HOLISTIC REVISION COURSE FOCUS
In this guided online course we will work on either a piece of writing that you have just gotten started on or which needs extensive revision. The course includes two individual Zoom meetings with the instructor, monthly whole class meetings over Zoom, as well as the option for feedback on anywhere from 5,000-15,000 words. Every two weeks a new module will open with a specific focus and opportunities to post your work for feedback from fellow students to help with the revision process.
This course will cover the following topics:
- Reasons why we write/ Reading & Analyzing like a Writer (January 25-February 7)
- Story & Memoir Beginnings (February 8-21)
- Character & Motivations/Objectives (February 22-March 7)
- Point of View (March 8-21)
- Voice & Dialogue ( March 22-April 4)
- Relationships (April 5-11)
- Structure & Scene Construction (April 12-25)
- Description, Exposition, Research & Setting (April 26-May 9)
- Pacing & Foreshadowing (May 10-23)
- The Publishing Process & How to Make the Most of Your Writing Time (Proofing Sheets, Peer-editing, Pro-editing, Critique groups) (May 24-31)
- Writing Time in advance of submissions (June 1-30)
Who should take this course?
- Novelists in any genre looking for a holistic revision course that focuses on all the elements of a good narrative as well as providing a structure for revision in sweeps and slices versus trying to “catch everything” all at once.
- Memoirists looking to move their book from biography to the “creative non-fiction” category
- Writers looking for a way to both revise and continue working on their developing work in a supportive atmosphere with both peer and instructor feedback.
- Writers who prefer taking courses with a focused group of peers looking to submit their work within the next few years.
- Writers who are serious about improving and developing their craft
- Previous experience is not required. The application process is simply there to provide a framework for understanding how you approach your work, your writing goals, as well as an opportunity to get to know you. (Since enrollment is limited to 12, we have to have a way of determining who ought to enroll at this stage.)
What does the course include?
Each unit of study and exploration will have a text, video & audio component so that you can learn in the modality that best suits your learning style. All the course modules will stay open for a year from the date of registration so that you can go back and review concepts even after the course has officially ended.
- Two one-on-one sessions with the instructor over Zoom.
- One mid-way feedback (up to 2,000 words) from the instructor with feedback & audio file
- Six monthly Zoom sessions with instructor and whole class
- (Optional) 5,000-15,000 words of feedback (if submitted by June 25).
- Feedback and audio file provided by July 25.
- 12 main units of study every two weeks (on average) which can be done from anywhere in the world, at your own pace
- Deadlines for submission for peer feedback and instructor feedback
Deliverables for Students
- Full access to the course text, video and audio modules for a year from the date of registration.
- Downloadable readings and exercises.
- Certificate of completion.
- Peer feedback
- One-on-one coaching and feedback
Units of Study
- Deciding on a Writing & Revision Focus, Reading Like a Writer
- Story & Memoir Beginnings & Pitches/Organizational Structures
- Character & Motivations/Objectives
- Point of View & Psychic Distance
- Voice & Dialogue
- Relationships & Characterization
- Story Structure & Scene Construction
- Description, Exposition, Research & Setting
- Pacing & Foreshadowing
- Submission Process & Self-editing: Proofing Sheets vs. Peer-editing, Pro-editing, Critique groups
- Finding a Workflow for Your Writing
Registration for accepted applicants (this is a non-competitive process) is from January 5-22. The course starts on January 25 and runs until July 25.
- No additional feedback $650 or 4 payments of $175
- 10,000 words feedback +$225 ($875) or 4 payments of $235
- 15,000 words feedback +$375 ($1025) or 4 payments of $270
How do I know if the course is worth the cost?
This is a difficult question to answer, as six-month online courses that are combined with individualized feedback can range anywhere from $550-3,000+. A few important gauges in comparing costs are the two important features of this course: group writing mentoring, individualized feedback, and critiques from classmates. The cost of just individualized writing mentoring for 6-12 months is usually anywhere from $1,500-3,500+. For a critique of your entire manuscript (which would only focus on what you have written and not on actually teaching you skills beyond commenting on the work-in-progress), depending on the revisional state, you’re looking at anywhere from $1,500-$3,000+
If you take the cost of the course (without individual feedback at the end) divided by six months $650/6=$108/month, this is a really decent return on the investment of the course’s lessons, two individualized check-ins (one which is preceded by written feedback & an audio file), plus the monthly course meetings and opportunity to build relationships with other writers. When you add in the additional option for manuscript feedback, you can quickly see the savings involved in taking this course, as well as the warmth and breadth of experience that Britta brings in her seventeen combined years of teaching writing and working in publishing. In addition, literary agents and publishers appreciate submissions from writers who invest in their artistic process and you can definitely mention the course in your query letter. For those seeking indie publication, a course like this helps with the next steps in self-publishing your work.
However, ultimately you decide if this form of investment in your writing is best for your budget, writing goals, and work. We hope you’ll apply and join us in learning more about revision!
Britta Jensen has spent seventeen years in the literacy education and publishing world. She is the award-winning novelist of the Eloia Born series. She has also received numerous awards, including the General Sharp Award, for her teaching of creative writing and literature. Many of her stories explore themes of persevering through disability, parental separation and the intersection of various cultures in new worlds. She holds a BA in Acting Performance from Fordham University and an MA in Teaching of English Literature from Columbia University. Friends often refer to her as a polyglot—which is a product of living twenty-two years overseas in Japan, South Korea, and Germany before settling in Austin, Texas. She enjoys mentoring writers and editing books with The Writing Consultancy and Yellowbird Editors and teaches first-year writing at St. Edward’s University.
Testimonials from Previous Students
“The class was so rich with ideas and wonderful exercises…I also loved the advice to not focus so much on rewriting the beginning (which is something so many of us do!) but instead to try to finish a draft and then go back to rework the beginning.”–Maureen Turner Carey, author & librarian
“I like the way you provide a mechanism to explore what a character might do, not necessarily in the context of the story, but just behave if I extracted them from the story and watched them go.”–Sam Ritter, author
“So much revealed in so little time!”–Roanna Flowers, author of Dramedy Au Contraire