Online: Editing for Writers

Pamela Hewitt

Monday 21 August to Friday 29 September 2023, online

Full Price: $660
Member: $495
Conc Member: $430

This course is now finished. Sign up for our waitlist here to find out when it’s running again. In the meantime, check out our list of current courses or sign up for our Newsbite weekly newsletter for updates.

Join this online course about editing with Pamela Hewitt.

You’ve written the end on the last page of your manuscript. Now what?

In this online editing course for writers, Pamela Hewitt walks you through the next part of the journey. We analyse structural, stylistic 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. We investigate the levels of editing, and how to identify and deal with common issues in unpublished manuscripts.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 year’s revised course includes additional content on cultural diversity and sensitivity, new developments such as artificial intelligence, and some fascinating trends in structural aspects of contemporary fiction.

Is this online course right for you? Read our FAQ before enrolling>>

Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this program. This interactive online course has limited places. Book early to avoid missing out. 

This six-week online editing course with Pamela Hewitt is aimed at writers of fiction and narrative 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. Participants will receive resources for further skill development and weekly feedback on course topics.

Week-by-Week Course Breakdown

Week 1: 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. We look at where to start and where to end, characterisation and perspective.

Week 2: Style and line editing

This week covers matters of style. We identify words and phrases that lift a text and those the manuscript is better off without. We also introduce the fundamentals of copyediting and proofreading to tighten language and eliminate errors and inconsistencies. A well presented manuscript increases your chances of finding a publisher and delighting 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 writing using digital techniques, including recent AI innovations like ChatGPT, and the skills writers need to keep up with digital media and publishing developments.

Week 5: Grammar and punctuation for writers

This lesson 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 various 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.

Please expect to dedicate a minimum of 3-4 hours to coursework each week. This includes reading, responding to discussions, writing, revising and providing peer feedback.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  1. 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.
  2. Identify the flaws most commonly encountered in unpublished texts and develop techniques to improve them, enhancing readability and publishability.
  3. Enhance skills as writers operating in a globalised, digital media environment. 

Participant Requirements

Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this program. Please read our FAQ before enrolling.

You do not need to log into the course at a specific time and there are no live meetings. You will receive an email with an invitation link to join the online classroom by 10am on the day the course starts.

  • Participants may have a complete draft of a fiction or non-fiction manuscript but this is not essential.
  • Participants should have a high level of language skills and basic competency in word processing.

We’ve designed this online course to meet your learning needs. You can work through the lesson material, ask questions, and engage with fellow writers throughout the course. Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this program.

  • Participants will work through several lessons, which will open sequentially over the first few days of the course (see course dates in the blue box above).
  • You can complete the lesson material in your own time.
  • This course includes short writing assignments and the opportunity to give and receive peer feedback, and some tutor feedback.

More from Writing NSW

Check out our full range of online writing courses and our feedback programs to see how we can help you on your writing journey. Find out about our writing groups across NSW, and sign up to our weekly newsletter for writing events, opportunities and giveaways.

View less
This course has already taken place.