The online Residency for writers

A season for your writing

Make real progress on your story, build your skills, and move forward in this flexible, writing-focused, three-month program.

What is "The Residency"?

The Residency like registering for a secluded writing retreat, and getting time to focus on your stories -- only you don't need to buy a plane ticket and you can continue your normal life, work, family, and hobbies. Each piece of the writing process is broken down into straightforward "milestones," so you always know what you are supposed to work on next.

The big idea of this program: you spend three months talking to me and your fellow cohort about your story, solving problems as you go. You pick what fictional project you want to work on (a brand new idea, a stuck middle, a revision) and work -- with support and advice -- at your own pace.

The goal is to increase the amount of effective writing in your life. On one level, the program is designed to support and incentivise you to make significant progress on a novel project; on another level, The Residency aims to equip you with habits, toolkits, and skills that will help you succeed at many novels in the future. 

What makes this experience so exciting for writers? This is a program focused on you and how you will imagine, write, and revise your story. Through a framework of achieving small successes and working through your plotting problems to me, you'll be able to weave your way through the novel-writing process with new strength and ease.

A Unique Design to help you write

There are lots of great programs for writers. The Residency's design is a little unusual. 

Some programs could be called "how to guides" -- they explain how to write a story or a chapter or how to create a character.

Some programs could be called "accountability groups" -- they encourage you to keep writing.

And some programs could be called "discussion groups" -- they focus on conversations about books or sharing chapters.

All of these programs can be great. But The Residency is different to all of them.


You are a writer. You want to write or make progress on a novel. Your central problem is "doing the writing." So this program creates a creative environment that guides you to doing the writing, well.

The major components of this program:

1. The pathway system: You pick a starting point (out of the four options - just a vague idea for a novel, getting started, finishing the draft, and preparing to revise) and the program gives you a multi-week plan with milestones to complete. These milestones are like super-charged, levelled-up writing prompts, guiding you to re-think and re-see your project in productive, powerful ways. In other words, rather than having to just "work on my book," you'll have an achievable, practical, straightforward plan for each week of the program. 

2. The cohort craft podcast: Every week of the program, you will be prompted to send in craft questions, and I'll answer all of them in a collective podcast episode private for our small cohort. These questions can be highly specific to your story or general knowledge questions about novels -- you can also submit a chapter and ask for advice. Try to test me! 

3. The weekly planner: Each week, you will complete our one-page writing planner (asking about your goals and concerns for the week's writing) and, if you like, share it in our community forum.

4. The accountability challenge (s): we will run two different accountability challenges -- pick one to join during your time in the program if you wish.

5. The monthly live check in sessions: we will meet once a month, while the program is running, to share notes and stories, update each other on our projects, and support each other.

The best way to learn about this program?

This live "open house" Zoom session was extremely helpful -- and inspiring -- to many people who have signed up for the first round. It is a long session, with the pacing of a live event -- but you may find it answers a lot of your questions:

On a typical week...

Each Monday, we'll share our weekly writing planners.

Each Tuesday, you'll send in a question for me.

Every week or two, you'll complete a new milestone and send it to me for feedback.

Every day -- if you choose -- you'll tell us about your progress in the accountability challenge.

One common question: is this PPN again?

One question several people asked: "Will this program be a repeat what is in PPN?"

This program will not be a repeat of PPN. My intention is for the Residency to absolutely teach different things to Plotting and Planning Your Novel. Indeed, for this initial cohort, only people who own PPN have been invited to join.

OTher key facts

  1. It is all online, so there is no physical building or writing retreat offered here. Part of the magic of an in-person retreat is that you can get away from your regular life for a week or two. I am compensating for that reality by making this a three-month program: you can give it a small amount of time each day / week (as much as your real life allows you) and get a lot in return. An hour or two each week will let you complete each milestone in time. 
  2. If this is all online, why call it a “residency”? Because that connotation is exactly what I’m going for in this program. In a writing residency, the role of the retreat or host is to set you up to be as productive and capable as possible. You get the support, environment, tools, lessons, and community to help you write your best. It is not, however, a “done for you” experience with a hands-on coach or a ghost writer. The goal is to inspire and equip you.
  3. When the three months are over, the support and guidance part of the program is over. But you will get all program materials with ongoing access.
  4. The deadline: on Sunday night, or when 18 five more writers sign up, registrations will close. Once registrations close, I will schedule a coaching call with every participant to make sure they feel good about their project, do my usual plot whispering and problem solving, and to check they understand how to make the most of this program.
  5. In end April, we will begin, and we will work together for three months – end April to end July.
  6. This is a massive re-design of an older program, PPN Plus, with more lessons, an adjusted framework, and a better name.
  7. What if I need a break or have a holiday planned or can’t start on time exactly? This will be perfect for you – take the time off!
  8. Important note: once we begin, we will not have weekly Zoom meetings or ongoing solo coaching sessions. I want to state this simply so you know exactly how this program is supposed to work. Yes, we might have Zoom get-togethers during the three months, and if you are feeling lost and need advice, I can absolutely hop on a call, as they say, but that’s not the focus of the program. Rather, you are working on your own book, at your own pace, chatting to me and the other participants about your progress. 
  9. How will I advise you? Through the “Pathway” system. At the start of the program, you can pick one of four pathways. Each pathway is designed for a different stage of the process: idea generation, plot planning, pushing on through to the end, and revising. The first four pathways you hand in, I will send back private, individual feedback via video or audio or by writing. Finish one pathway? Move on to the next! Can’t finish them all? Take the pdf workbook with you when the program ends and use them to guide you through any number of novels.
  10. In addition, every Tuesday, you’ll be able to post craft and plot questions for me. Each week, I’ll record a private podcast episode for the group responding to everyone’s questions / requests for advice. You can get as particular and focused and specific as you like in these questions.

18 participants, max

This will be a private and supportive space where there are no "dumb questions."

Discord Forum

Share your writing goals each Monday

Accountability challenge

Can you write a little every day for 3 - 7 weeks?

Individual writing feedback 

Individual guidance from Daniel

A weekly private podcast

Daniel responds to your questions

Keep all the pdfs forever

You'll leave the program with all the milestones and other educational material.

tawni waters bio pic

"Daniel respected my work and vision on a profound level but also had a keen editorial eye and a stroke of literary genius that took everything I’d written to the next level.

Is it weird that I think of him as my literary midwife?"

- Tawni Waters, I.L.A. award-winning author of Beauty of the Broken, The Long Ride Home, Siren Song and So Speak the Stars.

How will this work?

Here is a shorter, more rapid explainer of what you will get in the program:

How to join us

This program will cost $2,000 when it is public. I’m making this one-off run through available for 18 5 people at $1,499 (that's $500 off).

There is also a four-month payment plan.

In addition, this will be an experiment where I teach the program alone, with no co-teacher to respond to people’s submissions. This might be the only time I offer this option, so if it is interesting, sign up!

about my teaching

Elizabeth R. Alix

Author of Maple Hill Chronicles

Tannis Laidlaw

Mistery Writer

Quenntin Ashby

Urban Fantasy Writer

Join The Residency now!

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Daniel David Wallace

Host of Reading with Daniel

Hi, I'm Daniel. I'm a writer, teacher, PhD researcher, and book editor. I create easy-to-implement techniques that help you master the craft of fiction.

I've given lectures on plot at the AWP conference and other writing festivals around the US, and my work has been read at the Iowa Writers Workshop. My fiction has won the Hodges prize, the Toni Brown scholarship, and I've published short stories and essays in many journals. In my regular life, I teach advanced writing skills at a great university. 

Since I started teaching online, I've worked with hundreds of writers as a coach and teacher. Over twelve-thousand writers subscribe to my newsletter.

Julia Brown testimonial

"Not all good writers are good teachers, but Daniel David Wallace (a talented, thoughtful writer himself) is a terrific instructor.

Daniel is attentive to plot, structure, character, and other high-level narrative elements, but you’ll appreciate his ability to zoom in closely on language and sentence-level concerns.

If you can take a class with him, do it!"

- Julia Brown, editor and literary author

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