How the Nonfiction Program Works

Students need an approach that sets them up for a successful writing career. That’s why we’re rethinking the way professional skills are taught.

Not Your Professors’ Teaching Style

The Conservatory is more like an intensive apprenticeship program than a traditional college format. While books and lectures are helpful, we believe the most effective way to learn a skill is to get personal coaching & feedback from professionals who know what they’re doing. That’s why, while we do have books and lectures for students to go through, most of students’ learning will come through sitting down (virtually) one-on-one with professionals.

This also means that we structure our program around goals, not courses. Our goal is to help students achieve practical, tangible outcomes each year of the program in both of our tracks, and to give them the personal coaching they need to meet those expectations.

(NOTE: The nonfiction program is currently not accepting new students, but you can still fill out an application to join the waitlist.)


Our Curriculum


Graduation Objectives


Year One Objectives


  • Develop a high-concept story premise on demand.
  • Craft a compelling story synopsis.
  • Outline a full-length novel using Three-Act Story Structure.
  • Draft a 50K – 100K word novel from a comprehensive outline.
  • Receive and incorporate professional critique on their projects.
Year Two Objectives


  • Develop their unique writing voice and style.
  • Build compelling and memorable characters that stick with readers long after they finish.
  • Possess a deep understanding of pacing and building narrative stakes.
  • Learn how to reverse outline their novel to hone in on the problems.
  • Know how to do a comprehensive content and line edit on their novel, as well as receive and incorporate feedback from professionals.
Year Three Objectives


  • Query literary agents and stand out from the crowd.
  • Develop a compelling one-sheet to show interested professionals their novels.
  • Write a killer book proposal and practice pitching to agents.
  • Understand the ins-and-outs of working with an agent, editor, and publisher.
  • Navigate book contracts and learn the key elements of a fair deal.


James Noller


Graduation Objectives

Our goal is for graduating students to have put together a full financial strategy to support themselves as they write, and to already have a business they grew during their time in the program that they can use as a part of that strategy.

Year One Objectives

By the end of Year One, students will be able to:

  • Understand the value of entrepreneurship within the author business model and develop a solid career strategy.
  • Brainstorm viable business ideas, pick the right pricing strategy, and develop compelling key distinctions and an elevator pitch.
  • Perform professional market research and confirm market-demand for a product/service before launching a business.
  • Start a pop up business and actually get paid for their products and services.
  • Develop a marketing strategy and generate positive customer reviews/testimonials.
Year Two Objectives

By the end of Year Two, students will be able to:

  • Grow their pop-up business, implement good practices and manage both their money and customers with ease.
  • Demystify the indie publishing process and get ready to publish their novella or short story.
  • Translate their business skills to book marketing skills and start building their author platform.
  • Build out a street team and prep for their indie book launch.
Year Three Objectives

By the end of Year Three, students will be able to:

  • Understand key business models that can support a long term writing career.
  • Double, triple, even quadruple the revenue each book produces.
  • Build out low and high ticket offers and services to compliment their author business.
  • Implement nonfiction strategies to grow their author platform exponentially.
  • Grow their business into a full time income and take on a team to free up their time.
  • Build a kingdom business through generosity and a heart-centered vision.

“INSERT FULL QUOTE HERE. Without your coaching, I would have given up a long time ago, probably after the first rejection. I truly can’t believe this is the life I’m living!”

Juliet Artman

The Average Week

If we don’t structure the Conservatory like a traditional college program, what does the average week look like?

Each week’s schedule will depend on how much time students can invest in the program and what specific goals they’re working on, but the list on the right describes what they can generally expect.

Students are expected to spend at least 15 hours a week on the program & their personal writing. However, the more time students invest in the program, the more we can help them hone their skills and set them up for future success.

First, you’ll watch a pre-recorded training to learn how to accomplish the action steps you’re on.

You’ll then spend some time working on the writing step you’re on (we recommend students spend at least 10 hours a week on their personal writing.)

…and some time working on the business step you’re on (time commitment depends on a student’s financial goals).

Then, after you’ve worked on these steps solo, you’ll bring your work to our writing, research, and business coaches to get their personal feedback on your work.

You’ll also be able to attend Office Hours calls to get additional coaching and support on your work from one of our own instructors, or from outside experts we bring in!

Finally, you’ll spend some time engaging with the other students in the program, building lifelong friendships, and sharpening each other as storytellers.

Peruse Our Full Curriculum

Download our syllabus for more details on what we teach.