Richard Russo says that each of his novels goes through "about 17" revisions before it's published. Revising is a skill separate from, and in some ways more sophisticated than, drafting fresh material. A smart, deep revision can elevate a story or essay at the level of meaning and substance; conversely, doing a cursory line edit without reimagining a story’s shape and rethinking its structure might not amount to much.
We believe in supporting writers by sharing craft lessons and feedback -- and with this class, we’ll build on that support by also helping writers reshape and polish their fresh stories, with the goal of making our pieces reader-ready.
During our first meeting, both instructors -- Susanna Daniel and Michelle Wildgen -- will meet with the writers to discuss what comprises a deep revision and go over the workshop process.
Then, every month for for six months, each writer will workshop three (3) original stories and/or essays and develop strategies for deep revisions. We'll focus on offering each story or essay a close read and nuts-and-bolts suggestions for revision.
For the last four months of the class, we’ll swap instructors to provide a fresh eye. Writers will submit two (2) deep revisions, along with the original work and feedback, and put the material through its paces again. At the end of the year, you’ll have everything you need to get two pieces ready for publication or an MFA application, or to bulk up your body of work.
Unlike our Novel/Memoir in a Year offering, which requires an intense commitment for a prolonged period, the pace of this workshop is meant to be workable and sustainable long-term. Our focus will be on maintaining consistent writing habits and giving each revision time to reach its full potential.