So who is behind Now Novel?

As you develop your story on Now Novel you'll meet our core team - co-founders, staff writers and community members. (As a member, you're part of our team because our members' insights and creative challenges inform every decision we reach.)

You'll also find published authors, professional editors and creative writing educators experienced in helping aspiring authors develop compelling, effective stories. Our writing coaches are located in the US, UK and South Africa.

Meet the core team:

Bridget McNulty - Now Novel co-founder and writing coach

Bridget McNulty


Bridget is a published author (Strange Nervous Laughter, Macmillan), print journalist and content strategist.

Top three favourite novels of the moment / all time:

  1. The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
  2. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
  3. What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt
Favourite part of the Now Novel process:
The World Builder tool is fun - it's useful to build connections between your story's settings.

Brendan McNulty - Now Novel co-founder

Brendan McNulty


Brendan is a start-up entrepreneur and consultant.

Top three favourite novels of the moment / all time:

  1. Omnivore's dilemma by Michael Pollan
  2. The amazing adventure of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
  3. Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowksi
Favourite part of the Now Novel process:
Central Idea is useful - how it teases out a story idea through a few easy steps.

Dagmar Timler - Now Novel co-founder

Dagmar Timler


Dagmar is a software developer and architect.

Top three favourite novels of the moment / all time:

  1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  2. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
  3. Dry by Augusten Burroughs
Favourite part of the Now Novel process:
The Scene Builder - I like that it's a stripped-down storyboarding tool that helps you organize your scene and chapter outlines.

Dirnise Britz

Dirnise Britz

Marketing & Admin

Dirnise manages marketing, social media, and the Now Novel community. She is a law graduate.

Top three favourite novels of the moment / all time:

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
  2. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Favourite part of the Now Novel process:
I enjoy the World Builder Tool as it is very useful to organise your thoughts and keep track of the world you are building whether on a large or small scale.

Arja Salafranca - Writer, Editor & Coach at Now Novel

Ajra Salafranca

Writer, Editor & Coach

Arja is a writer of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. She is a coach and content writer at Now Novel.

Top three favourite novels of the moment / all time:

  1. Forbidden Notebook by Alba de C├ęspedes
  2. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  3. Euphoria by Lily King
Favourite part of the Now Novel process:
The scene builder is excellent, helping you navigate your way through your novel, giving you a real visual sense of your story.

Oprah Magazine logo for Now Novel review in O Magazine

An online novel writing course that's tailor-made to get you to actually write that book you've been thinking about.

Oprah Magazine

Our backstory

When co-founder Bridget's first novel, Strange Nervous Laughter, was published by Struik in South Africa in 2007 and by Macmillan in the USA in 2009, she found her inbox flooded with emails all asking the same thing:

"How do you write a novel?"

Writing a book is challenging. It's a solitary process by nature. Yet there are many stages where it makes it much easier (and more motivating) to have a friendly guide. Someone who's developed and polished stories and can draw on their experience to answer your writing-related questions and help you stay accountable to your personal writing goals and objectives.

We created Now Novel with these benefits of guidance in mind, to connect aspiring authors with peers and experts who are committed to studying, practicing and improving the craft of storytelling.

As time went by, we found members desired a structured, simplified process for developing story ideas. Thus we created the Now Novel story dashboard, a tool you can use to outline a complete story in any genre, step-by-step, to save and refer to as you write.

In 2016 we added small critique groups to help members exchange constructive feedback and discussion. And in 2018 we overhauled the story dashboard completely after poring over members' helpful feedback and most requested features.

We continue to develop Now Novel as we engage with and learn from members' - writers' - greatest goals and challenges.

What makes Now Novel membership unique?

  • You enjoy the feedback of an in-person writing workshop, but with online convenience. Get constructive feedback from a coach or peers, anywhere.
  • You get motivation and practical support, together. Technical craft and process are two inseparable aspects of persevering and finishing a polished, publishable story. We tailor coaching to what you need, whether it's a strict schedule or simply a writing expert with whom you can discuss your themes, plot points and ideas.
  • We believe you will finish your book. It's motivating when you have a coach or writing peers who are excited to see what happens next in your story. We'll cheer you on through the doubts and the ups and downs that often come with creative work.
  • We believe everybody has a story to tell and with the right help can do it justice. Sometimes process or technical limitations get in the way. We help you remove those obstacles and refine your writing.

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