series or worlds. And you can't have started it before the first day of the challenge.

No genre limitations.

Length from 30,000 words minimum and up.

It has to be turned in to me by attached file in manuscript format by midnight West Coast Time on the last day of the second month after you started to count in the challenge. (If you end up starting in the middle of the month, your due date for each novel would always be two months from that date. That way it is possible to jump into the challenge at any time.)

The cost is $600.

If you miss, at that point you get two regular online workshops or $600 credit toward any online teaching, such as Pop-Up series or lectures or classics or lifetime workshops.

So in essence, you are buying two workshops.

Some Help...

Every so often on Teachable I will post how my writing is going, maybe a novel hint. Not that often, though. I stopped in 2020 and have not restarted.

The Great Challenge Reward…

First, you have a new novel every two months to get out to markets or up to readers for as long as you can keep the streak alive

Second, if you hit 6 novels in a year, you get $900 in workshop credit.

And third, if in the following month or so after you turn in the novel to me, you send me a paperback of the new book for all six books during the year, you will get a lifetime subscription of your choice to all workshops, all lectures, all Pop-Up series, or Las Vegas workshops. (Yes, it is possible to publish a novel, do a paperback of it, and send it to me within a month or so. But you don't have to. The writing is the important part.)

So, in summary...

The Great Novel Challenge consists of the following…

--- Novels must be minimum of 30,000 words, no upper length. Any genre.

--- If you miss, you instantly have credit for two workshops.

--- If you get all six novels done in the year's time but only send me electronic, you will have $900 credit toward workshops.

--- If you send me a finished and published paperback a month or so after you turn it in each time for the entire year (6 books), you get a lifetime subscription. No deadlines on the paper.

--- Cost is $600. (And yes, if you miss, you can buy back in and start over.)

--- Challenge starts any time you tell me you want to start. (That date will be your deadline every two months.)

--- Sign up on Teachable under The Great Novel Challenge header, where the novel advice videos will be each week.

Questions, write me at [email protected]

This is going to be great fun.

Your Instructor

Dean Wesley Smith
Dean Wesley Smith

With over twenty-three million copies of his books in print, USA Today bestselling writer Dean Wesley Smith now brings you original fiction every month for the past three years in his own magazine, Smith’s Monthly.

Dean wrote over twenty-five original Star Trek novels, the only two original Men in Black novels, plus Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man novels, and others. He wrote many gaming novels including Final Fantasy.

He wrote novels and stories under almost fifty pen names and did scripts for Hollywood as well as being an editor for various magazines. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife, writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch. You can follow his writing life at

Course Curriculum

  The Great Novel Challenge Introduction
Available in days
days after you enroll
  September 2020
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days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
For lectures and classic workshops, the course starts now and stays on your dashboard for as long as you like! They are completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish. For the monthly regular workshops, each has a start date and each week's lectures will appear on the same day. After the course is finished it will remain on your dashboard for as long as you like.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
How do I contact someone about a course?
If you have any questions at all about anything in a course, simply email dean with the word "workshop" in the subject line. His email is [email protected]

Get started now!