How to write a damned good first novel

The ultimate guide to fulfilling that long-cherished dream

Hi welcome to the course.

This course is aimed at two types of people:

  • Those who have always dreamed of writing a novel, but weren’t quite sure how to go about it.
  • Those who started and gave up.

In essence we cover these key areas:

  1. A simple blueprint to follow so that you always know what you are supposed to be doing next.
  2. A thorough analysis of the pleasure readers seek in a novel, in order that we may find ways to deliver it.
  3. Ways to defeat the doubts that are a natural part of any writer’s life.
  4. A demonstration novel. In parallel to the lessons I construct a demo novel that shows you exactly how the theory translates into practice.

If you have any questions, write and ask, I would be delighted to hear from you. There's a contact link somewhere round here!

I will show you everything you need to know.


  • Proven techniques for dealing with doubt.
  • A simple but effective method for generating ideas.
  • An insight into the nature of reading that will act as your guide at every stage of your journey.
  • A comprehensive analysis of the secrets of storytelling.
  • A simple but effective method for constructing plot that embodies the magic of causality.
  • A vital method for imbuing your story with that tantalising will-o’-the-wisp called meaning.
  • A blueprint to construct a stunning opening to your novel, one that will ensnare the reader in chains of curiosity.
  • An understanding of the ‘fictive dream’, together with precise instruction on the way to use words to create it.

This is not one of those courses that claim, improbably, that you can write a novel in a month.

I’m sure you already know such things are not feasible, no more than you can have a baby in four months instead of the traditional nine.

Get started now!

Please note, the price quoted is exclusive of tax. In the European Union digital products attract 25% tax and, if you enrol from a member country, the system automatically adds the tax and remits it to the fat cats in Brussels. It doesn’t go to me and is beyond my control. Sorry about that.


The Sunday Telegraph was kind enough to call me the King of Welsh Noir.

Here are a few other nice things the press have said.

Pryce really is in a league of his own—Time Out

Sheer delight...already one of my favourite books of the year—Guardian

Pryce’s fictional Aberystwyth is a sustained masterpiece of dark imagination—Daily Telegraph

Inventive, funny and dark, Pryce packs more style into a sentence

than most authors could hope for in volumes—Big Issue

Marvelously imaginative...You’ll weep and laugh on the same page. Wonderful—Guardian

A uniquely surreal spin on the hoary conventions of noir writing... impossibly weird and, in parts, beautifully lyrical—Guardian


What's in the course?

There are 14 video lessons, comprising about an hour and 20 minutes.
There are also some course notes. Additionally, I construct in tandem to the lessons a demonstration novel to show how the theory translates into words on a page.


Malcolm's course put my writing on a different level. I always knew I wanted to write, but often felt daunted or got lost and then it was easier to just give up.

With plenty of humour and wisdom, the lessons in this course showed me how to persevere and to structure my writing. These techniques have have significantly improved it. The art of writing is made accessible, the process is broken down into manageable chunks and Malcolm‘s insights and instructions still help me whenever I struggle.

For someone who felt lost in a sea of words, the course was like being given a paddle and a compass; you still have to do the work, but you know what to do and where to go.

- Anne-Marie Grabrucker, Munich

As a child I had a vivid imagination and loved to write stories. In high school I had an English teacher who criticised a story I wrote. She said the words and descriptions I had used made no sense and I would never be able to write anything worth while if I continued to write like that.

It destroyed my self confidence to the paralysing point of not being able to write my final essay for my final English exam. I submitted a blank page. I never wrote stories again.

Then I signed up for Malcolm Pryce’s writing course. It totally transformed my outlook on my own writing and reset my confidence.

The course was an inspiring, motivating, fun and enlightening experience. I learnt so much. The only reason why you wont be able to write a book after this course is because you don’t have enough ‘bum-glue’, all the other tools are in place!

- Lesli Lundgren

I have always wanted to write a novel but have never been sure how to start, and more importantly, keep going. Taking Malcolm’s course is a great way to learn writing techniques and provides achievable steps to map out your novel. All of the lessons are informative and full of the King of Welsh Noir’s humour, which makes them entertaining and memorable. I really enjoyed the course and am no longer daunted by that white page!

- Amelia

I had previously collaborated with Malcolm on a large writing project and found his help to be stimulating, surprising, encouraging, professional, creative, sincere and reliable. He is a master at explaining a difficult serious and important point with humour and without trivialising it. This alone has brought my otherwise dry, humourless writing, to life and given it an engaging vibrancy.

Malcolm once said to me, ‘You need to make it sexy!’ It worked and it worked so well that when he told me about this course, I needed no encouragement to enrol. The course has exceeded my high expectations – as I knew it would. It is filled with insight and humour but best of all you finish what you started because you feel, you know, that you really could do it if you are willing to put in the effort.

I am more than grateful and can highly recommend this course to any would-be author.

- Dr. Clive Sherlock, Oxford

This course brilliantly demythologises the craft of novel writing. It starts by tackling head-on the doubts and insecurities that bedevil us all, and then gives simple actionable ways to deal with them. I found this part tremendously empowering - it gave me the belief that I genuinely could do it. Malcolm breaks the process down in various insightful ways - ones I had not seen before, and then takes you step-by-step through everything from coming up with the idea, right through all the stages. The whole thing is presented with great wit and style, and packed with insight. The demonstration novel he constructs to illustrate the lessons is not only instructive but huge fun. Malcolm doesn’t pretend the task is easy, but if you are willing to commit the time and effort, and do the work, this course will get you to the finish line.

- Nia Campbell, Freelance writer, Cardiff


Malcolm Pryce is an inspiration, both as a writer and a tutor. His understanding of storytelling is unparalleled and he has the ability to break down the elements of his craft and to convey them with wit and humour

Dr Sandie Byrne

Associate Professor in English, University of Oxford

Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford

Director of Studies in English, OUDCE


(It was Dr. Byrne who originally asked me to write the Oxford University online 'Writing Fiction' course in 2009. The experience gained teaching those students has proven invaluable in constructing this course.)

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
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.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are not happy with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Work first, wash later—W H Auden

Get started now!