It’s 7am. Are you awake?

Me neither. Maybe that’s why I started this newsletter and podcast, to get me up, get going, start a new writing day, hopefully with a whole crew of other sleepy and pajamaed types. I’m a published novelist with more than twenty-five years of teaching experience at a number of colleges and universities, including UMass-Amherst, Smith College, Boston University, Emerson College, and Brandeis. I co-founded and lead the GrubStreet Novel Incubator program, twelve years in running with more than 35 book publications by our alums.

Recently I turned 50. And this last year I had the great experience of publishing my mother’s first novel, but I wish I had helped her make it happen years earlier. So that’s why I’m waking up early. What I couldn’t do for her, I hope to do for you.

In October 2022, we started with a crazy-making seven weeks, seven-days-a-week writing challenge (49 days +1) intended to help you launch a new project, whether you’re a newbie writer or just trying to get something new going. Every morning began with thirty(ish) minutes of tips, inspiration, and some writing friends to help us out. I LOVE novels. But we tried to have something for everyone here, whether you write fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poems, plays, screenplays, and everything in between.

What did we do next? The March March writing challenge in 2023 and our follow-up Passages of Summer interviews focusing on examining what makes an author’s first pages really sing. And we’ll be doing more writing challenges and interviews up ahead. Listen to all of these sessions again or for the first time on our SubStack page or other podcast platforms (Spotify, Apple, etc). Replay the writing challenge episodes for a challenge of your own. Thanks to all the wonderful writers who gave their time and energy to make this happen!

And get ready for another writing challenge: our January 2024 What’s Holding You Back? series. Twenty-two days (plus bonus episodes) addressing our listeners’ biggest writing obstacles to help you overcome your own. See our most recent posts for the schedule and updates. And if you want to register for the free, live version of these 30+ minute blasts, email me at

Why subscribe?

You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new edition goes directly to your inbox. Subscribers get full access to every episode of our challenge, stay in the know about announcements, and have a chance to participate in our community of other 7am-ers. Subscriptions are free. Ask questions. Comment on posts. Start a discussion thread. Whatever you choose!

Writing is lonely, especially in the morning. Join us!

Subscribe to The 7am Novelist

Join award-winning novelist and writing teacher Michelle Hoover with tips and special guests for your morning writing wake up call, with a range of author interviews and writing challenges to help you get a new project going and keep you in your chair.


Michelle Hoover has taught writing at universities for 25 years. She now leads the GrubStreet Novel Incubator program. She is a 2014 NEA Fellow. Her novels have won prizes from the Center for Fiction, All Iowa Reads, the Mass Book Awards, and more.