Revising and Re-Imagining Your Novel or Chapter Book
October-December 2017

Are you revising a novel or chapter book, or planning to get started on revising one soon? Do you want to learn a variety of techniques to help you find problems and create new material? Then this online webinar series is for you.

Class sessions held online October 3, 10, 17, 31; November 7, 14; December 5. All sessions begin at 8:30 PM Eastern time, on Tuesdays. Video recordings and transcripts will be made available afterwards. There will be handouts and "homework." All students have a personal teacher, who gives homework feedback and a manuscript consultation. Limited to 40 participants.

Registration is closed. We can add students by hand in the first week or so of the class; please contact us at webinar@kidsbookrevisions.com to initiate this. The $325 registration fee covers the course, all materials, and a manuscript consultation.

Based on what we have developed for our Revision Retreat at the Highlights Foundations and for workshops at the LA SCBWI conference and elsewhere, this online course will teach you proven revision techniques and tools. But you don't just get a presentation of working methods. We will help you try them out and we understand how they work so that you will feel confident when you need to choose, adapt, or even make your own.

There's more to revision than finding problems, of course. What do you do once you've done that? That's why we also teach techniques to help you re-imagine different elements of your story, and create new scenes, explore and flesh out characters, build settings, change or refine voice, and to tinker with the overall story and emotional arc.

In all of our workshops, we answer questions, give feedback on "homework" (students trying out the techniques), and offer a critique option (usually for an added fee). This time, we're doing something different, by assigning you to one of us to be your personal teacher and manuscript consultant.

What to expect from the class:

What not to expect:

In this class, we focus on the craft. We give you revision tools (which you can mold and shape to fit your story's needs) to help you take your story from good to better. Through practice, we show you how to use these tools to become better at self-editing your own work so you can eventually present your best manuscript to an editor or agent. This webinar will help you become more comfortable with revision, giving you a toolbox you could use with any story.

We built this class for writers of different experience levels: for beginners, the techniques and approaches will be new to them; experienced writers will be reminded of techniques they might want to try and challenged to rethink how they approach revision.

Sessions (After the first session, each will open with a look at sample "homework" and answers to questions remaining from the previous session):

October 3 -- Reading Like an Editor: An introduction to "reader response theory," how it works in comparison to literary analysis, and how to use it in revision.

October 10 -- Getting Feedback from Others: The good and bad magic of critique groups, how to make them work better, plus beta readers and feedback from children.

October 17 -- Revising at the Big Picture Level--1: Holistic techniques, including methods of reading, asking questions, using checklists, and making maps.

October 31 -- Revising at the Big Picture Level--2: Analytic techniques, including outlines, understanding scenes, and different ways to use the "revision grid."

November 7 -- Re-Imagining Your Story--1: Ways to create new material, rethink characters, reshape your setting, and more.

November 14 -- Re-Imagining Your Story--2: Ways to create new material, rethink or find your voice, rebuild your plot, and more.

December 5 -- Putting on a Final Polish: An introduction to line-editing; tools to use in place of hiring a professional copy-editor, from Wordles to reading backward.

Tech details: Our "platform" provides a simple interface with a slideshow-style presentation, a small video/audio feed of the presenter, and a text chat "room." It works well on almost all computers and tablets. It also works on cellphones or similar small devices, but we do not recommend using them as the slides will appear very small. Once you register (details below), you will receive an email confirmation, and then on the day before the first session a link to the presentation, with instructions for downloading and setting up the software (a mostly automatic process). We may set up a practice and set-up session before the first session, if there is interest. We will also be recording the sessions (minus the text chat) and making them available to all students for at least two weeks following each session; there will also be transcripts of the audio.

Registration is closed. We can add students by hand in the first week or so of the class; please contact us at webinar@kidsbookrevisions.com to initiate this. The $325 registration fee covers the course, all materials, and a manuscript consultation.

Registration procedure. Registration takes two steps. On the registration page, we ask you for some essential information, and provide a space for question and comments. Filling out and sending the form is the first step. You will then receive an automated confirmation by email, which will include a link to Paypal for payment of the $325 registration fee. Making that payment is your second step. If your name or email address on Paypal is different from the name or email address you used to sign up, please let us know so we can match your payment to your signup (If you can not pay via Paypal, please let us know). We will confirm receipt of payment as soon as we can, and tell you who will be your personal teacher, but this must be done by hand, so you may not hear from us until a day or two later. Once the class starts, handouts and other communications will be sent to the email address you used to register.

Questions asked and answered:

If you don't find an answer to your question here, please send it to us at webinar@kidsbookrevisions.com and we will update this list as needed.

I took your "Editing without an Editor" workshop or your Revision Retreat. How much overlap is there? We don't encourage anyone who has been to our retreat or has taken that workshop to join us for this webinar. There is overlap. But you would encounter some new material too, so it's up to you--this one could serve as a refresher, and it does concentrate on novels.

Why novels and chapter books? We feel that books with chapters--from chapter books to YA novels--have many similar characteristics, at least when you look at revision techniques that work with them. So we are covering the whole range, and distinguishing them from picture books, for which we have a separate webinar course.

Why novels and chapter books? We feel that books with chapters--from chapter books to YA novels--have many similar characteristics, at least when you look at revision techniques that work with them. So we are covering the whole range, and distinguishing them from picture books, for which we have a separate webinar course.

Will you offer scholarships? We have decided to offer scholarships. These will be made available based on need. We don't have an application, so someone interested in a scholarship should write to us at webinar@kidsbookrevisions.com and explain their need for a scholarship. We are not setting specific criteria but at a minimum we would like to hear why financially the applicant needs a scholarship and why they need to take this course at this time. We are not setting a number of scholarships we will grant, though we are open to offering both partial and full, and anticipate granting at least one full scholarship due to the generosity of a student. Again, we will be looking closely at need. Anyone taking this class should apply for a scholarship only if they will not be able to take the class if one is not granted, not with the intention of registering and paying if they find out they didn't receive one. Applications are due by September 25.

Harold Underdown and Eileen Robinson teamed up in 2008 to bring something different to aspiring authors. And since then they have created online classes and tutorials and in-person workshops, presenting and working with writers at SCBWI conferences, workshops in western Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pittsburgh, a weekend retreat in central NY, and an annual 4-day retreat at Highlights. More information on our backgrounds.


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