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This is the story of me and Kritikme.

I'm Louise Dean and I started writing novels in 2001, when I was a mum in Brooklyn, with three kids under five. My first book was 'Becoming Strangers' and it won a few prizes and was longlisted for the Man Booker. You can read more about me and my books at louisedean.co.uk.

They say most people have a book inside them. They say you can't learn to write.

But I did. Twenty years ago - when I had time enough to stalk and grill the likes of Seamus Heaney, Ian McEwan and later Gore Vidal. I'm still learning. Every damn day. I've been writing for twenty years now. And I was so sick to death of writing alone this time last year, I'm ashamed to say I even gave up drinking.

Then it came to me at the beginning of this year; there's no reason to do this alone in vainglorious semi-squalour! How come everyone else in the world is pretending to work together, sharing their learning, collaborating across digital platforms with heedless immodesty, but we 'serious' writers are still typing in the same underpants we were wearing in 1992?

So I started Kritikme

I said to my friend Tim, who is an award-winning novelist  'I'm going to write a novel in 90 days and I'm going to teach other writers to do it at the same time. Have them look over my shoulder, you know.'  He said, 'You're nuts.' But then The Bookseller and Mslexia said they liked it and the writers came.

It nearly killed me. It was great.

For ninety days, I was writing my own novel at dawn and reading the 'hero' texts last thing at night. I was recording the v-logs on my way to one of my two day jobs, and writing the day's lesson in the evening. I was mainlining writers like Kerouac, Muriel Spark and John Fowles because for part of the course I was teaching from books written in four weeks.  But it was great because my writers were, goddamn it, 'interacting' with me! And I discovered there were  natural phases to the writing of a novel, that the writing of novels is actually a pretty consistent experience (not eccentric or random) and that when you understand it, you can be kinder and more patient with yourself and fret less. Writing with Kritikme is a cosy, happy affair.

Now there are quite a few of us.

Some of our members are published authors and some are aspiring. Our members are journalists, critics, lawyers, doctors, creatives, and professional mums on maternity leave. You can read their real-life testimonials here.

The course is more 'reality' show than text book, like watching a plumber fix a leak rather than reading a guide book on the subject. (It's beautiful inside design-wise and content.) The course can be started anytime. We have 'fabulous darling' reviews from our users at our Facebook page. You see, it works. You can have a day job, feed the kids, and write a novel, and you should. It feels good.

Why me?

I've been published internationally by Simon & Schuster and Penguin and others and reviewed worldwide by most publications some of which are below. I've taught novel and short story writing for The Arvon Foundation and spoken at many festivals and on BBC TV and BBC Radio amongst others. My first passion is writing, my second is teaching. Because I know writing is something you learn, and I know that you never stop learning. Every novel is new.

I wrote my fifth novel live with Kritikme. 

'The mint green bathroom fixtures were right out in the open. Billy got off his lounge chair now, went into the bathroom and took a leak. The crowd went wild.' - Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five.

Get in touch with me if you'd like to cosy up to Kritikme in any way, shape or form.

Take a look at the blog posts for inspiration for fun and irreverent articles about how to write a book and why not try for yourself the ultimate lifestyle hack for would-be writers?


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