Novel Writing Project Specifics

2022 Novel Writing Project Specifics


Cohort Meetings


Participants will meet weekly as a cohort during the winter/spring term (12 weeks; February–April), biweekly with additional Saturday meetings during the summer months (June–August); and weekly again during the fall term (12 weeks; September–December).

The plan is that the in-person cohort will meet at Open Book, in a Loft classroom, beginning in February; if issues arise beyond the Loft’s control that makes this impossible (as they did in 2020 and 2021 with the global pandemic), meetings will take place online via Zoom.

The online cohort will meet via live weekly video meetings over Zoom.

One-on-one meetings with Peter Geye will also be held over the course of the year. These include one introductory meeting before the program kicks off in February and one manuscript consultation session with Peter after the program concludes (and you submit your final manuscript) in December/January, to be scheduled no later than February 28, 2023.


In-person Cohort Meeting Dates


Held at the Loft at Open Book (or via Zoom) | all times listed in US Central Time


Year-Long Writing Project Orientation

Thursday, January 27, 2022 | 6–7:30 p.m.

In the Performance Hall at Open Book 


Winter/Spring Term Meetings

Thursdays | 6–9 p.m

February 3–April 19, 2022


Summer Term Meetings

Thursday, June 9 | Thursday, June 23 | Saturday, June 25

Thursday, July 14 | Thursday, July 28 | Saturday, July 30

Thursday, Aug. 11 | Saturday, Aug 20

All summer Thursday sessions meet 6–9 p.m.

All summer Saturday sessions meet 10 a.m.–noon


Fall Term Meetings

September 22–December 15, 2022

Thursdays | 6–9 p.m.

No class November 24


Final Public Reading

Thursday, January 12, 2023 | 7 p.m.


Online Cohort Meeting Dates


Via Zoom | all times listed in US Central Time


Year-Long Writing Project Orientation

Tuesday, January 25, 2022| 6–7:30 p.m.


Winter/Spring Term Meetings

February 1–April 19, 2022

Tuesdays | 6–9 p.m.


Summer Term Meetings

Tuesday, June 14 | Tuesday, June 28 | Saturday, June 25

Tuesday, July 12 | Tuesday, July 26 | Saturday, July 30

Tuesday, Aug. 9 | Saturday, Aug 20

All summer Tuesday sessions meet 6–9 p.m.

All summer Saturday sessions meet 2–4 p.m.


Fall Term Meetings

September 20–December 13, 2022

Tuesdays | 6–9 p.m.

No class November 22


Final Public Reading

Tuesday, January 10, 2023 | 7 p.m.

Online, via Zoom


Novel Writing Project Books


Participants will be assigned four novels to read and learn from throughout the year. Examples of past cohort novel assignments include:

  • That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam
  • The Wildlands by Abby Geni
  • The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn 
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
  • The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli
  • Once in a Blue Moon Lodge by Lorna Landvik
  • Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
  • Dear Committee Member by Julie Schumacher
  • The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy
  • Vacationland by Sarah Stonich
  • Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
  • Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
  • Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
  • The Turner House by Angela Flournoy


Novel Writing Project Visiting Guests


Throughout the year, four to six visiting writers and publishing professionals will meet with your cohort as special guests. Examples of past guests include:

  • Laila Lalami
  • Rumaan Alam
  • Mira Jacob
  • Courtney Maum
  • Benjamin Percy
  • Sarah Stonich
  • Emily St. John Mandel
  • Joseph Boyden
  • Chris Cander
  • Shannon Gibney
  • Linda LeGarde Grover
  • Leif Enger
  • Julie Schumacher
  • Kaethe Schwehn
  • Lorna Landvik
  • Richard Blanco
  • In addition to many other visiting writers and publishing professionals from local and national publishing houses, publications, and literary agencies.


Peter Geye received his MFA from the University of New Orleans and his PhD from Western Michigan University, where he was editor of Third Coast. Geye is the author of the award-winning novels Safe from the SeaThe Lighthouse RoadWintering, winner of the Minnesota Book Award; and Northernmost. He currently teaches the Year-Long Novel Writing Project at the Loft Literary Center. Born and raised in Minneapolis, he continues to live there with his family.