If you’ve completed a draft of your novel or memoir, congratulations! That milestone is a big one—but by now you probably have realized that it is also just the first one in a longer process. In order to improve your work as much as you can in preparation for querying agents or simply to meet your own writing goals, you need to evaluate your manuscript as a whole, from its broadest central purpose to its prose on the sentence level. You need readers. And you need thorough, guided feedback from an experienced writer, editor, and teacher who has been through this process before. Best of all, by reading other students’ completed drafts and learning how to give useful feedback to them, you will gain skills you can apply to your own work in the future.
Designed to give students intensive feedback on their book-length projects and the skills to evaluate their own work, each three-hour class will focus on discussion of one student’s entire manuscript, which we all will read beforehand. We will also set aside time to discuss craft issues and writing questions as they arise. You will be part of a writing community facing the same questions and struggles you are.
We will meet 6 times every three weeks in the summer and fall of 2017. (See exact dates below.) We will also set up a shorter introductory meeting in late July 2017 just to make sure we hit the ground running with our first meeting. You will be responsible for reading and discussing the original work of each participant.
Our workshops focus first on what the writer is doing well, then on concrete suggestions for improvement. We’ll discuss why some strategies work and some don’t, how to avoid cliches and pitfalls, and how to hone our strengths and identify our weaknesses. Between workshops, we will keep in touch to encourage and support each other.
This workshop is appropriate for writers with workshop experience and a completed book-length draft ready for revision. Please expect to read roughly 350 pages of material every other week, to prepare a 2-3 pages of written feedback for each class session, and to submit a book-length manuscript. (If your novel or memoir is significantly longer than 350 pages, contact me to discuss.)