Matthew J. Kirby

Elevenses Society presents

Matthew John Kirby is an American author of over a dozen novels for children and young adults, including The Clockwork Three and A Taste for Monsters. His book Icefall won the Edgar Allen Poe award in 2012 for best juvenile mystery. This year marks the publication of his first book for adults: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Geirmund’s Saga.

Matthew J. Kirby


An Experiment

I have an idea for my next book. It will be a historical novel with some supernatural elements, and probably middle grade (but that might change). It is not under contract. I haven’t written a single word. I have done no research yet. I have not mentioned it to my agent or any of my editors. I am at the moment in this book’s creation that sits just after the idea’s Big Bang. All is raw and formless matter. 

The COVID19 pandemic has been a disruptive force that has led me to a reassessment and new appreciation for aspects of my life I once took for granted.

I miss being around other writers. I miss teaching. I want to restore some of that to my life, though not in a way that fights prevailing conditions, but rather leans into them through our newly ubiquitous forms of connectivity. I also want to use this disruption to become more aware, or differently aware, of how I write.

If you decide to join me on this year-long adventure, you will have access to a monthly virtual gathering over Zoom, where I will give a 90-minute presentation on writing a novel, related to the part of my novel that I am working on at that time. Think of it like an in-depth studio tour. I will bring you backstage (please watch your head and mind the dust) and show you how one of my novels gets written. I expect we will begin with research and idea development, then character development, then outlining, then drafting and revising. Along the way, I will also be pitching and sending the book to my agent, and he will possibly be pitching it to editors (whether or not an editor will want it remains to be seen). I also expect there will be setbacks, pitfalls, and disappointments, and I will share those, too. And I use the word expect because I don’t actually know how things will unfold. As I mentioned above, it may be that writing a novel in this way will make me more aware of how I actually do it, and it could very well be that I do it differently than I think I do.

These sessions will be open to any student to join. 

If you are interested in creative endeavors, generally, or have ever wondered how a novel gets written, please join me. 

LIVE Online Presentations

On the last Saturday of each month, at 10:00 am Pacific, we will have

  • 01

    Month 8, November (Date to be determined by class members)

    • November Presentation (Date and time to be determined by class members)

  • 02

    Month 9, December (Date to be determined by class members)

    • December Presentation (Date and time to be determined by class members)

A More Intensive Experience . . .

If you would like to participate in

I will also be forming a small, additional writing lab in which we will apply the monthly presentations in a concrete way. I will read your work, and we will discuss, critique, and hopefully all have made significant progress on our novels by the end of the year. If you are interested in this intensive, monthly workshop, email me at [email protected] for application details.


I imagine you have questions.

  • Who is this for?

    This is for writers, aspiring authors, and anyone interested in the creative process.

  • Do I have to have previous writing experience?

    For the Write a Novel with Me monthly presentations, no. You can come with any level of experience. But for the Intensive writing lab, you will need to be at an intermediate or advanced level.

  • I am unclear about what the writing lab experience will be. Can you tell me more?

    In addition to the Write a Novel with Me monthly presentations, I will be forming a small group--no more than six writers. We will gather for an additional online meeting each month, where we will discuss the writers' specific projects and how the monthly presentation applies specifically and directly to their own work. I will also be reading and critiquing up to 5,000 words per month for each writer in the group.

  • Will there time for questions at the end of the monthly presentation?

    Yes, every monthly presentation will include a Q & A.

  • I really want to sign up, but I'm not sure what my schedule will be like throughout the year.

    All sessions will be recorded and made available to view later.

  • What is the price of enrollment?

    Enrollment is $60 per month for the monthly presentations. Your card will be charged automatically each month on the day of the month when you initially sign up.

  • What is the refund policy?

    There are no refunds, but you can cancel your membership at any time.

  • I am an educator and I would like to share this with my students. Is that possible?

    If you are an educator, please email me directly at [email protected]

  • How much does the Intensive lab cost?

    If you apply and are accepted as one of the intensive lab students, the price will be an additional $200 per month.

If you're ready, join here.

I'm excited to take this journey with you.