"All writing is re-writing." - Nabokov
It's only when the messy first draft is finished that the real work begins of finding the true potential of a story or a novel. In this three-hour workshop, we will discuss what happens when writers complete their first drafts and the re-envisioning that goes into thoughtful revision.
Using readings from Raymond Carver, Zadie Smith, and others, the instructor will lead discussions into the lesser-known tools of revision that professional writers employ. Attendees will use in-class exercises and practical techniques to revise their manuscripts, with the goals of workshopping specifically for conflict, exploring character motivations, and streamlining language. This class will be welcoming to beginning writers who have written a little but don't know what to do next. It will also apply to those with some workshop experience; often workshops give us feedback and then send us off to revise without teaching the tools of revision as a skill like any other writing skill, and this course aims to address that.
Students will leave the class with a revised excerpt of their work, and tools for revising their short stories or novels that they can use throughout their writing careers.
Our class platform works best on laptop or desktop computers. Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features. The Zoom calls will have automated transcription enabled. Please let us know ([email protected]) if you have any questions or concerns about accessibility.
Check out this page for details about payment plans and discount opportunities.
- New tools and exercises for radically revising your fiction, tackling plot, character development, and polishing the language
- A revised excerpt of your writing
- Tips and techniques for "game-ifying" the revision process to make it fun and to see your work with fresh eyes
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
No prior work or reading required; students should bring work they want to revise. No written feedback will be given on student work but students will receive verbal feedback from the instructor.
Part One: Reading with an Editor’s Eye
Part Two: Revision Passes: plot, character, language
Break: 15 minutes
Part Three: Exercises: Practicing revision on our own work and with peers
BLAIR HURLEY is the author of THE DEVOTED, published by W.W. Norton, which was longlisted for The Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. Her second novel, MINOR PROPHETS, will be published in 2023. Her work is published in New England Review, Electric Literature, The Georgia Review, Guernica, Paris Review Daily, West Branch, and elsewhere. She is a Pushcart Prize winner and an ASME Fiction award finalist.
“Blair is a beautiful and powerful writer, whose work often examines themes of identity, faith, and difficult family dynamics. Her writing is driven by great compassion, humor and wit, which renders her characters as complex, soulful and absorbing.”
“An absorbing and psychologically charged debut, THE DEVOTED is a fierce confession of what it means to abandon a life.”
“If you are interested in polishing your writing to its full potential, consider hiring Blair Hurley as your editor. I did. She is tough and terrific. Tough because she caught every little mistake and foolishness I committed to page. Terrific because she is incredibly smart and creative, and she guided me so that dull storylines turned into gripping ones.”
“This class was even better and more informative (and inspirational) than I had hoped. Blair is a fantastic teacher. I loved that she has had great success and was so open about sharing her experiences. Plus she was funny and down to earth!”
“I loved Blair — I want to take a class from her again! She knows an incredible amount and kept me engaged the entire time.”