Editing for Writers
This workshop was originally scheduled to start on Tuesday 30 June. It has been postponed, with the future date to be announced. If you’d like to be emailed as soon as we have a new date, add your name to our waitlist here.
People who are already enrolled will receive updates via email.
You’ve written the end on the last page of your manuscript. Now what?
This course walks you through the next part of the journey. We analyse structural, style and presentational problems, exploring strategies to improve them. We go behind the scenes, demystifying the editing process and providing practical techniques for taking your text to the next stage of writing quality. In hands-on sessions, we investigate the levels of editing, and how to identify and deal with common issues in unpublished manuscripts. We also take a realistic look at trends in editing for digital publishing. You will return to your manuscript with new eyes and fresh ideas.
This six-week course with Pamela Hewitt is aimed at writers of fiction and non-fiction who wish to develop their editing skills and techniques, and apply it to their work. It is designed for writers who want to improve their manuscripts with an aim to secure a publishing contract or self-publish. Using practical examples and sample texts, participants will learn what is needed to present a professional manuscript in a competitive and globalised publishing industry. In addition to weekly face-to-face sessions, participants will receive resources for further skill development and weekly feedback on course topics.
Week-by-Week Course Breakdown
Week 1: Proofreading and copyediting
Proofreading is much more than correcting spelling mistakes and the placement of commas. Good copyediting tightens language and increases your chances of finding a publisher and readers. This session introduces the fundamentals of these processes.
Week 2: Structural editing
When you restructure a piece of writing, the whole text is up for grabs. Structural editing is a creative means of reimagining the shape, balance and flow of a text. In this session, we also consider sensitivity editing for diverse readers.
Week 3: Plain and simple
Like food, language appeals most when it’s fresh and varied. Whatever the writing technique, there is a relationship between clear writing and clear thinking. We also look at brilliant exceptions to the precepts of plain English approaches.
Week 4: Brave new world of digital media
The screen is different from the page and so editing techniques need to be targeted to both format and device. We look at ground-breaking developments in writing for digital media and the skills writers need to keep up with digital publishing developments.
Week 5: Grammar and punctuation for writers
This session takes the anxiety out of grammar and punctuation and provides the tools and confidence to avoid common mistakes. We also consider ways grammar is evolving and analyse contemporary trends in punctuation and presentation of manuscripts.
Week 6: Edit your story
The final week ties together all that we’ve learnt using excerpts from specific genres. Participants will also receive tailored feedback on editing solutions. They can choose an excerpt of their own writing or a sample text to identify problems and find ways to improve the draft.
Expected Learning Outcomes
- Develop the skills to approach fiction and non-fiction texts with the eye of a professional editor, including differentiating the three main levels of structural editing, copyediting and proofreading.
- Identify the flaws most commonly encountered in unpublished texts and develop techniques to improve them, enhancing readability and publishability.
- Enhance skills as writers operating in a globalised, digital media environment.
- Participants should have a complete draft of a fiction or non-fiction manuscript.
- Participants should have a high level of language skills and at least basic competency in Microsoft Word or Word:Mac.
- Digital and hard copy course notes are provided. Please bring pen and paper, or your fully charged device.
More from Writing NSW
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About the tutor
Pamela Hewitt is an accredited editor who has worked in editing and publishing for over 25 years. After an in-house career in educational and academic editing, she established a freelance editorial practice focusing on memoir, fiction and creative non-fiction. A qualified teacher, Pamela has presented editing and writing programs for universities, vocational educational colleges, writers’ […]