Creative Writing Courses

Online Novel Writing Tutorial Series – any location

The course is presently full but a limited number of spaces are expected to open up by September 9. Estimated duration of the course is 8-12 weeks, but pacing is up to your discretion and follows your schedule, providing it takes no more than 12 months (one year) after signup to complete. This can be ideal for those who are working on, or mulling over, a manuscript while traveling or working on other things.

Description: start when you like, work at your own pace and receive extensive evaluation and advice based on your writing. The Online Novel Writing Tutorial Series is designed for writers who want a significant portion of a draft of their novel, or non-fiction project, completed by the end of the course. Feedback will cover all the aspects of plot/structure, narrative style, tense, point of view, dialogue, and we will work on plot development to make sure that you are keeping reader interest. Call (403) 915-7685 or email for more details or to register.

Tutoring Endorsements:

“When I first signed up for Paul’s novel writing course, the ad said he would help bring our projects to life and he delivered well beyond my expectations. His feedback, support and encouragement are the reasons Braco is on the bookstore shelves today.” Lesleyanne Ryan author of the Atlantic Book Award-nominated novel, Braco
(Breakwater Books).

“I had the privilege of Paul Butler’s editorial expertise on my novel Priya’s World and the end result is the sweet taste of acceptance from a highly regarded Toronto publisher. Paul’s thoughtful, incisive editing style takes your raw talent and helps you sculpt it into a polished, professional piece. Paul is one of the best!” Tara Nanayakkara author of the acclaimed novel Priya’s World, (Inanna Publications).

“The HB Creativity Writing Workshops have been instrumental in my becoming a published writer, a dream for as long as I can remember. The guidance and advice given by Paul Butler as well as critique from others in the group mould an idea into a well thought out, well-formed story. I highly recommend these workshops to anyone who wishes to improve their writing skills in a casual, yet professional atmosphere.” Linda Abbott, author of the best-selling novel The Loss of the Marion and the upcoming The Hull Home Fire (Flanker Press).

Editing and Manuscript Evaluation Services

This is an all-in-one service for a full manuscript draft. I provide editing on the page as well as margin notes.

In a separate document I provide an evaluation. The evaluation is extensive, typically several thousand words long, and covers all aspects of the draft including structure (plot), character, pacing, dialogue, voice, tense, flow and sentence structure. The evaluation aims to be specific enough as well as comprehensive enough to provide the basis of thorough revision plan.

For further information on estimates and availability, please visit the Contact Me page. Current estimate of available summer intake = 1.


Live Workshops (Given Seasonally):

The Story, (3 hours, live), 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. This is a relaxed workshop in a mutually supportive atmosphere. During brainstorming sessions and other exercises you will learn how to pitch a story, and how to sustain conflict and suspense. We will explore plot, character development, style, sentence structure, the use of present, past, and future tenses, point of view, use of third or first person, dialogue, and dramatic tension. Call 403 915 7685 or email if you wish to preregister for next available course.

Prepare to Publish, (2 live 3-hour sessions), 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Through these sessions each participant will build a strategy for matching his or her work to a publisher and a marketplace. Participants will learn how to look for the right fit, how to entice a publisher with their blurb and biography, and how to make sure their manuscript is polished enough for submission. Call 403 915 7685 or email if you wish to preregister for next available course.



If you are writing a book, or thinking of writing a book, it’s as well to remember that there are many factors that go into a) the successful completion of the manuscript to the standard that is likely to please you and other readers, and b) the placing of that manuscript with a reputable publisher. A good idea, hard work, and writing ability are important. So is an ability to remain receptive and responsive to feedback and constructive criticism. Writing workshops — either online or live — and the input of qualified editors provide this feedback and constructive criticism. By making sure you take your manuscript through these stages before submitting to a publisher either directly or via an agent, you can increase the chances of successfully placing your book.

Workshop Facilitator:

Butler is the author of nine novels including the upcoming Mina’s Child (slated for 2020 with Inanna Publications. His most recent novel was The Widow’s Fire (Inanna Publications 2017) an exploration of the shadow side of Jane Austen’s final novel, Persuasion. Butler’s work has appeared on the judges’ lists of Canada Reads, the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards shortlists, and he was on the Relit Longlist for three consecutive years. Between 2003 and 2008 he won in the annual Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Awards four times and was subsequently invited to be first literary representative and then chair on the Arts and Letters committee. Butler has written extensively for Canada’s History over the years, writing a number of features and cover stories. His book reviews frequently appeared in The Globe and Mail. As a writing workshop leader and mentor he has worked through the Division of Lifelong learning at Memorial University (St. John’s), the English Department at Memorial, Community Education (Grenfell Campus), The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (Mentorship Program), and he was invited to present on his 2006 novel NaGeira and run workshops on time-shifts and layered narratives for the Canadian Authors’ Association in Toronto. His roster of clients includes several prize-winning novelists who continue to use his services on a regular basis.


3 thoughts on “Creative Writing Courses

  1. Pingback: INK STAINS — September 2015 | paul butler novelist

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