Hi all,

Just wanted to let you know that my annual “Revising Fiction” has been scheduled to begin on March 16, and is now open for registration.

For those not familiar with it, this intensive online workshop is for writers with a completed draft of a novel (or a body of short stories) to bring their fiction to the next level. Whether it’s a first draft or a 10th, participants’ books will undergo a process that will result in much stronger manuscripts, along with tools they can apply to everything they write in the future. The workshop requires a significant investment of time-- typically 10 to 16 hours a week over 14 weeks—but that includes time spent editing your own work. I'm proud to say that my writing workshops are among the very few recommended by Absolute Write.

This workshop grew out of frustrations that arose when I was a literary agent for 14 years. During that time, I had to turn down many potentially publishable books that fell just a draft or two short. Often they came from talented writers whose execution doesn’t quite measure up to their talent. But they weren’t salable as written, and like most agents, I didn’t have time to teach aspiring writers how to finish their work. Now more than ever, writers are expected to learn the craft on their own dime. And that definitely includes self-editing, an essential part of the writing process, and the one most often neglected. Revision is not just a matter of chipping away excess bits or changing a word here and there, but also building up, shifting emphasis, adding or omitting characters and subplots, clarifying and enhancing theme.

There are obstacles to effective self-editing. One is the difficulty of getting feedback of a quality high enough to raise our level of play. Another is the fact that by the time we finish a complete draft of the work, we’ve read it too often to address it with the objectivity required for editing. The “Revising Fiction” workshop was created to address both those problems, and to provide fiction writers with a methodical way of going about revision.


1. A finished draft.

2. Time. Most of us have day jobs, and I don’t expect you to quit yours or neglect your family, at least not totally. But you will need to carve out a minimum of 10-12 hours a week to devote to the workshop and your own editing.

3. Dough. Tuition is much less than you’d pay for an equivalent semester-long university course, but still a chunk of money. There is a 10% discount for returning students.

4. A writing sample, specifically the first five or six pages of your novel.

5. An open mind.

WHO I AM: I’ve worked in publishing and as a writer for 40 years. I started out editing at Fawcett Books, then a top paperback house. After that I became a literary agent, founding and running my own agency for 15 years. I also know the publishing world from the perspective of a writer, having had eight novels and several works of nonfiction published by major houses, including Viking/Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Doubleday and Morrow. I edit fiction and teach fiction writing, formerly at Hofstra University and SUNY, currently in my own online Next Level workshops.

For more on the specifics of the workshop, including tuition, see my website. For comments from former participants, see the testimonials page. For more on my publishing/writing creds, check out my bio. If you’d like to apply for the workshop or have any questions about it, respond to this thread or PM me or email me at next.level.workshop@gmail.com.

I generally offer only one of these workshops each year. If the timing isn’t right for you, but you know someone for whom it might be perfect, please pass this along.

And now, let the wild rumpus begin!